1.15.2011, Oceanside, CA
A warm, sunny spring day in SoCal and we head for Oceanside and the San Luis Rey Trail.
January 15? Spring? Ya betcha!
Spring in SoCal starts in January. Easy to tell. The hills are green with new grass and TrailBear starts sneezing. By February the trees will start to green up and blossoms will follow. TB will sneeze louder.
@@@ UPDATE TIME…
The TrailBear is down here (1) to ride a new trail, (2) to do a facilities survey and (3) to update the TrailLink trail map. A new two mile section of trail has been added upstream of the Mance Buchanan Park on College Blvd. This continues on around and thru a housing tract to end at Mission and N. Santa Fe, just down the road from the Guajome County Park. The trail is now nine miles long.
The facilities survey proved easy. Outside of Buchanan Park, you can find nine other points offering access or access with parking plus bench, trash and information kiosks. The sole restrooms and water points are at the park.
The San Luis Rey River Trail is a levee ride for the most part. Starting down in Oceanside in an area of apartments adjacent to the RR tracks, at a trail end with very limited parking and no support facilities, the SLRRT ascends the river on a large levee to a point beyond College Blvd.
Here begins a new extension which runs up the levee, then dives into a neighborhood thru a city owned access corridor. It uses a residential street to get you to the far side of the ‘hood when it enters another access corridor and down the hill.
Now it winds around the base of a hill for a mile to end at a gravel access parking lot at N. Santa Fe and Expressway 76. Just beyond is Guajome Regional Park which can serve as a full service trailhead for the upper end of the trail.
The trail has two lanes, each about four feet wide. The pavement is excellent blacktop. The scenery is interesting. This is not an LA river with concrete sides and bottom. The bottoms of the San Luis Rey River are quite thick and overgrown with trees and brush. The facilities at the park are new and attractive.
The views along the trail are large and spacious. Today you could see all the way to the mountains over in Riverside County, capped with snow. Down in the river bottom it was clear that there had been some recent high water. A week of 24/7 rain can do that.
First question: Where to access the trail and start the ride.
As the only on-trail water and restrooms are at the new Mance Buchanan Park upriver about six miles on College Blvd., this was an easy choice. We tried the marina on the way in, but it was a zoo by 0900, so we headed for Buchanan Park.
In picking a trailhead, consider the sea breeze. Just ask TrailBear, who spent one afternoon riding down the Coyote Creek Trail into 15-20 knots of headwind. It does slow you down. If there is a sea breeze, it is normally on the make by 11 and grows stronger in the afternoon, blowing up the river. Riding down to the sea in the quiet morning and back up with breeze at the back has attractions.
@@@ TRAILBEAR TURNS TRIKIE…
Who is this, pedaling a lawn chair though the scenery? TrailBear, that’s who.
Looking at his growing collection of bike saddles, TB decided it was time for a paradigm shift. He wanted to ride more, but around 20 miles his butt was protesting sitting on a 2x4. Last fall he began the Due Diligence on a proof of concept trike. On Black Friday he pulled the trigger on a Terratrike Rover X5 out of the Utah Trikes custom shop with 27 gears.
He discovered riding a trike is an exercise in comfort. No more SeatSquirm. No more chamois cream. No more chamois. No more wishing the ride were over. At the end of a twenty mile ride, he is ready for more. His butt loves the trike. Today was the Rover’s first survey trip and there was a lot of sorting out of where the equipment should go. On the mountain bike all is at hand on the handlebars or tube. On the trike it is carried behind the seat. Some adjustments will be made.
@@@ MANCE BUCHANAN PARK TRAILHEAD, GE: N33.24920 W117.29762
This is an attractive new river front or levee front park. Close by the entrance is a trailhead parking area with bike racks, picnic tables, and information kiosk and trail access. There is a restroom across the road. There is ample additional parking and restrooms further into the park. The trailhead parking may be busy on a good weekend. We parked further in.
There was quite a bit of traffic on the trail this day. “Tour de Y” might have accounted for part of it. Lots of roadies in singles, doubles or pace lines. Families with kids riding, runners, walkers, dog walkers, etc. It’s a nice trail and was getting used.
Get the Terratrike Rover X5 trike out of the van, gear up and head down river on the trail to…
@@@ DOUGLAS DR. ACCESS PARKING, GE: N33.23969 W117.32285
Here is a little parking lot on the down river side of the underpass. The next access was Cypress Rd., reached by a bike bridge. That one got a pass. Head down and around a bend to…
@@@ FOUSSAT RD. ACCESS PARKING, GE: N33.22144 W117.34515
Foussat is at the upper end of the Oceanside airport. Over yonder on a piece of waste ground, the kids have built a pump track for their BMX bikes. Another scenic attraction is the old outdoor movie establishment. Does it have three or four screens? Outdoor movies are from Days Gone By. It was rumored that “making out” would occasionally happen. During intermission you can head down to the…
@@@ BENET RD. ACCESS PARKING, GE: N33.21897 W117.35777
This one is below the airport and close to the Iron Sight Shooting Range. Now the trail tucks under the high bank and heads for the…
@@@ FREEWAY UNDERPASS, GE: N33.20544 W117.38514
Sound your horn. Never know what you will find here. TB came around a blind corner and found a couple of joggers in his lane, coming his way. Duh! Do you drive that way? Probably: Californians. The other lane as empty, so swerve to avoid idiots. Up ahead you have a choice of directions …
@@@ TRAIL JUNCTION BY THE RAILROAD, GE: N33.20311 W117.38762
Here is a spur trail that ducks under the RR and comes up (very steeply) at N. Pacific Ave. From there you hop on the bike lane, zip across the bridge and you are at the marina, which would be an attractive place to stage the ride on days with less crowds. Going on straight at the junction brings you to the…
@@@ TRAIL END IN OCEANSIDE, GE: N33.20001 W117.38587
This is a trail end in a neighborhood on the rail line, not a trail head or access parking. A bike route (not lane) continues on from here. There are no facilities and on-street parking for only 3-4 cars, so don’t state your ride from this end. You can only cross the RR tracks at selected streets, so if you wanted the beach, should have turned back at the junction.
Now that you are down in Oceanside, you can wander about and Take In the Sights. Further down the coast are small segments of the old RR right of way made into pocket parks. There are hopes and dreams of putting together a coastal trail on the right of way, but it will be decades in the making.
The trip back up the river is easy. This is a reasonably flat trail. It must be if TrailBear was doing 10-13 mph on the uphill.
@@@ TRIKES THAT PASS IN THE NIGHT…
On the way back a group of local trikies came up astern. TB pulled into a handy parking apron ahead to let them go by, but they pulled in. Time for show and tell and see what the other guy has on board.
This was a nice collection of high end low slung sports trikes: Greenspeed, ICE Trice, Velotechnik Scorpion, Terratrike Zoomer – and the Rover, which is the pickup truck amid the Porches. However, it will hold upward of 300#, which none of the others can do. Now bears can ride trikes, and TB is enjoying his.
Scoping out trike bling. Accessories, that’s the thing.