Day 1: Vista to San Diego - Springtime on the Stagecoach 400 - CycleBlaze

Day 1: Vista to San Diego

Here we go! 

The sky was beaming and the air crisp when I hit the road just before 9am. I started off the morning with 15 miles of mixed bike path and urban riding from my house inland to the official Stagecoach 400 route at Lake Hodges. The flowers were in full bloom along the bike path, which set a beautiful mood as I started what is sure to be another spectacular adventure.

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Bill ShaneyfeltTrumpet vine. Nice, showy flowers. And hummingbirds like them.

https://www.southernliving.com/garden/vines/invasive-trumpet-vine
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Once at Lake Hodges, I hopped onto my first series of single-track trails that will come to define much of this route. The trails stitchworked together beautifully, taking me from inland chaparral and through riparian coastal shrub before meeting up with the Pacific Ocean. The work that went into scouting out this route is impressive, as I'd have never guessed I was in a place as urban as Southern California.

Somewhere between Lake Hodges and Rancho Santa Fe. I have more photos on my camera that I will post soon!
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I stopped in Del Mar to make myself lunch and reapply sunscreen before continuing on to Torrey Pines State Beach. Once here,  I checked a tide chart and, seeing that low tide was less than an hour away, chose to follow the coastline down to La Jolla. This was my first time riding on the beach, and it was nothing less than spectacular. The sand was firm and the beach uncrowded. 

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Of course, this awesome alternate was followed by a short, albeit brutally step, ride that took me up from the beach and onto the campus of UCSD. From there, I took a series of bike paths and roads to and around Mission Bay before deviating from the route over to North Park, where I stayed with family for the evening. 

Throughout the day, I ran into 4-5 people that asked "Are you doing Stagecoach?" including 1 racer that was out for a training ride. It's great to know that the route and race are both so well known!

My aunt shared this book with me. "Be the Windshield, Not the Bug." Sounds like wise words to live by on a bike trip!
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Race Notes

I'll be posting quick notes at the end of every day that may pertain to any racers that happen to be reading my blog. 

The trails around Lake Hodges get busy on the weekend! It would probably be respectful to bring a bell and keep the earbuds out while going around the lake.

There may be limited stealth camping options closer to the water, but your best bet would be the stretch of trail about 2 miles before the Del Dios switchbacks. From that point on to downtown, there aren't any good camp spots.

If it's low tide, take the alternate along the beach! 

Today's ride: 59 miles (95 km)
Total: 59 miles (95 km)

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Karen CookHi Jeremy,

I will be following your travels with great interest. My dad (Thomas Cook) lived in Rancho Bernardo and worked tirelessly helping to establish the San Dieguito River Park Trail until he passed a couple of years ago. (In fact i suggested that if they can establish hiker biker campsites it would be wonderful but I don't know if it was ever considered)

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/rancho-bernardo/sd-cm-pow-news-rb-hof17-honorees-20170412-htmlstory.html

I thought of backpacking from Del Mar to Ramona sometime in his honor. I never thought of riding it. For one thing I don't have a mountain bike, though that would be a reason to buy one ;-)

Anyway, I am looking forward to reading about your travels and seeing the route through your eyes. Have a great ride!

Karen
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1 year ago
Karen CookP.S. Take lots of pictures!
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1 year ago
Jeremy NolanTo Karen CookHi Karen,
Thank you for following along, and for all the work that your dad did! It's always fun to hear how someone has a personal connection to a route. We bikers are certainly thankful!
I'll be posting more photos as I go. Sometimes it takes some time to get them uploaded, since I've got ones on my phone and on my camera.
Best,
Jeremy
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1 year ago
Karen CookTo Jeremy NolanDon’t worry i know how it is....posting from the road....if you miss posts you will catch up when you get home...
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1 year ago