Today, we ate breakfast at 8 AM and were on the road by 9 AM. A couple of riders left earlier to avoid the heat, which was a great idea, because later in the day, the temperatures were up to 106 degrees.
Four of us rode together as a group, stopping every few miles to wait for the slowest rider, who was being helped along by the ride leader. We didn’t want him to get demoralized on day one, but after a while, we were in trouble too, so we stopped waiting for him. A few miles further down the road, we rearranged ourselves and were riding either separately or with other riders. I ended up turning off at the Albertson’s in Alpine to get some Gatorade powder and chocolate milk. As a result I rode the rest of the route my myself. When I arrived the campground, I was surprised that riders I thought were ahead of me were actually behind me.
Not to bore you with too many details, but here is how our route flowed. We started out on a bike path that followed the waterfront and then the San Diego River, before hitting the streets. I was amazed at the route. It wound through residential neighborhoods, took us to Mission Trails Park, where we stopped to tour this Visitor’s Center, then dropped us onto Old Highway 80.
We crossed into the Cleveland National forest, then at mile point 26, we crossed over I-8 and found ourselves on an endless hill with a 4-5% grade that never ended till we reached the end of our ride. What a painful way to end the day! On day one, we covered 42.5 miles and climbed 3314 feet. See the route and elevation profile below.
We camped just outside of Alpine on the Viejas Indian Reservation at a reservation owned Ma-Tar-Awa RV Park–a huge shady campground with a pool and jacuzzi that a few of us enjoyed the heck out of. Nice Place! Can’t say the water helped our leg cramp, but it sure felt good. And once again, the sunset did not disappoint. Amazing!