Well....I've heard about the infamous Henshaw Loop and now I have done it. Who made it famous and why? The loop is supposedly great Kona prep and the "Germans" come to San Diego and ride it for Kona prep.
So we chose the hottest day in months for this ride.....We left Kit Karson park at 7am, should have rolled at 6, with KP, D, T and I. It was very comfortable and we headed out the 78 towards Ramona. We rode the 78 climb on Saturday and 6am and it was awesome. No traffic and a wonderful climb...not on Thursday. Lots of commuters (I guess) and trucks screaming past, was not idyllic in the least. We reach Ramona and well, it is now hot- close to 90 degrees, so we fill up our bottles and are rolling soon. Old Julian Hwy is awesome, no cars and a truly beautiful climb. Jumping back onto the 78 was a drag and we soon dropped into Dudley's, more water and it was over 100 degrees now. My bottles were hot- stopping was worse as you can really feel the heat. How hot is Kona going to be?? Out to Lake Henshaw on an optical illusion, I tell you. The road looked flat, yet I am in my highest gear and almost wishing I had another. I kid you not, at least 5 times I look down thinking I must be in my big chain ring, nope.... Well turns out it is steady climb and with the and the road, it looks flat. Then the fun started, cruising down and around Lake Henshaw on the 76, pass the turn off for Palomar- no thanks well over 100degrees, and the fast descent towards Valley Center. Final stop for more water, a bag of ice and wow, it't hot. KP flatted on the way down and just as we are leaving the store his tube blows again. No worries he changes his 2nd flat and the valve breaks off. Ok, this sucks! I give him a tube and well his new sassy wheels require not just extended valve tubes but extra- extended valve tubes for valve extenders - of which we have neither. So now are resorted to patching the tire and trying to make the valve that is too short work- thank goodness for T's hand pump and nearly 45 minutes later we are finally rolling. Hour + and we should be back at the car. But the climb out of Valley Center was precarious- 2 lane road, no bike lane and backed against shale rock. Did I mention it is over 100 degrees and there is a lot of traffic coming from the Casinos. Just get me off this road and psssst, my rear tire flats, Arrrgh- short walk to a place that is off the road, in the gravel, but with shade. 4 minutes I change the flat and we are rolling again. Just get me back to the car!
We made it and of course then it's all good! The psot ride high 80 miles, 6300 ft of climbing, surviving the 100+ degree heat, burning eyes.
And this ladies and gentlemen is why I love training for Ironman!!! Good friends and good fun all in a days ride.