The 2019 Italian Sausage Ride [I.S.R.] 6th ed. revisited much of the raved about 2018 route, but with some added fun. Who doesn't like more fun?
At 130 miles and 12,000' of vertical it does not sound too terribly challenging but the devil was in the details. Littered with challenging steep climbs covered in rocks and sand the course would reward riders with equally difficult and technical descents.
The I.S.R.’s heritage has always been one of “What can be done in one good day?” We don’t want to camp. We don’t want to use lights. We want to roll at dawn and crawl in prior to dusk for that much earned beverage and to share or tales of fortitude and failure.
The 2019 edition tested the best a gravel bike and rider could handle. Due to conflicting vacations, family obligations and the odd pregnancy only seven brave and ambitious riders started this years ride and five would finish. The number of hardmen [and a woman] was down from previous years but that will not change the I.S.R.. The 2020 I.S.R. will be the same route.
She is not a race—the I.S.R.—but a journey. Ideally shared with a fellow rider or two. Never meant to draw throngs of cyclists but we hope to see you next year at the start and at the finish.
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Italian Sausage Ride -- Simply a ride and a challenge to complete an always evolving epic mixed surface journey with some like-minded friends. In this 6th edition, 8 brave riders attempted to ride 130 difficult miles over 11,800' of climbing. These stats don't convey the effort involved though... 😀 While all smiles and very friendly for the first couple hours, the adventure turned wild leaving Ramona heading down a steep single-track hiking trail leading to the Cedar Creek crossing, and then rudely going sharply up a nasty overgrown 2 mile rocky trail laughably called Eagle Peak Road. With the temps heating up, the route took us on parts of the infamous Julian Death March course culminating with the gnarly but beautiful Santa Ysabel Preserve trails. Getting through that with no mechanicals or issues was a big relief! 🔥 Back on the road to Mesa Grande, I started to see lots of roadies with number plates coming down the opposite way. What was going on? I was climbing, it was hot, and I was low on water when out of nowhere, a magic oasis appeared – A Giro di San Diego GranFondo aid station! Hell Yeah – I stopped and visited with the riders including @dino_ramirezmtb before making my way down Black Canyon, across Pamo Truck Trail, and the super fun Lower Santa Ysabel trail to the 78. 🎉 Ironically around mile 100 (just like BWR), I reached San Pasqual and started the Sandy Bandy section. I had seen no one for ages, and then there they were – a MTB group including some Coureur friends that had shuttled to Julian and were doing the Crest to Coast ride. I was aware of it, but thought no way I'd see them. Well it happened. After a quick visit under a field sprinkler, @tritowin joined me to Raptor Ridge. This surprise gave me a needed boost into Escondido for fresh supplies and through the final 20 miles to finish at 4:25. 5/8 riders would go on to finish, the last two at 7:15 -- A grueling, but satisfying day for sure! 🙌 📷 1-3: @sddriscoll / @puregravel 8: @andy.is.bright 🇮🇹 #italiansausageride #adventureride #gravel #gravelcycling #coureurcycling #gravelbike #gravelgrinder #cyclingphotos #pbopower #ridespinergy #tascostoke
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