Saturday, February 07, 2009

Borrego Blast- Borrego Springs, CA- 1/30-2/1/09

All 25 tandem teams (thanks Sam for the shot)

After two years we finally hooked up again with the San Diego Tandem Club for their annual Borrego Blast in Borrego Springs, CA.  Each year they are able to attract 25+ tandem teams to ride the desert.  

After a three hour drive from Huntington Beach we were ready for dinner.  After some quick research on the internet we decided on the Krazy Coyote Cafe.  This place was in the middle of no where!  The meal was excellent, rack of lamb and a great bottle of Erath Pinot from Oregon. Our only bitch was the $6 split charge, a little outrageous.  The next morning we hightailed it to the French Corner restaurant for breakfast.  Kirk and Trudie from the club arranged to have the owner come in early to serve about 20 of us.  Nice touch.

                 Day 1- heading out from the resort

Conditions were really optimum this year.  We were welcomed with open arms not knowing a soul. Day one took us 60 miles round trip from our hotel, the Borrego Springs Resort, to the Salton Sea and back.  Most riders opted for the 40 miler that went to the look out and back.  Four teams trudged on the Salton Sea.  Nice gradual climbs and good conversation was had on the way back.  We felt reasonably strong but needed to save some energy for day two and the 4500 feet of climbing over 10 miles that we would face.

We had a nice meal with our new found friends Frank and Debby from Huntington Harbor, right down the street from us at home.  They sported a beautiful Calfee full carbon tandem.  The only place we could find for dinner was a decent Mexican place, where the margaritas and chili verde were excellent, not to mention our dinner mates.

From talking around it looked like most would not ride the 50 miler with 4500 feet of climbing, aptly named, Montezuma's revenge (named after the road we climbed Montezuma Valley).  We were determined to ride it whether or not anyone would join us.  Sure enough we were on our own.  The first 10 miles climb up out of the valley with about a 3500 foot elevation gain.  It was slow going, 6-8% grade, but the scenery more than made up for the pain.  This mountainous desert area had Ocotillo cactus growing everywhere on the hillside.  At one point we had a huge bird flying over us and we could actually hear his wings propelling himself along.  Magnificent.  After 10 fairly grueling miles we descended to our rest stop in Ranchita.  This was a VERY rural area.  Thanks God the small store had a few Cup-O-Noodles to warm and nourish us for the next 35 miles.  

                   Day 2- Half way up Montezuma's Revenge

What we thought would be all downhill home was not.  After a blazing decent at 40 mph to San Felipe Rd., we were again climbing, this time into a 15 mph headwind.  NICE.  It was short lived and we rode a series of slight downhill rollers to Hwy 78 then one more climb over Yaci Pass then back to the resort.   

All in all a fantastic week.  Many thanks to Kirk and Trudie for the organization and Sam for the photos!

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