We like to think of the addition of Coronado Island this year as an improvement to the route; which may or may not affect your clock time on the ride. In the Mountain/ Desert/ Ocean balance we seek, it brings more ocean. (technically it’s the bay, but still) It makes for a better bike tour and that’s for sure what we’re after.
I contend it makes for a better ride too. As desert conditions and weather are variable, for example, you’ll be required to constantly recalculate your ETA’s along the way. The ferry schedule in contrast is a fixed time sink / speed check that may require you to speed up your pace to catch a given shuttle. Or it might require you to slow your roll a bit, and catch some sleep. These are challenges truly unique to our ride. It requires more on-the-fly strategy, perhaps, and rewards the riders who can leverage it to the fullest.
The ferry schedule runs 9:30am to 9:30 pm, later up to 10:30/10:40pm on Fridays & Saturdays (that’s us!)
We will make an addendum to the cues to reflect the later Friday/Saturday times. In case you’re wondering about the Commuter Ferry, it runs Monday-Friday.
How’s it gonna play out?
My hunch is something like this: The fastest riders might have to slow their roll a bit, waiting for the first Saturday ferry to run at 9:30am. If the desert conditions stay how they have been, it’ll be a fast run through the sand.
For the mid-pack riders, my hunch is you’ll be in the zone. Back-mid-packers might need to focus a bit and step on the gas. Again, that’s assuming good desert conditions. Some late-mid-packers won’t make it. You’ll probably have an idea of this by the time you’re in Alpine. If you need to slow your roll, I’d suggest doing it in Alpine, where you have some of the best beer on the entire route (and that’s saying something)
I could be wrong about all this. Wouldn’t be the first time.
I had lunch today with a guy who teaches sailing lessons in the area. While using a packraft to cross the bay might technically be legal, it does not sound like a good idea. ‘Nuff said.