|Pacific Coast Highway
Location: Torrey Pines, Del Mar, Solana Beach.
Route: Pacific Coast Highway (US-101/CR-S21) most of the way.
Distance: 8 miles from UCSD to Solana Beach, one-way.
Terrain: Very hilly.
Pavement: Mostly smooth road-side bike lane. Many intersections in the
Traffic: Heavy vehicular during the day.
Last Updated: Tue Feb 15 22:19:05 PST 2005
This coastal route is popular for training among
bicyclists and SDSE members on weekend mornings. In most locations the road has
a wide shoulder/bike lane. We have found many bicyclists to enjoy the company
of an inline skater drafting behind them.
Today's coast highway starts at the top of a mesa by
UCSD, the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course, and many biotech research companies.
The Torrey Pines and Carmel Valley hills are major ones where speeds can exceed
40mph downhill. They are excellent hill-trainers in the other direction.
Public restrooms and water fountains are available
at the Torrey Pines Golf Course, Torrey Pines State Beach, in Del Mar, and in
UPDATE: Tue Feb 15 22:19:05 PST 2005
A road widening project to turn PCH into a 4-lane
highway started in December 2003 and is expected to be finished in the summer
of 2005. Currently the bike lane in both directions has been removed from the
Torrey Pines State Beach north to Carmel Valley road. Vehicles can barely pass
cyclists and will not be able to pass skaters in this section. Also, after any
rain, the entire south-bound lane adjacent to the construction K-rail fills
with water and sand. For these reasons, we can not recommend skating through
this section of the route at this time.
From the south take I-5 and exit at Genesee Ave.
Turn left at the end of the off-ramp. After ascending a huge hill, Genesee Ave.
becomes N. Torrey Pines Rd. as it curves to the right. Follow the exit sign to
the Torrey Pines Golf Course.
From the north take I-5 and exit at Carmel Valley
Rd. Turn right at the end of the off-ramp. Proceed on Carmel Valley Rd. until
it ends at PCH and turn left. After ascending a huge hill follow the exit sign
to the Torrey Pines Golf Course.
Alternatively, you can start from a parking lot on
the UCSD campus.
From the Torrey Pines Golf Course, head
north on PCH. Taking N. Torrey Pines Rd. south will lead you to point 1 on the
North-bound: Caution: Torrey Pines downhill,
a 400-foot elevation change over 1.7 miles. Not too steep, but very long. A
strong afternoon wind up the hill can help you slow down, if necessary. Beware
of the few bumps and holes which have formed. Do not take the
park road downhill.
North-bound: Carefully fork left onto Camino
del Mar. There is a 4-way stop at the bottom of the hill which, while not
dangerous, will require some effort to stop.
North-bound: The bike lane on PCH becomes
too rough for skating. Turn left onto Via de la Valle and head up the short
hill. At the sharp curve to the right, the road becomes S. Sierra Ave.
North-bound: Fork left onto Pacific Ave. at
this 5-way stop and proceed up the short hill.
The turn-around point. Turn right onto
Cliff St. down a short hill and immedately turn right onto N. Sierra Ave. This
avenue has no bike lane or shoulder, but traffic is light.
South-bound: Caution: Short downhill to the
traffic light at PCH. This intersection is sometimes wet.
South-bound: Caution: Yield to merging
traffic from the right. The bike lane is narrow on this uphill.
South-bound: Caution: Carmel Valley hill, a
150-foot elevation change. Nowhere near as long as Torrey Pines, but steeper.
Some good bumps when crossing the intersection with Carmel Valley Rd. and on
both bridges during the descent. Watch out for beach traffic
South-bound: For the extremely motivated,
you may choose to ascend the Torrey Pines hill via the park road if traffic is
very light. The ascent is very steep and slightly rough. Once at the top, the
ascent is slight for the rest of the way. Caution: There is one short, but
extremely rough section of road near the end. The path eventually merges
back with PCH.
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