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Old 08-10-2019, 08:09 AM
mass_biker mass_biker is offline
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Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 211
Palomar suggestions

In SoCal for about a week - on Tuesday I have a window of a few hours where I can do a ride. Planning on driving over from the San Marcos area (where I am staying) to do a ride up/down Palomar. I've done a version of this ride from Rancho Bernardo which entailed going down Valley Center and up South Grade and back...the ride down/up Valley Center was pretty sketchy with all the traffic at the time.

Since I have a car, I have a bit more flexibility. Some posts have suggested parking at the Harrah's in Rincon, heading out 76 to Palomar, and up South Grade, down East Grade and back. That sounds like a plan, but I was hoping to squeeze in Cole Grade too.

It's been many years since I've done these roads - any updates on traffic conditions on the major roads I've mentioned above? Any thoughts on how to incorporate Cole Grade into the proposed loop?

Many thanks

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Old 08-12-2019, 06:25 PM
cgolvin's Avatar
cgolvin cgolvin is offline
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: The Boss Basin
Posts: 2,878
I'm not much help here on traffic etc. since I've only done Palomar once and know nothing about Cole.

I had limited time and my intent was to climb the East Grade, descend the South Grade, then reverse course. Unfortunately, I mangled the navigation and ended up at the sign at the bottom of South Grade, so I just parked there and did my plan in reverse. It was nice, not too much traffic (they were shooting a commercial on the South climb so held up the cars but let me through), but I'm not a big fan of jumping on your bike and immediately heading up an 8% grade. If I were to do it again I'd park somewhere near the base of the East Grade and do my original plan.

I think you might have better luck re-posting in "General Discussion" since this subforum tends to be about organized rides rather than help with routes for solo rides.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:03 AM
mass_biker mass_biker is offline
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Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 211
Palomar recap

Wanted to thank everyone for their feedback on Palomar...ended up driving to Pala Casino, parking in the lot, and doing the mountain from there. In the morning, the traffic eastbound on 76 was pretty bearable...about 10 miles to the Taco Shop/"official" start. The climb up 76 to the junction of South Grade was uneventful although I could tell it was going to be a warm one. By the time I got to Mother's I really wanted a cold Coke, but they weren't open yet (11AM). I decided to push onto the Observatory, something I didn't do the last time I did Palomar. It was a worthwhile addition to the ride, although on the return, the little drags back up to Mother's seemed steeper than I remember. That cold Coke was wonderful. The descent down South Grade was terrific. The prevailing recommendation to do Palomar during a weekday (few/no motorcycles) remains wise. By the time I hit the exposed stretches of 76 heading back to the Taco Shop, the temps were climbing, making the last 10 miles back to Pala - into the prevailing west->east winds - tons of fun. The little climb before dropping into Pala (Marion Canyon?) was quite unpleasant. All in all a fun outing - it remains a "must do" for cyclists visiting SoCal. I found my gearing (36/52 + 11/28) to be just fine.
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