Monday, October 5, 2009

See You at the Crosswinds

Hey Everyone and welcome to another SDBMWMC blog update. Today's post is a simple ride report from yesterday.

1800 hours Saturday. A quick glance at the showed PERFECT conditions in the desert. Time to break out the G650X/C for the first of many Superstition Mountain visits. I quickly threw together the logistics. Get home, load gear and tent on bike, hit ATM machine, get to the desert before 2300 hours and prepare for a Sunday filled with rocks and sand.

1832 hours Saturday. Gear, tent and smaller belongings strewn about the living room floor. Amos, my 14 year old bassett hound has made himself a nice nap pad out of my iso-mat and sleeping bag. Ruggy, my 2 year old korgy-shepherd (no joke on that one, odd doesn't begin to describe what this mutt looks like) is making an effective chew toy out of my tent poles. Clearly, I'm rusty at getting it together last minute for these trips. In between wiping bassett hound drool off of my sleeping bag and locating an actual dog toy for Mr. Ruggy my phone rings.

"Hey Sean it's Cormac. Your cousin's best friend from college!"
"Um...oh hey Cormac. Long time no see. What's up?"
"I'm in San Diego for a Ear Nose and Throat Convention downtown. Figured I'd call and see if you want to hang out."
-Quick notice here to all you doctors reading this: While the vast majority of the Medi-ignorant public typically leap at the chance to spend time with you and hammer away questions about our aches, pains, growth's and eligibility of medicinal marijuana prescription...LEAPING AT THAT CHANCE WILL NEVER HAPPEN ON THE FIRST DESERT WEEKEND OF THE SEASON. Refer to the aforementioned shameless link to my favorite weather site for that information.
"Um...Yeah Cormac. What day were you wanting to get together?" I already know the answer to this one. He's a doctor, he deals with punctuality and appointments EVERY DAY, of course he wants an on the spot, unannounced consult with his best friends cousin.
"TONIGHT BRO! I love this town! Wooooooooo!!!!!!!! We're already at the bar bro!"

1945 hours Saturday. I'm navigating my Madza 3 around downtown looking for parking.
2038 hours Saturday. Actually find a spot a mere 3.25 miles from where Cormac is staying.

0600 hours Sunday. At home throwing all my overnight gear back in the spare room and gathering the bare necessities for a same day desert trip. Hop on the bike hit the gas station and head east.

0900 hours Sunday. I meet up with Gary Kepple and we set off for the Tecate divide. Gary has been playing around with google earth and loaded some exploration tracks into his GPS. We're looking for a GS-able route from roughly the Boulevard area down to the desert floor without getting on the freeway. As we near Golden Acorn Casino we're greeted by a 40-50mph crosswind from the south. This tie of year this crosswind is expected and not really an issue for me. I normal slow down a bit and keep cruising. But, because Kepple is in front of me I'm able to actually see just how FAR out bikes are being blow off line and what kind of lean angles the wind is creating I start to worry.

1030 hours Sunday. We've been down a few trails and washes but the underlying theme of this gusting crosswind is ever prevalent. It's just NOT letting up. Each time we crest a rock formation or ridge we're struggling to keep the bikes upright while doing our best NOT to slip off the trail into a gorge or heaven forbid over the cliff. It's pucker factor 8 nearly the entire trip down toward the desert floor. At one point we're riding on the old highway through the mountains which takes us along a cliff overlooking the current freeway and the cars heading west back toward San Diego. Kepple is standing tall on the footpegs of his HP2 riding along and looking over the edge. My brain raises pucker factor 8 to 8.59 and makes ready at the kill switch. I on the ther hand am riding as far from the edge as I can get pretending to also be taking in the view to avoid the ridicule that accompanies a terror of heights, or rather falling from them. That old familiar panic is setting in as I watch the Kepple weave left to right along the drop. My brain initiates Lamaze breathing to control the heart rate and assist is preventing me from pooping myself.

1310 hours Sunday. We've ridden through a drainage culvert under the eastbound Interstate 8 and stopped at the Texaco for fuel and snacks. Wind, still blowin!

I'll sum up the rest of the ride in a few short words as I'm told these blog posts are supposed to be brief. It was windy. Particularly crossing the Pine Valley bridge where the wind sock was at full suck. In closing, these early weeks of desert season are much anticipated, and help shake the cobwebs off the knobbies. But the weather...while unable to squash the fun factor....can make for some tense moments.

Thanks for reading,
-Sean DeAngelis

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