Springtime in San Diego 2010

This great ride was sponsored by Colorado HeartCycle a non-profit, volunteer-run organization that originally was formed as a cardiac research project; however, its primary mission for the last 30 years has been to provide affordable bicycle touring experiences in the U.S. and overseas. This "Springtime in San Diego" tour was organized by Sy Katz & Bob Rowe and covered about 410 miles with 37,000 feet of climbing (at grades of over 15% in places) in San Diego County over 8 days April 23 - 30, 2010. With Sy involved, I knew there would be a lot of climbing and he didn't disappoint! In fact at a 7% average over the last 10 miles, the Mt. Palomar climb is rated as the 17th most difficult climb in the United States.

We rode up the coast to Oceanside and then inland to Fallbrook the first day. From there we covered scenic rural areas including the steep hills around Fallbrook, climbs up to the Mt. Palomar Observatory, Mesa Grande, Laguna Mountain,  descents into Borrego Springs  and a climb up Banner Grade into Julian for its famous apple pies before descending back into San Diego. 

We had wonderful weather most of the trip, but we sat out much of one day due to wind, drizzle & temperature. We also encountered STRONG winds headed up Banner Grade into Julian - strong enough in one 3 mile section to blow one of our gang over the guard rail, bike and all (fortunately with no injury). Many of us SAGed through that section! Overall is was a great week with good roads, great scenery, great climbing and a great group of 30 people.

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