Rollers To Bonsall 200k

This past Saturday I drove down to San Diego to ride the Rollers To Bonsall 200k. This makes my fourth brevet this year, and while I’ve already completed a 200k on my way towards the Super Randonneur series, it is good training. I can always use work on my times at the controls and pacing overall. Another benefit is that I’ve got a brevet a month scheduled until October, so that puts me on my way towards the R-12 award as well.

I’ve never ridden in this area before and I was looking forward to it. A fellow rando rider told me earlier in the week “you know San Diego is not flat right?” I guess it’s called the Rollers to Bonsall for a reason right? Here are the reasons.

I recognized a couple blogging randonneurs at the start. Ryan came down from LA and stayed the weekend in San Diego. Esteban writes Velo Flaneur and Mark writes the Surly Randonneur. Mark is also on the Surly Long Haul Trucker google group, and sure to form, he was on his Olive Green (best color) LHT. I was able to chat briefly with the both of them before the start. After some quick route updates we were off. The pace was pretty good at the start. I was trying to hold onto some wheels for as long as I could, and by the first control I had been in HR Zone 5 a few too many times. I still had many miles to pedal so I decided to back off.

I ended up riding alone for most of the ride, which is always a mixed blessing. No one to worry about, but battling the headwinds alone is always tough. As it was, there was a group of three riders that I would catch at each control. They would be there already at the control, but I was able to get out of the controls quick enough to ride with them briefly. I could never hold their wheel for long, but it was good to see them at every control.

The route had a fair amount of urban riding, which included many stoplights. Esteban dubbed it the “Stoplights to Bonsall” ride appropriately, but after sometime we were in some rural riding. It was really scenic on these meandering roads. My Garmin Edge 705 wasn’t loading the mapset, and being somewhat of a GPS geek it was really bugging me. However, it was so nice to be out on these roads that I quickly forgot about the technical snafu and just enjoyed the ride. Sometimes too much techy stuff can get in the way of just enjoying your bike and pedaling some new roads.

At Oceanside we turned south. Most of the climbing was done, and it was just a matter of pedaling the miles. I was having a hard time though. I had changed my fueling program and was having a hard time. I have been using Heed and Perpetuem as my main fueling sources. However, the Perpetuem has been making me feel bloated after the riding was over. So for this ride I tried to dial it back, but I think I cut it by too much. I was really craving some food, but I didn’t want to stop.

Solana Beach is the destination for the 400k in September. The only difference is that when I’ll be passing this sign it will be in the middle of the night. So I’m glad I was able to see the city in the daylight.

The final obstacle was Torrey Grade. It’s about 6% for 2 miles. In that time you climb 400 feet above where you started. This entire ride my goal was to stay out of the triple. My new rando bike will only have a compact crank so I wanted to see if I could do all the climbing with out the triple. I was getting so tired though after my fueling issue that I was pretty sure that I’d need the triple on Torrey Grade. However, I just kept my head down and grinded up the hill. I was able to stay out of the triple and it made my day. I could feel like I’m getting stronger and maybe I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. My moving pace increased slightly, and it feels good to see the effects of the training.

The Selle An-Atomica that I was using seemed to work pretty good. I had to tighten the seat about halfway through the ride. It had stretched noticeably in just a few hours. I’m getting some chafing in the inner thigh area, but I’m hoping that it lessens as the leather gets softer. It’s a mixed bag though, as I need to tension the contact area for my sit bones, but that makes the thigh area tighter. Overall, I’m not 100% convinced on the seat. I think it needs some more adjusting before I decide one way or the other. What I’m finding out that is that I need a narrow seat with good padding.

Huge thanks to the San Diego Randonneurs for a great event. I think I’ll be back down in San Diego for the 300k.

Here are the Garmin stats.

  • Great ride, Errin – looks like you finished pretty strong once you got past your food/fueling issues. Nice photos too.

    I kept thinking you would catch up to me after Oceanside, as by then I had stopped twice (once to help fix someone else’s flat, and once to fix my own), losing ~30 minutes – plus the muscle above my right knee was starting to hurt with every pedal revolution (guess I was mashing too much). I’ll post up my ride report tonight probably – funny how many of us there were (Bloggers to Bonsall?).

    Did you drive back that same night?

    The 300K looks well worth doing – maybe we can head down together (if not, I’ll probably take the train)?

    • Yeah, I drove back afterwards. One of the benefit of my pace increasing is that I can drive down, ride 120 miles and then drive back. A few months ago, I don’t think I would’ve attempted that. I would’ve at least spent one night down there.

      Bloggers to Bonsall is great! Maybe we should’ve each just blogged about one leg each, that way we could just ride most of it. I passed many a photo op just to keep my pace up. So I guess that’s the benefit of many bloggers out there. We all documented different areas of the route.

  • The ride looks awesome. I think all the urban riding would get to me, but it looks like it paid off.

    • Yeah, it was really a short distance considering, but since it came at the start, it felt like it was going to last forever.

  • Jaime

    Hey Errin,
    Nice write up. I was one of the three riders whose wheel you were trying to keep up with. I rode the black Jamis with the Power Tap. I should have introduced myself and how very boorish of me no to. I have ridden that ride so many times I was just on autopilot. I don’t know how you bloggers remember so much of the rides. My goal was 9 hrs since the last year I did this brevet in 10hrs. So, I was in hammer mode ( well for me it was fast) then Ryan flew past me up Torrey Pines casually explaining how he was held up by a flat fix. Show off 😉 I ended up with 8:37 finish time. I was very pleased.

    I may do the the 400K Moorpark to Solana Beach. I’m signed up for the White Mountain Double but I won’t be able to complete a CTC series this year as I had planned so I may go for a second SR this year instead. I was inspired by Joseph Maurer who did three this year! I will not ride the SD Rando 300K, though. I really don’t like going through Laguna Beach and north during the summer. Talk about your urban jungle. I’m planning for the Santa Cruz Rando 200K and 300K, then the PCH 400K and 600K.

    Happy riding,

    • Hi Jaime,

      Sorry I didn’t introduce myself as well. I need to work on that. I was glad to ride with you guys after the control at Bonsall. That was a little confusing, so I’m glad I was able to rely on your local knowledge.

      I’m planning on the PCH Randos 400k and 600k. I was thinking about the SD Rando 300k, but I talked to Dennis about it after the 200k, and after your comments as well, I’m just not sure. The traffic doesn’t sound that enticing. I’d prefer to head up to Santa Cruz too. I’m not sure if I can schedule such a longer trip though.

      I just rode the LA Wheelman Grand Tour, and I’m signed up for the Death Valley Double in October. I don’t think I’ll be able to squeeze in another DC though, so I’m going to miss out on the CTC series like you. I’m more interested in competing the SR series so something has to give I suppose.

      See you out there!

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