Sunday, May 25, 2014

Just a few favorite views from a few recent rides

It's still spring here in San Diego, CA, and I've been trying to get my adventure rides in before the weather gets inhospitably hot in the summer months... and so have been neglecting the blogs a bit. Sorry! Here are a few shots from a few recent bike rides around this scenic little big town.

Rose Creek Bike Path just south of Garnet Ave.
 Spring is a purple season here in San Diego. The jacarandas are blooming all over town and I can't seem to get enough of them! They really perk up the place.

A sweet female pitbull hurrying over to say hi on Bullard Rd.
I know many cyclists are afraid of being approached by dogs when they are out riding in the countryside, but I absolutely love it when local dogs come over to say hi! This lovely pitbull terrier was the sweetest pooch. She came running over from a property along Bullard Rd near Alpine and was petted silly by yours truly. It was a really good break for me, since there was another leash-less dog there that didn't look nearly as friendly as the pitbull was, but he let me be when he saw me getting on handsomely with the other dog.

The new Smorgmobile... a bit off the beaten (and paved) path!
 Oh, yeah, the Smorgmobile got a drastic make-over a couple of months ago. It turned out that the creak that the old Smorgmobile Giant Defy 5 had been indulging on on climbs came from a cracked fork, so Giant sent over a new fork (a composite one rather than aluminum!). The new fork wouldn't fit the old frame, tho, so Giant shipped over a new (lighter aluxx) frame as well. The new frame wouldn't fit the old crank, but cranks aren't included in the life-time warranty, so I had to buy a new one, but it was quite worth it to spend $200 and got an almost all new bike that is quite a bit lighter than the old one and that rides so much softer. Naturally, some trail-testing was in order... and that was how the new Smorgmobile found itself marooned on a rocky island in the middle of nowhere when the dirt road that branched east from Bullard Rd narrowed into a track and then a nothing... Oh well, it was a fun little off road excursion while it lasted!

Looking ENE down Cuyamaca Lookout Fire Rd toward Lake Cuyamaca and Garnet Peak.
On a clear day, it's hard to beat the view from almost any open spot along Cuyamaca Lookout Fire Rd to the top of the 2nd tallest peak in San Diego County. Mind you, you have to pay quite a physical fee to see the view. That road is some of the goriest sustained super-steep climbing I've ever had to put up with!

Treed-in section of Jeremy Ln in Pala.
There isn't much forest-riding to be had here in arid San Diego, so I found the treed in sections along Lemon Line Rd & Jeremy Lane between Rainbow and Pala quite enchanting... And the fact that it occupies only a short stretch of the road made it even more appreciated than the same sort of scene in De Luz or Fallbrook, where you can stay in the forest for miles on end.

Ha! Finally a clean shot of the Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)!
Roadrunners really live up to their name. They are always running! Well, at least when I run into them on rural roads around town. I've had many attempts to photograph these beautiful little spookadelic birds foiled by their speed and unfavorable lighting condition before, but last month I finally got lucky and caught a shot of one pausing in between his speedy dashes under bright sunlight while heading west on San Luis Rey River Trail. Now if only I can get a clean shot of a coyote to go with him...

Looking down the steep couple of blocks on Santa Monica Ave in Pt Loma.
 When people ask me why I keep riding up hideously steep streets around town, all I can say is that you have to have labored up a few blocks of them, park at the top and look back down on a clear day to know the answer. Some views just can't be gotten from the bottom of the hills!

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Thanks for stopping by. Be safe on the roads!