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Old 05-11-13, 06:22 AM   #1
Dalai
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Best Mt Palomar ride?

Loop or straight back? I have 'The Complete guide to climbing (by bike) in California which lists the climb but not how to incorporate it into a good ride...

So any information about the climb would be great. Best place to park, food water availability etc would be much appreciated!
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Old 05-11-13, 07:43 AM   #2
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Both options are good. Most people go straight back because it's quicker. There's food/water at the bottom (76 & Valley Center Road) and at the top (South Grade Road & East Grade Road). The place at the top may have limited hours, possibly something like 8 to 5, not sure.
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Old 05-11-13, 08:15 PM   #3
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I prefer the ride there-and-back. Park at Harrah's Casino.
777 Harrah's Rincon Way
Valley Center, CA 92082
I always park there and haven't had any problems. Take Valley Center Rd North for about 2.5 km to Hwy 76, make a right on Hwy 76 and you'll be on your way to Mt Palomar via South Grade. This is the hardest side - it is just under 20 km from the turn on Hwy 76 and the grade varies between 5 and 10%. When you get to the top, you can descend East Grade until it Ts into Hwy 76, turn around and go back up. East Grade is about 18 km and less steep (average about 4-5%). There is no food and water on East Grade. Watch for the racing motorcycles on South Grade, especially on weekends. If you are visiting - there is a guy that takes pictures of everything that moves on South Grade. It makes a nice souvenir. His web site is www.RickClemson.com. Check it out anyway - it will give you an idea what move there.
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Old 05-12-13, 04:39 AM   #4
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Hadn't thought of an over and back taking in both South and East grades... I like!

Will be a Wednesday - so hopefully less racing motorbikes! Will be mid September so guessing hot. Is the climb shaded at all or is an early start best?
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Old 05-12-13, 11:24 AM   #5
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Depends on how far you want to ride. I have some very nice routes ...
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Old 05-12-13, 07:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dalai View Post
Hadn't thought of an over and back taking in both South and East grades... I like!

Will be a Wednesday - so hopefully less racing motorbikes! Will be mid September so guessing hot. Is the climb shaded at all or is an early start best?
You're right, there are less motorbikes on weekdays. Mid-September should be on the warm side, take plenty of water. South Grade (the last 11 km) are fairly shaded, but an early start won't hurt. East Grade is mostly bare and it's on the desert side of the mountain, so the humidity there is pretty low. I ended up dehydrated there once and it sucked.
With all that said, I checked your blog and I reckon you are a very strong climber. If you've done the mountains around Bormio, you can do South + East grade in one shot no sweat. The entire route is about 80 km with about 2200 m of climbing (all in the first 60 km). Check this site - there is some good info there.

Last edited by JimmyNH; 05-12-13 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 05-13-13, 05:54 AM   #7
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Appreciate the feedback and link JimmyNH.

@Robertkat -probably the Sth and East Grade loop as described will be about right at this point of the trip. Though could take on more if the circuit was worth it. Like I posted in the my Ontario to Mt Baldy topic - I will be riding 18 in 22 days; all mountains.
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Old 05-13-13, 09:27 AM   #8
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This thread is helpful to me also, as I am planning a vacation in San Diego in June and Palomar is one of the rides on my list. Of the loop rides, is up the south, down the east and back up 76 the best way to go? If I want to through in Cole grade as well, where is the best place to park?
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Old 05-13-13, 05:42 PM   #9
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I would love to ride Palomar when the heat wave is over. How much worse than Alpine is it? I enjoy riding in Alpine Up Dehesa and Japatul.

Carlos
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Old 05-13-13, 06:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by dalameda View Post
This thread is helpful to me also, as I am planning a vacation in San Diego in June and Palomar is one of the rides on my list. Of the loop rides, is up the south, down the east and back up 76 the best way to go? If I want to through in Cole grade as well, where is the best place to park?
there is a dog park half a block from Lake Wolford street that starts the climb. If you want some more miles warm up before that I'd park at the vons shopping ctr off El Norte and Center City Parkway.

Here's the "loop" from Escondido to Pie and back. I flag it as easy way back cuz I take the 76 all the way back down to Cole oppose to climbing up East Grade down South off the mt.
http://www.mapmyride.com/us/escondid...oute-175503204
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Old 05-13-13, 10:30 PM   #11
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Appreciate the feedback and link JimmyNH.

@Robertkat -probably the Sth and East Grade loop as described will be about right at this point of the trip. Though could take on more if the circuit was worth it. Like I posted in the my Ontario to Mt Baldy topic - I will be riding 18 in 22 days; all mountains.
Glad to be able to help. Enjoy your vacation here! Maybe in my next life I'll be able to do 18 hilly rides in 22 days.

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I would love to ride Palomar when the heat wave is over. How much worse than Alpine is it? I enjoy riding in Alpine Up Dehesa and Japatul.

Carlos
It's not much worse than Alpine. Japatul is longer but you get a break here and there. Palomar (South Grade) doesn't cut you any slack except for 1/4 mile before the fork.
I'll be in for a BF Palomar ride when the weather warms up a little.
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Old 05-14-13, 04:51 AM   #12
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Thanks, I'm sure I will enjoy the trip! Did something similar in France 2011- riding 20 days over 26 in the French Alps. Mostly I'm not bothered with average speed on the rides, though did give both Alpe d'Huez and Mt Ventoux a good crack. Ended that trip with 2100km and 75,000 vert metres ridden according to the Garmin...

Biggest difference the US trip will be the amount of driving to fit it all in!
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Old 05-14-13, 06:23 PM   #13
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Looking at Strava - found a climb on Strava that I can't find in my Complete guide to climbing (by bike) in CA. Nate Harrisons Grade is the road. Looks good! Is it sealed?
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Old 05-14-13, 08:21 PM   #14
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Looking at Strava - found a climb on Strava that I can't find in my Complete guide to climbing (by bike) in CA. Nate Harrisons Grade is the road. Looks good! Is it sealed?
IIRC, after you leave the orange grove it's dirt then gravel.
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Old 05-14-13, 09:37 PM   #15
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Thanks GP. Will pass on Nate Harrisons Grade then...
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Old 05-14-13, 10:55 PM   #16
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Thanks, I'm sure I will enjoy the trip! Did something similar in France 2011- riding 20 days over 26 in the French Alps. Mostly I'm not bothered with average speed on the rides, though did give both Alpe d'Huez and Mt Ventoux a good crack. Ended that trip with 2100km and 75,000 vert metres ridden according to the Garmin...

Biggest difference the US trip will be the amount of driving to fit it all in!
Hey Dalai, after you do Palomar, let us know how do you find it compared to Alpe d'Huez.
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Old 05-16-13, 11:15 AM   #17
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Dudleys is a good start point the you can get Mesa Grande both grades east south and observatory.

http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/209747733
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Old 05-16-13, 02:00 PM   #18
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We should do a SoCal Bikeforums Palomar ride. Someone set it up! I'm free on Sundays.
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Old 05-16-13, 02:17 PM   #19
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^that's one of the handful of sd county roads i will not ride on the weekends/holiday because of the increased traffic and weekend warrior action.
riding those kinda roads on a quiet weekday is more relaxing and enjoyable.
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Old 05-16-13, 02:22 PM   #20
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^that's one of the handful of sd county roads i will not ride on the weekends/holiday because of the increased traffic and weekend warrior action.
riding those kinda roads on a quiet weekday is more relaxing and enjoyable.
That bad, huh? I'm also off on Mondays, so I guess I should try then.

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Old 05-16-13, 02:50 PM   #21
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a non-holiday monday is a good time and the traffic will be about 1/10 of what the weekend traffic is.
if you start before 9:30am or so, the majority of that light traffic will be in the opposite lane heading downhill.
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Old 05-17-13, 07:06 AM   #22
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I agree it would be better during the week but many of us cannot commit the time during the week because of that tiresome thing that often gets in the way of cycling, work
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Old 05-17-13, 08:28 AM   #23
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Hey Dalai, after you do Palomar, let us know how do you find it compared to Alpe d'Huez.
Will do. The quality of the riding stateside was one of the main reasons for organising the trip. The European cols have the tour history, but the US climbs are longer and alot higher!
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