we loaded up the bicycles,
and drove out the 15 through the recently burnt areas around Poway.
The ascent took about an hour and twenty minutes (for me, Martin was faster — he's a good sprinter whereas my forte is all-day rides), through barren landscapes covered with powdery ash and smelling of burnt timber. Though almost everything around them had burnt in the Poomacha fire, most of the houses were intact — a testament to the firefighters' efforts. The ones that were gone, though, were gone entirely, reduced to twisted heaps of rusting metal. Even the road signs had melted. Near the base of the mountain we kept being passed by stunt riders on crotch-rockets, but by the time we got to the summit the traffic had thinned to cyclists and real motorcycles.
I wasn't at all tired when I arrived at the top. Unfortunately we were on a tight schedule this time; next time it would be fun to ride more of the distance to and from the mountain — perhaps from Escondido or thereabouts. I'd also like to take time to visit the observatory.