Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dead Dolly Lane

What is it about San Diego's rural southeast county that attracts the fantastically absurd characters that create these horrible images? I love it!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Calexico Border Patrol

Today's ride was the Calexico Border Patrol Route. The route departs Ocotillo and skirts the border along SR98 to Calexico. From Calexico it was north on SR111 which was busy but had very wide and smooth shoulders. On the way to Calexico I took a side trip on Crucifixion Thorn Rd. It was a "paved" road that turned to dirt and ended up at an abandoned gravel pit.

What I quickly learned about Imperial County is that when a traffic sign advises "Pavement Ends" the road is about to get smoother!

Evan Hewes Highway was the next turn and there wasn't much traffic on the ride into down town El Centro. Out of El Centro it's a straight shot to Seeley and the next turn on Drew Rd. I took a short detour to ride by Naval Air Facility El Centro and get a couple of pictures. NAF El Centro is the winter home of the Blue Angels.

After watering up in Seeley the route turned south on Drew Rd. Drew Rd is quite the bone shaker and there's plenty of mud. Had to walk the bike in a few places where the gulley's had overflowed onto the road and left a good six inches of mud.

Mt. Signal is the prevalent landmark that is visible for most of the ride. Mount Signal was used by the early Pioneers and Native Americans as a landmark to help guide them through the desert.

The route was 79 miles with only 1200ft of climbing. However, it is a challenging ride. The smoothest road you'll get is the chipseal on SR98. Lot's of rough road, so I'd recommend 28mm tires or bigger and plenty of Ibuprofen.

The weather was gorgeous and the wind was not a factor. I started late, screwed around and ended up finishing 30 minutes after the sun went down.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Salton Sea

As someone with more than a passing interest in ghost towns, abandoned buildings and the apocalypse, the Salton Sea has long been high on my list of favorite places to ride. The objective of this weekends ride was to escape the rain in San Diego and explore the South Eastern Shore of the sea.

There are many side roads worth exploring in the area. However, most are hard packed dirt and you should be prepared with 28mm tires or better. Honestly, much of the dirt road riding was more pleasant than the rough paved roads.

My bike for the day was a steel frame Rivendell Romulus with 28mm Grand Bois tyres and a sprung Brooks Champion Flyer leather seat to soak up the bumps. I was joined on the ride by Stephane Beaudry on his Ritchie Breakaway, another fine steel framed bike.

The primary points of interest on this ride were Salvation Mountain and Slab City.

Salvation Mountain is a massive art project started by Leonard Knight back in the mid-80s. Basically it's a huge glaring testament to God. Very, very cool.

Slab City is best described in this quote from

"... It is the place of business for the residents of a nearby compound known as Slab City—a mostly insane coterie of fun-hunting drifters, vets, addicts, artists, and crazies who subsist on sautéed snake, lukewarm Tecate, money earned from scrapping bombshell fragments, and what’s left of their wits. It’s pretty much all that remains of the Wild West..."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cameron Corners Cruise

I love riding my bicycle in San Diego's East County. It's like going back in time. Relics of times past when people would take the time to stop and smell the roses
are still evident on Old Highway 80 and SR94.

The Cameron Corners Cruise starts in El Cajon, Ca in the Rancho San Diego
area. The route climbs to Alpine via Dehesa and Tavern Roads. From Alpine it's
an easy climb to the Descanso/Route 79 exit on Interstate 8. Once you've exited
the Interstate, you'll take Old Highway 80 through Guatay to the first stop in
Pine Valley. A county park in Pine Valley is a convenient place to fill up the
water bottles.

Out of Pine Valley, the route continues on Old Highway 80 with a great down
hill to the turn off at Old Buckman Springs Rd. The road gently climbs to
the Lake Morena turn off and descends into Cameron Corners.

At Cameron Corners it's a right turn onto State Route 94 which will take the
rider back to the finish. You'll pass through Campo and climb three hills on
your way to Potrero. Once you've passed Harris Ranch Rd it's down hill to
Potrero and the general store.

SR94 continues to descend out of Potrero past the Tecate turn off and blasts
down hill to where it bottoms out at Barrett Junction. From Barrett Junction it's
a challenging climb to the community of Dulzura. From Dulzura the route
descends to the intersection of Otay Lakes Rd and SR94. From here you climb
three big rollers to Jamul.

Once you've made the final summit in Jamul, it's 7 miles of downhill to
the finish

On this route services are available in Alpine (16), Descanso (25), Gutay (27),
Pine Valley (31), Cameron Corners (47), Campo (52), Protero (57), Barrett
Junction (64), and Jamul (79).