Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Great Western Loop in Jamul

When you tell most people in San Diego that you are going out to Jamul, you are usually greeted with one of the following responses:

* Where the heck is that?
* Start singing the Sycuan song "Minutes away, miles apart..."
* Damn, that's WAY out there in east county

After some celebratory toasts friday night at the lavaman finale party in downtown San Diego, Greg Kurras, Damian Esparza, Troy Gorostiza and myself made our way out to Rancho San Diego/Jamul to ride the Great Western Loop. Why they call it the western loop when its way out in east county is beyond me, but let me tell you, the loop was indeed great!

40 miles, ~4700 ft in elevation gain!

It was also one of the more scenic and beautiful rides I have ever done (as noted by the number of times we said "Man, it is beautiful out here!"),
and coupled with little traffic and perfect cycling weather, we enjoyed it so much that we are already looking forward to doing it next weekend (only backwards next time). We also saw the TNT Vineman training team (Ginger, Tina and Emily!)

To non-southern californian's, Jamul is pronounced like Ha-mool, not Jam-ul. However, the "mul" part of Jamul was definitely the main theme of the ride:.

Meet Ryan's new friend (a mule):

Ryan hanging with his new friend:

Ryan running from his new friend after he gnashed it teeth at him

and the product name of Greg's Camelback. (M.U.L.E.)

(Pay no attention to the crankset in Greg's back pack, unless your name is Dan Altobello!)

But one of the great parts about this ride was doing a ride I have never done before in an area I have never been to before. Now that I am post lavaman, and most likely developing my own training program leading up to Vineman, I am certainly looking forward to checking out a lot of new areas in San Diego county that I have never been to. It was also nice to get out of the metropolitan area and get into "the country" and remind ourselves of other communities and ways of life. However, out here in the country, they do things a little differently, and I leave you with this parting picture:

Somehow the lyrics from 'Welcome to the Jungle' that go "Where do we go now?" come to mind.

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