Saturday, April 4, 2015

Stagecoach 400 - San Diego

A quick Cheerios breakfast at the hotel in Alpine and then headed up Tavern Road. There were a couple of nice paved road climbs, and a short descent on the California Riding and Hiking Trail, which had something that looked like an earthquake fissure in the middle of it ( seriously, I couldn't see the bottom of a couple of those cracks .. sure as hell didn't want to put a tire into one ! )

Sloan Canyon was next and it was spectacular ! Here we are within spitting distance of San Diego and there is this wild remote looking canyon with oaks, cottonwoods, willows and it was quiet and just beautiful.
Coming into Sloan Canyon

After the canyon I was on some city streets with nice bike lanes for a very few miles, then onto the Sweetwater Trail system.  Some really nice pieces of urban trail.

Sweetwater Bridge

Nice Hike-a-Bike to get up here
I had a lot of fun riding into the San Diego area.  I was on park trails and urban trails, passed a zillion riders, hikers, walkers and equestrians and just had a great time. There was a headwind coming from the ocean and you could almost smell it.  Passed a salt facility extracting salt from the south end of San Diego Bay and then got to Silver Strand State Beach, got off the bikeway and put some bike tires into the ocean.

The Beach
 After putting the tires in, I stopped at one of the beach shower setups and gave the bike a quick shower to get the beach sand off, then on up the Silver Strand to the end of Coronado Island.  I stopped at an Irish pub restaurant, got myself a big corned beef sandwich and tried to time when the ferry would leave, then rolled over to the ferry dock, where I got my ticket for the ferry ride.
Ferry Landing on Coronado Island
 Landed over near Seaport Village and had fun getting some looks from tourists with my fully loaded bikepacking rig.  The guys with the bikecabs seemed to like it a lot.  I saw this cool statue next to the Midway, don't think it was there the last time I was in SD, but could have missed it.
Off the Port Bow of the Midway

USS Midway
 The Midway is pretty impressive.  Could see a couple of A-4's that I used to work on in the Marines parked on the deck. That was a long time ago.
Seaside Cliffs
 And our route took us over to Ocean Beach and along the cliffs.  Then up past Sea World and up towards UCSD.  I got passed by some roadies and did a pretty good job of keeping up with them going up the hill into UCSD.  Got turned around a bit on Campus, but figured it out and then headed to Torrey Pines State Beach on the highway.  I passed about a million cars that were all stuck waiting for some traffic thing to clear - damm, it was fun doing that !!
At Torrey Pines State Beach near sundown - time to head inland

Spend a few minutes looking at the ocean again and then turned my back on it and headed east on Sorrento Valley Road.  Stopped at Performance Bicycles, bought a few GU's and pumped up my tires and then on to the Penasquitos trail system.  This is where I started to really realize that my bike lights ( Fenix LD22 flashlight ) is just not up to riding single track in the dark.  I rode along with frogs croaking near a stream in the dark, and it got chillier and finally I crossed under the Ted Williams freeway and went to a 7-11 to get a burrito, a couple of Cokes and some stuff for breakfast.

I got close to the Black Mountain Rec center, saw an area that was a little higher ( so as to not be in the bottom of a freezing cold wash ), and got over in the grass and spread out my bivy and went to sleep. In the middle of the night it was pretty chilly and I dug out my Sol Emergency bivy and was nice and warm afterwards.

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