Day Seven: 

San Pasqual School to the Pacific

 Saturday, April 12, 2003: 32 miles

San Pasqual to Interstate 15

Every morning started the same way: with Gary Rossi going over the route with the chase drivers, anticipating difficulties and answering questions.

The group was palpably eager to start the final day from the school parking lot. There was the normal wait while everything was finalized and the chase drivers went out to take there positions, but this morning it just seemed to take longer before the final mass start.
Finally, they're off!

Climbing out of the San Pasqual Valley on Old San Pasqual Road.  It's wending and steep compared to 78, to which it runs parallel, but there's far too much traffic on 78 to use it for the route.
Crossing 78 at the crest of the ridge was a real challenge, as there is no light and traffic is hurtling along at 60+ mph.  Chase drivers were stationed on either side of 78 and didn't look at the bicyclists, but looked at the on coming traffic.  They signaled with flags when their direction was clear.  A third adult watching both flags sent bikes across only when both flag men indicated clear.  They we peddled for our lives across the highway.

Some time later in Escondido proper we crossed under another major milestone, Interstate 15.

Brunch at Mr. Bueker's House

This year there was no breakfast nor lunch, but brunch at Mr. Bueker's house.  I don't know if we had to approach it from this side as opposed to his street (perhaps his CC&Rs  prohibited 80 bikes in the front lawn?), but it was certainly an impressive walk through the neighbor's garden up the hill to Mr. Bueker's back patio.
The line for waffles (right) snakes through the patio towards the kitchen.

For a final trick and treat Mr. Bueker sent all the kids up stairs to the den while the adults finished up.  The treat was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets DVD, released just the day before (so no one had had a chance to see it on DVD yet).  The trick was only the first 15 minutes were viewed before it was time to saddle up again and continue the ride.

Final Push to the Pacific

The last snack was an hour later at some park in the middle of a development going up seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but soon to be a bustling, expensive bedroom community.
The entire group reassembles at the crest of the last hill in Carlsbad.  Those who thought they would be first to the Pacific by sprinting the last section from the snack were sorely disappointed as they had to wait over an hour for the entire group to coagulate again.  Then the riders were ordered.  Fifth Grade riders  (and younger) completing their first ride were placed in front, followed by older first time children, followed by first time adults.  These were then followed by all alumni riders.  Your humble photographer was last as he knew he would be stopping to take pictures.

The group slowly starts out, single file and in order, and rides the final stretch together.
First glimpse of the Pacific!

Another glimpse of the long anticipated ocean!
The final Interstate milestone, crossing Interstate 15.

The triumphant turn left onto the Pacific Coast Highway.  Note police escort in ride hand corner of intersection directing traffic to allow us to cross.  He found us gathering at the top of the hill and wanted to know what was going on.  Whether his running this intersection for us was his salute for our incredible journey, or an annoying task he felt compelled to undertake just for the safety of those crazy bikers, we'll never know.
The line for pictures of each rider dipping his wheel in the Pacific at South Carlsbad State Beach.  Not only are there unsuspecting bathers present, but also plenty of relatives that have come to meet their loved ones.

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