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  1. #1
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    Looking for ride ideas: 5 days between Julian and San Diego

    Will be vacationing in the San Diego area in early May. Along with two buddies, we would like to enjoy 4-5 days or road biking before joining more non-cycling friends in SD. I'm really not familiar with the area and any help will be more than welcome.

    In a perfect world we'd leave Julian and ride 40-45 miles per day along the ridge (in order to minimize ascents) and find an enjoyable place to stay. Since there isn't enough distance between both places we need help. We'll be carrying tents in order not to be limited lodging wise.

    Here's what I've come up with so far. Not much, but it's a start:
    http://tinyurl.com/4w4dkkv

    - Should we start further out than Julian?
    - Should we make a 2 day loop around Julian (or somewhere in between) before resuming our route to SD?
    - What roads should be avoided, what sites must be seen?

    We all used to ride much more, but our goal is to take in this apparently spectacular area and enjoy our time together.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    Click here for the SoCal Route Repository.

    I'd generally avoid the 78 when possible, but Highland Valley Road west of Ramona, and Engineer Road between Julian and Cuyamaca are must-see's IMO. Also Wynola Road--probably painfully beautiful this Spring after all the rain we've been getting.
    Quote Originally Posted by EvilWeasel View Post
    Well, if you are gonna carry a snapped frame all the way home. It might as well be light weight carbon fiber.

  3. #3
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    If you want to minimize your climbing, I would probably avoid Julian altogether and just stick closer to the coast. The traffic is a little heavier, but not nearly as heavy as LA, and the bike lane on Pacific Coast Highway is nice & wide, and smooth (except for Leucadia, where it sucks with enough potency to draw a bowling ball through a garden hose.)

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilWeasel View Post
    Well, if you are gonna carry a snapped frame all the way home. It might as well be light weight carbon fiber.

  4. #4
    Oh Snap, not again... atmdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
    (except for Leucadia, where it sucks with enough potency to draw a bowling ball through a garden hose.)
    That is putting it lightly, and do not take the short paved side path that peels off just north of the surf shop unless you want a flat.

    North of Oceanside through Camp Pendleton and old PCH up to San Onofre is a nice ride, (helmet and ID required to get on base.)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Chaco's Avatar
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    A really beautiful ride is the route for the SD Tour de Cure. If you want a somewhat shorter ride, just start at the shopping center by Rancho Santa Fe Rd. and Calle Barcelona. That part of the tour is around 65 miles, with approx. 4,000 feet of climbing. There are a handful of 12% grades in there, but they're relatively short. The scenery is just gorgeous, though.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Julian is in the middle of Day 2 of the AYH christmas bike trip, which is 6 days from san diego back to san diego. If I were being lazy about route planning, I'd just do the xmas trip route from Julian to SD:
    Day 1: Julian to Borrego Springs
    Day 2: Borrego Springs to Palm Desert via salton city (really awesome badlands along the way)
    Day 3: Palm Desert to Hemet (I'd go over the mountain, but wouldn't want to carry tents and things)
    Day 4: Hemet to Fallbrook (Sage Road-> Temecula-> De Luz Canyon)
    Day 5: Fallbrook to SD via the coast
    All those places have motels available-- it might be easier to do that than camp. I might be able to round up route sheets for you if you're interested.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  7. #7
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    Wow, thanks for the info! These tips are making life much easier planning wise. I guess my new problem is deciding what not to see! We now know we want to see both the mountains and the coast.

    Is Julian worth the effort? Are other areas more interesting? Would starting from Escondido save us time? Will be flying into San Diego and would like to avoid renting a car to get to the start of our trip. The train service to Escondido looks very easy to use.

    I wish i was planning a two week trip

  8. #8
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Julian is a little tourist town based on apple pie, if that's your thing. The ride in and out is rolling, and the stretch of road from Santa Ysabel to the turnoff toward Borrego Springs is kind of gnarly traffic on a friday or saturday when people are headed out to the desert with RVs and trailers of toys. Other days it's not so bad.

    I really like the descent down Montezuma Grade into Borrego, and the ride across the desert to Salton City, but I really like deserts. The ride from Salton City to Palm Desert is kind of a drag for the first 15 miles or so, til you turn off 86, but you go through some interesting areas after that. Going from Palm Desert to Hemet is either very windy (as in windy enough for big windmill farms) or very hilly, take your pick.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

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