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    • CommentAuthortegnamo
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2014 edited
     
    Having read the entirety of Guitar Ted’s Trans Iowa reports (http://g-tedproductions.blogspot.com), and currently being quite interested in gravel racing, I’m wondering if any event like the Trans Iowa or Dirty Kanza might be possible (or exist!) in San Diego. We definitely lack a true gravel road network, but I know there is a considerable number of dirt roads to be found interlinking various parts of San Diego County. Between San Diego's road and MTB/CX races, there doesn't seem to be something that pulls from the milder aspects of both to create a sort of "any bike can participate" race or event. If I'm wrong, tell me!

    With that said, I’m percolating (?) some ideas in my head about how I might even begin to plan such a route, let alone a race/rally based around this route. There are loads of maps and cycle route software out there. It’s that much easier if one is able to stick with dirt roads which are often acknowledged by Google Maps.

    I’m not intent on sticking with dirt (gravel). I admit there will likely have to be some pavement sections, and it might even be wise to incorporate a bit of easy-going MTB trail. Whatever it takes to create a flowing route which pushes towards the 100 mile mark. A bit shy of the Trans Iowa distance, but let’s take things slowly!

    I’m hoping there is a fortuitous or purpose-built series of dirt roads that wind around the farmland in east county and near Julian and Santa Ysabel. Those are definitely some scenic areas, and it would make the ride all that more enjoyable. Alternatively, I’m presuming the Otay area might have a network of nice dirt roads that could be navigable without inducing the ire of whomever frequents them. Perhaps Poway might also contribute a few roads here and there, but I can’t say for certain.

    I’m basically welcoming anyone to brainstorm a bit on this (if you have some spare time and like goofing around with route planning!). GPS routes, Google Map links, etc. I’ll try and get some together later tonight, and see what people think. And ultimately, it’s eventually going to require a bit of in-person scouting, be it by motorized vehicle or bicycle.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2014 edited
     
    Three gravel segments located here in San Diego County immediately come to mind:
    Penasquitos Canyon (Mira Mesa) - Makes a sweet little loop when combined with the paved 56 bike path.
    Nate Harrison Grade (Mt Palomar) - Brutal either way.
    Black Canyon (Ramona) - A nice rolling climb.
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2014 edited
     
    Ham Hock Permanent:

    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2926383

    Here are some segments (some part of Ham Hock, some not) that I've ridden:

    Eastbound: Trail in Penasquitos from Vista Sorrento Parkway to Black Mountain Road, then across Black Mountain Road along creek, under I-15, over hill to Pomerado.

    From there, can ride 10 miles north on paved Pomerado to I-15/Lake Hodges, then 13 miles of trail along north shore of Hodges, down into Lusardi Creek, emerging on road at Zumaque in Rancho Santa Fe. Alternately, can take dirt roads under power lines parallel to Camino del Sur and connect across Carmel Valley Road back under the 56 to Penasquitos/Del Mar Mesa, all on dirt. Some alternate routes in this area also.

    Another variation is to continue east after crossing Pomerado on dirt roads in Poway, with some pavement riding. Can connect into Sycamore Canyon and then connect to Mission Trails Regional Park, then out through Tierra Santa with some trail options for part of that section. Connect on paved roads back to Marian Bear/Tecolote Canyon/Rose Canyon.

    Here are some rides on these trails:

    http://www.strava.com/activities/176024931
    http://www.strava.com/activities/171791581
    http://www.strava.com/activities/168645295
    http://www.strava.com/activities/131029272
    • CommentAuthorT
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2014
     
    Good luck!

    (I just am reminded of BikeSnobNYC's views on Gravel Bikes ...)
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2014
     
    I've been doing my mixed-terrain rides on a mountain bike, typically a 29er hardtail. You have to just suck it up and wear out your knobbies on the road, but then at least you're properly equipped for whatever comes your way when you hit the trails.
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      CommentAuthorPaul
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2014
     
    Take a look at the routing for the Belgian Waffle Ride and the Dirty Devil. There is a lot of dirt in those sections of the county that can be connected with less pavement than they use. The permanent that John listed is one of them. Just be careful descending pavement on knobbies. I think the crash that put me in the hospital after climbing Nate on my cross bike was at least partially attributable to pumped up nail tread sliding in a turn.

    If you want a test ride, the upcoming Boulder Creek ride for Velo Youth has some nice dirt: http://www.crankcycling.com/3rd-annual-boulder-creek-challenge-benefiting-veloyouth/?utm_source=hootsuite&utm_campaign=hootsuite
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      CommentAuthorPaul
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2014
     
    Not in SD, but check it out: http://transnorthcalifornia.blogspot.com/
    • CommentAuthortegnamo
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2014
     
    Paul:If you want a test ride, the upcoming Boulder Creek ride for Velo Youth has some nice dirt: http://www.crankcycling.com/3rd-annual-boulder-creek-challenge-benefiting-veloyouth/?utm_source=hootsuite&utm_campaign=hootsuite


    Yeah, that event looks pretty awesome! Myself and a friend will be signing up for that. Thanks for the link!

    And yes, I didn't make good on my promise to post up some route ideas. Wound up in Blind Lady Ale House and got totally side-tracked!
    • CommentAuthorbossvoss
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2014
     
    In addition to the Ham Hock Trail, there are several other routes that include trails on the SDRando Permanents page (e.g. "Rock and Road Trail", "Dirtzilla", "Santa Ysabel Truck Trail" and "311 Archipelago Trail")