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Ride from LA to San Diego...clear?(6 posts)

Ride from LA to San Diego...clear?mk_42
Aug 13, 2002 7:51 PM
Has anyone ridden from LA to San Diego recently (or even not so recently)? I'm vaguely aware that there is a bike path the whole way, though I'm not exactly sure where to pick it up (is it the 1?). I've also heard that since 9-11 the section of bike path through camp pendelton has been closed...any info on this? Is it currently passable? Any other info on the route is appreciated.

re: Ride from LA to San Diego...clear?DMoore
Aug 13, 2002 8:28 PM
Go the Orange County Wheelmen website, They have a century ride coming up in September, the AmTrack, which is Santa Ana to San Diego. They have full details there about the Camp Pendleton closure. In a nutshell, the base is closed to bikes. But CalTrans will let you ride on the freeway for the parts that are affected. I assume that means you'll enter the freeway shoulder at Basilone Road, and then exit the freeway at the Oceanside Harbor exit.

There is not a bike path the whole way. Actually, the only bike path stretches are just north of San Onofre (past Trestles, if you're a surfer) and just before Basilone Road. But much of the way there's a bike lane marked on the side of the road, and in any event it's a great ride.

I'm very familiar with the route from Orange County south. From LA, depending where you start, I assume you'd pretty much hug the coast line and/or PCH (Pacific Coast Highway). Once you hit the Orange County Line at Seal Beach, it's PCH almost all the way except for the stretch from San Clemente, past Camp Pendleton, and through Oceanside. Once you're in San Diego County it's no longer PCH, it's now called Pacific Highway. You follow that all the way down to Torrey Pines and UCSD, then things get a little more complicated. Gilman Road, a short bike path to Rose Canyon, around Mission Bay, and then to wherever you're headed.
re: Ride from LA to San Diego...clear?Rich_Racer
Aug 14, 2002 1:45 AM
I'm about to move to San Diego and have wanted to cycle the Pacific Coast highway for years ever since I drove from San Fransisco to SD many years ago. Thank you for reminding me about it. I can't wait!
Ride to San Diego: I-5 portionNiwot
Aug 14, 2002 10:24 AM
The route south from San Clemente to Oceanside is as follows:

As mentioned, south from San Clemente, there is a bike path past Trestles to the San Onofre nuke plant and the San Onofre State Beach. You continue south through the state beach parking lot, and when that ends there is a bike path that crosses under I-5 via a tunnel, and ends up on a bike path on the east side of I-5. That path continues south to the Las Pulgas entrance to Camp Pendleton.

We used to ride through the base, but because we can't anymore, you have to do the following: Instead of turning left and going to the Camp Pendleton gate, you turn right at the road and go to I-5, and get on I-5 south. You ride the wide I-5 shoulder south to the northernmost Oceanside exit (I think it's called Oceanside Harbor), where you have to exit.

Here's a link to the a description of the route all the way down to the U.S.-Mexico border:
I've done the Amtrack Century ...Humma Hah
Aug 14, 2002 10:28 AM
Irvine to downtown San Diego was ridable, but I wouldn't call much of it "bike path". Wide highways with good shoulders, if you don't mind broken glass.

Camp Pendleton is, indeed, a problem. Before 9-11, is was usually OK to ride thru, but you did so on base roads, and had to check in with the guards at the gate, and not get lost. In the century, this is pre-arranged and you could ride thru with armbands showing you were a participant.

Always, if the base went on alert or was watching for a threat, there was a chance it could be suddenly shut down. I'm sure that's 10x more true now.
I've done the Amtrack Century ...UncleMoe
Aug 14, 2002 3:07 PM
I did a bike tour that went thru Pendleton last October after 9-11. The organizers rec'd permission to let the tour riders thru, but your bike had to have the tour tags on them to prove you were on it.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Amtrack Century made a deal like that. Probably check with the organizers.

Nowadays, I believe that regular riders are sometimes let in, sometimes not. A recumbent group I know has Saturday groups rides there and I heard them talking about it last week.