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  1. #1
    "El Bwana"
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    California Dreamin'

    OK, hokey title, I know.

    My work and travel schedule has been, um, intense so I was looking forward to vacation. A friend has a place on the beach (sorta) in San Clemente that we go to every other year or so. Sometimes its a few days during spring break. This year we decided to take the summer vacation there. It provides a good central location for beach stuff, theme park stuff, and general sit on the balcony and have a martini stuff.

    With the work schedule, I have not been riding much and I have become fat and old, worthless and weak, etc. So I decided to rent a bike and do some rides while there. I rented a Specialized Allez Elite from Revo in Dana Point.

    All of the pictures were taken over a series of rides.

    1), 2) , 3) View of "the bowl"/pier/cliff in San Clemente from the balcony.

    4) Richard Nixon had his Western White House in San Clemente. The physical building still exists, but the grounds have been turned into a gated community on the Ave. del Presidente.

    5) I heard there was a way to get to Oceanside by going through Camp Pendleton. I saw the sign for the Christianitos Road gate and followed that (FAIL-Need to go to Las Pulgas). Nice ride. Boots on the wire outside the gate.

    6), 7), 8) Turning off of Ave. del Presidente/Christianitos is a bike path. The bike path goes past world-famous Trestles Beach and is part of the Old Route 101. It parallels I-5, but is really not affected by the highway.

    9) Further south, is the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). Pete Penseyres worked here (I didn't stop by and ask if he still did). Despite all of the "NO STOPPING" signs, I stopped anyway and took a pic. (No shoulder tap).

    10), 11), 12) Near SONGS is this memorial to a fallen cyclist. It was extremely touching and unfortunately I don't know the back story.

    13), 14) San Onofre State Beach

    15), 16) The bike path enters Camp Pendleton property and is pretty deserted.

    17) Although officially on the base, I did not go through any formal gates until I got to Las Pulgas. On the way there was this CH-46 Sea Knight doing touch and goes on a landing pad near the bike path. I thought it was cool until two gentlemen in an HMMV with sidearms asked me to stop (Big-Time Shoulder Tap).

    No further pictures as I had to go through the gate and show ID. I was able to ride through Camp Pendleton up to the Commissary before I turned around.
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    "Pardon me, but could you help out a fellow American who's down on his luck?"

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Inspiring Pictures

    Glad you posted those pictures - thanks. I live in nearby Mission Viejo and am usually on my bike just for commuting North to Costa Mesa. Your pictures are motivating me to go South.

    Can you estimate how much of your ride was bike path versus bike lane versus road. I have been looking for a safe ride to take with the family. Also, I would be interested in Round Trip mileage.

    Thanks again.
    What's the worst that could happen? Yeah, what could possibly go wrong?

  3. #3
    "El Bwana"
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    I'll do my best from memory. I'm not from there, I was only vacationing. I'd invite any locals to chime in if I have any thing wrong.

    From the San Clemente pier to the Camp Pendleton Commissary was around 46 miles RT. Within San Clemente there are on-street bike lanes all the way to Christianitos. From there, it is a very wide bike path that goes past Trestles and eventually meets up with old US 101 (around 2 miles). On old US 101, there are on-street bike lanes with the exception of a couple of bridges that could get hairy for young kids. After SONGS you enter San Onofre State Beach and everything is on-street; there are no bike lanes, but traffic is limited to campers and beach goers (15mph speed limit).

    After the State Beach, however most riding is on bike paths and some Camp roads on Camp Pendleton property all the way to Las Pulgas. Traffic is almost non-existent on the road portion with the exception of occasional HMMVs carrying Marines. You can park at the far south end of San Onofre State Beach and have about 10 miles of uninterrupted family biking bliss.
    "Pardon me, but could you help out a fellow American who's down on his luck?"

  4. #4
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    Biker Memorial

    The San Onofre to the Commisary ride sounds like just what the Dr. ordered. Thanks for the details.

    I took a business trip to San Diego yesterday. I travel there a few times a month and yesterday was the first time I noticed the biker memorial from Rt 5 South - eerie.
    What's the worst that could happen? Yeah, what could possibly go wrong?

  5. #5
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    Biker Memorial

    Here is a link that gives the background on the biker memorial on the path you rode. I've seen more than a few recent articles on seasoned bicycle riders that have been killed on familiar rides with no car being involved - for some reason I have not though through yet, these incidents are even more distrurbing to me than the typical bicycle/car stories.

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/s...6724-bike-shop

    If nothing else its a good reminder to keep your wits about you even on rides you know like the back of your hand...
    What's the worst that could happen? Yeah, what could possibly go wrong?

  6. #6
    "El Bwana"
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    Thanks for the link. Just to be clear - it is bike path and virtually deserted base roads until Las Pulgas. In order to get to the commissary, you need to go through the gates (with a picture ID) and then you are on base roads with traffic. The roads around the commissary are very busy.
    "Pardon me, but could you help out a fellow American who's down on his luck?"

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I grew up in San Clemente and still live nearby and ride this route in the summer time. Old Hwy 101 is great. Next time you come out head north a bit and ride to Laguna Beach if you get a chance.

    John Cuchessi was a shop owner in San Clemente and died of a heart attack while on the bike. Its a reminder that you can go at any moment...

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