The weather took a slight turn for the worse today and as we rolled out of the hotel at 7:15am (way too early for a ride in my opinion!) we were welcomed by a drizzle. We headed up the coast to Carlsbad to meet the Wednesday group for 8:15am and it wasn't long before we were all soaked. The best thing though was that it was still warm and beats riding in wet, 30 degree weather!
By the time we hit Carlsbad it had stopped raining and that was the last time it would rain on us for the rest of the day. I also had the first puncture of the day, was it a sign of things to come? As we rolled up to the coffee shop, John had mentioned that the group ride would probably be small or non-existent....San Diegans don't ride in the rain! He was right, of the 5 other guys at the shop only 2 were local and the others were from the East Coast on vacation.
The group ran up through Oceanside and into Camp Pendleton, out the other side and then a u-turn and back again. For us from the hotel a 70mile jaunt. Without the locals to warn us of the ride protocol, Ace hit the first hill hard and then it was game on for the rest of the ride (so much so that one of the locals got all annoyed that the protocols weren't being followed and promptly turned around and went home!).
After three days of running and riding my legs weren't exactly feeling too juicy and anytime there was a vague acceleration I was left churning the diesel engine and making sure I remembered the turns :-) Hence the lack of riding photos today, a: I was too busy groveling to hold on and b: I wasn't too sure if the Base would like me taking photos of the tanks that kept on rumbling by. (Today's note to self was to be extra aware of the tanks rumbling by that had student driver signs on the front and back). The saving grace for me was the couple of punctures by Ace and Stu that gave me time to catch back up and take a break :-)
After the turn around it was a steady headwind all the way back to Carlsbad and then again to Encinitas. Fortunately the little diesel engine that could was rewarded by only being about 40secs behind the group and then we rolled back to Encinitas. After a 6am breakfast, by 11:00am we were looking for Rauls again and the chicken burrito hit the spot. Followed by a Starbucks and a Blueberry granola bar, I was ready for the hot tub, a massage and a beer.
Luckily those three things happened in that order.....a short soak in the hot tub (before it started raining again), a massage and then a great meal out at the Stone Brewing Company in Escondido. If ever you are out this way make sure to stop by this great brewery and bistro, they have over 200 beers including 20 or so brewed on the premises (I would recommend the Stone IPA).
Tomorrow the weather forecast is for sunny skies and a easier recovery ride and run. Before that however, John will briefly go over his PowerFiTTE system with FiTTE certified Robin Farina and Stu Waring.