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Advice Needed! (Oceanside to Julian to Ocotillo Wells)

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Advice Needed! (Oceanside to Julian to Ocotillo Wells)

Old 10-24-10, 09:39 PM
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Advice Needed! (Oceanside to Julian to Ocotillo Wells)

Hey guys! This weekend I'll be going out with a friend out to Oceanside with the use of the Metrolink and then starting my 100 mile journey out to Ocotillo Wells.

I've never ridden on any of these roads before. I've driven through this way several times but never on a bicycle. Are there any major roads I should avoid? What is the climb up to Julian like? Any tips about that? What's it like going down the other side to the desert floor? Any advice whatsoever would be REALLY helpful! Thank you!!!
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Old 10-24-10, 09:52 PM
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Not sure of your exact route but I would avoid 78 past the wild animal park up to ramona. Not much of a shoulder and very dangerous with lots of traffic. Instead take highland valley road (yeah steeper but more scenic and way less traffic). Once in ramona take old julian to link back up to 78 then to juilan. Going down from julian 78 is okay and was recently paved, sharp corners but a fun decent just pay attention. Be watchful of motocycles. Be extremely careful on the 78 "narrows" about 20 miles before ocotillio. If coming back from octotillo, I prefer motezuma grade via borrego springs then link to S2 to aviod the narrows but that is just me.
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Old 10-25-10, 01:46 PM
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Another vote for avoiding the 78 as much as possible.
Here's the route I'd recommend, (Click.) It's not the most direct route, but it's the traffic-avoidingest route I'm aware of.

Highland Valley Road is much safer, but it also has a few steep spots, so I'd bring a compact or a 27-tooth rear.
You can get water & food in Ramona, Santa Ysabel, Wynola (where you turn left off the 78).

Highland Valley and Wynola Roads are gems, and I'll bet it's going to be even lovelier up there after all this rain we've been getting.

Be safe and post a follow up to let us know how it went!
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