Monday, June 15, 2009

Nate Harrison Semi-Epic Ride on June 14, 2009: Ride Report, Images, and Video

After first riding this route on November 6, 2009, we invited others to join us for a Rough Riders Semi-Epic Ride up Palomar Mountain via the unpaved Nate Harrison Grade on June 14, 2009. Twelve riders showed up for a fantastic day of cycling in uncertain weather. Below is a video slideshow and selected images of the day.

See the 11-6-08 video on YouTube when the weather and views were much better than today and the 11-6-08 ride report elsewhere on this blog with far more detail about the route and the road itself.

The dirt road itself, which goes literally all the way up Palomar Mountain, is 9.5 miles long and ascends about 4000 feet - from about 700' to about 4700'. Once you add in the last, paved, climb to the Boucher Fire Lookout, you've climbed 11.1 miles and ascended to 5438'. Then you have some rolling paved miles across the top of Palomar Mountain through the State Park to Mother's Kitchen, the General Store, Post Office, and bathroom. (We all hung out at Mother's.) There you head over to the stop sign where you can take South Grade back down to where you started, for a total of 33 miles with 5500 feet of elevation gain. Plan on five hours, to allow time to enjoy the views along the way and especially from the top, plus the water / food / bathroom stop at Mother's. Though the route can be climbed by an accomplished rough rider on a road bike with 28mm tyres (as one did as you will see here), we definitely wouldn't recommend descending Nate Harrison without a full-on mountain bike. South Grade can have a lot of "crotch rocket" motorcyclists on weekends, so go on a weekday if you possibly can. This is really a phenomenal ride and we highly recommend it!
"Heading out to where the pavement turns to sand." - Neil Young
Above: All three of the actual "mountain bikes" in the group: L-R: Greg on his Bridgestone MB-1, John on his GT, and Brad on his Miyata.

Above: Andy on his Atlantis by Rivendell
Above: Peter on his Merlin Extralight road bike with 28mm road tyres.Above: Esteban on his Protovelo (a Rivendell prototype) with Acorn bags
Above: Dustin on his ti Black Sheep with Rohloff rear hub with internal gearing
Above: We climbed into the forest and into the fog as we approached the summit.
Above: Rob M. with his Sam Hillborne by Rivendell
Aboe: Eric with his Bianchi Volpe

Above: Enjoying food and camaraderie at Mother's, high atop Mt. Palomar

Route Sheet:
0.0 Start at Pauma Casino at 777 Pauma Reservation Rd, Pauma Valley, CA 92061. (This is 12 miles of east of I-15 along SR 76: Go north from 76 on Pauma Reservation Road. Don't miss the turn from SR 76: it's at Jilberto's Taco Shop.)
0.2 Left down Pauma Reservation Road
0.8 Left on State Route 76 East: Watch for traffic!
1.9 Left on Nate Harrison Grade Road: Begin climbing. Pavement ends soon.
11.2 End of Nate Harrison Grade at a five-way intersection. Make a hard right uphill. (2:04 elapsed riding time | 5100' elevation | 4320' total elevation gain)
11.9 Boucher Fire Lookout (2:12 elapsed riding time | 5340' elevation | 4560' total elevation gain)
12.7 Back at that five-way intersection: Make a right onto the uphill paved road through the State Park.
16.0 Mother's Cafe on left, at intersection with South Grade. Enjoy the great food and ambience!
16.1 Head down South Grade (paved road): Watch out for speeding motorcycles! (Merge straight onto State Route 76 west at the foot of the mountain: Watch for traffic!)
31.8 Right (at Jilberto's Taco Shop) on Pauma Reservation Road. (3:10 elapsed riding time | 900' elevation | 5190' total elevation gain)
32.4 Right into Pauma Casino
32.6 Pauma Casino Parking Lot

Ride Data
32.6 miles
5500' of total elevation gain
3:15 total elapsed riding time (but plan on a total of five hours to allow for photography and spending time at the Boucher Fire Lookout and Mother's Cafe)

Riders and Bikes
Brad Zlotnick on his 1989 Miyata Elevation 5000 mountain bike (fully rigid)
Peter Bridge on his ti Merlin Extra Light with 28mm road tyres
Dustin Sharp on his ti Black Sheep with Rohloff hub
Greg on his Bridgestone MB-1 mountain bike (fully rigid)
Esteban del Rio on his Protovelo (Rivendell prototype)
Rob M. on his Sam Hillborne by Rivendell
Calvin Mulder on his Felt cyclocross bike
Andy Mari on his Atlantis by Rivendell
Chris Kostman on his 1984 Holdsworth road bike with Ritchey 32mm cross tyres
Elizabeth Jefferson on her 1974 Williams road bike converted to 650B wheels
Eric on his Bianchio Volpe cross bike
John Byrne on his GT I-Drive with 6" of travel, front and rear mountain bike (dual suspension)

Video Slideshow!

Thanks for your enthusiasm, everyone, and thanks especially to all the Rough Riders who rode today! We look forward to seeing you "out there" soon! (Stay tuned for the announcement of another Semi-Epic Rough Ride in the near future!)


Protorio said...

Wow. What a wonderful day and a great group of people - thanks to Chris for pulling this together. Rough Riders rule! I suffered, but am better for it! Looking forward to next time.

Dan O said...

Looks like a great ride. Cool pictures.