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Old 05-23-12, 07:07 AM   #1
CMeskell
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Route suggestions from Oceanside to Valley Center?

I was hoping that one of the San Diego County locals could give me some suggestions on a bike route. I will be visiting family in Valley Center after an event in Anaheim. I figured that I would make a ride of going from one to the other.

I have most of it mapped down through the Marine Base, but wanted to know if their are any suggested routes from Oceanside up to Valley Center. My first thought is up San Luis Rey trail to Gopher Canyon / Circle R, or swing north to Old River rd/ W lilac.

Is either one of those routes better / safer than the other?

Thanks. BTW. First posting, but I've gained much knowledge from this forum.
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Old 05-23-12, 08:56 AM   #2
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Is either one of those routes better / safer than the other?
Not really.

I'd use SLR trail, River Rd, cross old Bonsall Bridge, Old River Rd, Camino del Rey, 395, Circle R but your routes are just as good.
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Old 05-23-12, 10:08 AM   #3
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You're in luck. Gmaps streetview doesn't show it yet, but they've very recently resurfaced the 76, and there is a smooth, very wide shoulder there now. You can take it to West Lilac thus. And if the traffic noise of the 76 is annoying, you can always make the left on Old River Road before the bridge.
Little Gopher Canyon is great, but I'm not a fan of Gopher Canyon Road--pretty narrow, coarse chipseal and with high speed traffic.

There aren't a lot of water/food sources along the SLR path, but there is an Arco gas station in Bonsall where you turn East from the 76 onto Camino Del Rey.

Have a fun & safe ride!
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Old 05-23-12, 12:05 PM   #4
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You're in luck. Gmaps streetview doesn't show it yet, but they've very recently resurfaced the 76, and there is a smooth, very wide shoulder there now.
Thanks for the information. I was initially looking at riding Mission Ave but it looked like a very high traffic road. If the shoulder is as nice as you say, I might give it a shot. I'll probably take Camino Del Rey East to the old 395 and Circle R, but might play it by ear and head up W. Lilac. I'll take your advice and avoid Gopher Canyon.

Thanks for the tip on the water stops. I'll be hitting this part of the climb early afternoon and being from Portland, I will be drying out quickly I think.

Thanks again for your suggestions.
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Old 05-23-12, 12:30 PM   #5
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You are most welcome. (I love your hometown, btw.)
Camino del Rey is also a decent road, but if you have the time and energy for a little rolling hill action, West Lilac is one of my favorite roads. Couser Canyon too, but that's probably not the direction you want to go.
Be sure to tank up on the water in San Clemente before entering Camp Pendleton--no water there. Also wear a helmet, and bring your driver's license for the MP gate guard at Camp Pendleton--s'not public roads and we are there at the permission of the commanding general.
That's going to be a great ride, and you should have quartering tailwinds much of the way. Have fun.
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Old 05-23-12, 03:05 PM   #6
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I agree with W Lilac suggestion. You have to go up to get to Valley Center anyways :-)

Also, I have never had a problem buying water and soda at the Stuart Mesa Mini-Mart on Camp Pendleton.
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Old 05-23-12, 03:38 PM   #7
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Good to know Mark, thanks.
I just assumed we had to have DoD IDs to buy stuff from there. Gadzooks, I rode past that place once when I was suffering from water intoxication (hyponatremia, lack of salt) once. Was having swirling bubbles in my vision and barely made it to the Chevron station off post for potato chips.
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Old 05-23-12, 10:46 PM   #8
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Thanks again for all the suggestions. Yes, I know I will be climbing either way, just want to avoid heavy traffic and narrow shoulders. The streetview on Google makes W. Lilac appear fairly less travelled - until you pass Circle R that is. But that stretch of road would need to be traversed either way.

I'll plan on watering up big time in San Clemente, and again in Oceanside. But if need be, I'll try the mini-mart on base rather than seeing bubbles. Also l'll bring lots of sunscreen for this sun deprived skin of mine. Thanks again, I'll follow up to let you know how it went. Plan on riding first week of July.

Now if only it would stop raining so I can get some training in. . .
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Old 05-23-12, 10:55 PM   #9
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Well I would head down to Palomar Airport Rd take it west toward the railroad path into San Marcos toward the 78 (bust but short stretch) to Bear Valley Parkway and up to VC.

This this a more traveled path and there is way more traffic. But their are also more food stops and options
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Old 05-29-12, 06:42 PM   #10
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You're in luck. Gmaps streetview doesn't show it yet, but they've very recently resurfaced the 76, and there is a smooth, very wide shoulder there now.
How current is your information? I drove the 76 on May 3 and the segment west of Bonsall was not in any condition for a bicycle, heavy traffic and basically no shoulder.
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Old 05-29-12, 06:52 PM   #11
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How current is your information? I drove the 76 on May 3 and the segment west of Bonsall was not in any condition for a bicycle, heavy traffic and basically no shoulder.
Sorry I neglected to mention that. The OP asked for an Eastbound route, and I was indeed talking about the Eastbound shoulder. I just rode that yesterday and it was terrific.
But on Saturday, I rode the 76 West from Old River to Melrose--ugly, but passable.
There is still a lot of construction going on there, and I expect the Westbound shoulder to be as good soon.
Sorry for the omission.
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Old 05-29-12, 07:24 PM   #12
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Sorry I neglected to mention that. The OP asked for an Eastbound route, and I was indeed talking about the Eastbound shoulder. I just rode that yesterday and it was terrific.
But on Saturday, I rode the 76 West from Old River to Melrose--ugly, but passable.
There is still a lot of construction going on there, and I expect the Westbound shoulder to be as good soon.
Sorry for the omission.
OK. If I remember correctly, back in early May it was ugly both ways, but your information is clearly more up to date. Good to know. Did you ride the eastbound route all the way to Bonsall or only as far as Old River? The section of 76 east of Old River was actually the worst.
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Old 05-30-12, 09:40 AM   #13
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OK. If I remember correctly, back in early May it was ugly both ways, but your information is clearly more up to date. Good to know. Did you ride the eastbound route all the way to Bonsall or only as far as Old River? The section of 76 east of Old River was actually the worst.
I connected at Camino Del Rey both times, but from different directions. The Eastbound 76 to Camino del Rey is a dream, shoulder wise. Between the prevailing seabreezes and the speed of the traffic, I was nearing 30mph on it Monday. But Westbound still stinks on ice--narrow, but as long as you remain frap, the motorists are polite and give plenty of room.

So Meskell: how was your ride?
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Old 05-30-12, 09:24 PM   #14
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I took a break from texting, emailing and talking on the phone to take these pictures today around 4:45.

Eastbound near N. River Rd.


Westbound


I was heading to Fallbrook to have dinner with my Mom. And my sister's new mutt.
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Old 05-30-12, 10:21 PM   #15
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GP,
I'm glad to see that you stopped emailing, texting and talking long enough to take these photos, hopefully you were still able to eat and change the cd with the other hand. Westbound shoulder looks nice, glad this isn't a there and back trip however from the looks of that Westbound lane.

Calamarichris,
I don't ride for another month yet. Just mapping my route early so that I can start planning my travel date, etc. with family. I promise to post after I ride though. I might even post some photos if I can work the camera in between using my I-phone, gps, and laptop computer. . . . That and I'm still in the middle of a good novel I might bring with me. GPs not the only one who can multitask.
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Old 08-01-12, 11:30 PM   #16
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Rode the 76 west from Old River to SLRRT today.

From Old River to Melrose, there's a nice stretch of pavement just north of the highway past the concrete divider, 1 to 3 lanes wide, which is fully ridable but not open for cars yet. You can treat it as a bike path for all practical purposes.

From Melrose to SLRRT, there's a wide shoulder.
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