Ride Report: Palomar Mountain - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 11-27-2013, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Ride Report: Palomar Mountain

I've been up to Palomar Mountain before, but never on the bike. I had some free time today to make a solo run. I did take a little detour to Julian. I recommend to anyone heading up the mountain to make it our there; it's a small gold mining town with cool little shops and quite a bit of history.

The route:


Heres a picture from a different trip there, I didn't take one this time.


From Julian I headed back down to Santa Ysabel and headed towards Lake Henshaw. This will take you to the South Grade Road, which is not as twisty as East Grade Road. Going uphill was pretty easy, just letting off the throttle and letting the engine braking + uphill grade scrub some speed off if the corners get too "hot".



There is a restaurant near the top that usually has quite a few bikes outside, however on this Wednesday afternoon it was just mine. The fact that they were closed probably accounted for the emptiness. The temperature was probably mid-to-high 50s here (altitude is around 5000 feet).



A little farther up the road is the Mount Palomar Observatory. You can see a peek of it in this picture.



From there I took East Grade Road back down. This is a very technical road with many blind decreasing-radius turns… it was fun as hell but a little bit nerve-wracking.



There were quite a few sets of black skid marks, both car and motorcycle, indicating where others came in a little bit too hot for a corner. These were good "hints" for me to slow my entry speed as this was my first time down the hill on a bike.

I did stop at a vista point for another photo of the bike.



As far as the pace was concerned, I honestly had no time to look down at the speedometer for most of the ride up or down the hill. I would say that I rode at about 80% of my ability, and probably 65% of the bike's ability. I see photos of folks coming around the corners down the mountain with a knee down but to be honest I just don't know how they do it. Maybe they have someone up ahead of them making sure there isn't an RV broken down around the blind corner, or maybe they just don't care and have been lucky so far… it's a public road and you can't account for other people on the road.

I know there are other write-ups of this ride on here but I thought I'd add my two cents. I recommend making the trip if you are anywhere near here.
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post #2 of 22 Old 11-27-2013, 05:51 PM
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Ok, so this was my backyard for most of my life. When do we go riding my friend?

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post #3 of 22 Old 11-27-2013, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, so this was my backyard for most of my life. When do we going to ride my friend?
It all depends on my schedule. I'd prefer a weekday over a weekend as it gets busy up there.
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post #4 of 22 Old 11-27-2013, 06:02 PM
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It all depends on my schedule. I'd prefer a weekday over a weekend as it gets busy up there.

Let me know what day you are free. It would be great to ride with a fellow San Diegan. We could invite as many as you want to come along.
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post #5 of 22 Old 11-27-2013, 06:17 PM
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Many years ago (mid-late 1980's), I used to ride that route, when I was stationed at Miramar.... from MiraMesa, to Poway, to Ramona, to the mountains. Julian was a favored destination, as well. Good riding, I agree it's better during the week when you don't have so many squids to deal with.
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post #6 of 22 Old 11-27-2013, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Many years ago (mid-late 1980's), I used to ride that route, when I was stationed at Miramar....
I was stationed there 1998-2001. That's what brought me to San Diego.

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from Mira Mesa, to Poway, to Ramona, to the mountains.
I'm somewhere between Mira Mesa and Poway. Still have a house in Mira Mesa.

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Julian was a favored destination, as well. Good riding, I agree it's better during the week when you don't have so many squids to deal with.
I see lots of squids on the way to Julian, not so much on Palomar. They might be riding a bit fast but they are generally geared up and up there for the ride.
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post #7 of 22 Old 11-27-2013, 06:44 PM
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I rampaged in the canyons there from 82' till 87' LOL
However. I was always in that are since 73'

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post #8 of 22 Old 11-27-2013, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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I rampaged in the canyons there from 82' till 87' LOL
However. I was always in that are since 73'
I've heard stories about how Mira Mesa was considered far away and how it was just fields and canyons.

Urban sprawl, you gotta love it.

Every time I visit Palomar Mountain or Julian I get the crazy idea of living out in the country with a well, solar panels, etc. Totally off the grid. The commute would kill me, and it's why I always reconsider. That and the kids are in good schools now where we are.
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post #9 of 22 Old 11-27-2013, 07:35 PM
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I gave you my phone number. I will bet you $200.00 or anyone for that matter. They can not beat me. Bold statement. But I will eat my words and I have more than enough dough to back my shit talking up.

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post #10 of 22 Old 11-27-2013, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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I gave you my phone number. I will bet you $200.00 or anyone for that matter. They can not beat me. Bold statement. But I will eat my words and I have more than enough dough to back my shit talking up.
That's not a bold statement when it comes to me, today was my first time up on the bike.

Others on here may feel froggy; I'd suggest a weekday for a run like that… you don't want to find yourself implanted into the grill of an RV that crossed the centerline.
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post #11 of 22 Old 11-27-2013, 07:43 PM
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That's not a bold statement when it comes to me, today was my first time up on the bike.

Others on here may feel froggy; I'd suggest a weekday for a run like that… you don't want to find yourself implanted into the grill of an RV that crossed the centerline.
So true.

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post #12 of 22 Old 11-27-2013, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Kozaru View Post
That's not a bold statement when it comes to me, today was my first time up on the bike.

Others on here may feel froggy; I'd suggest a weekday for a run like that… you don't want to find yourself implanted into the grill of an RV that crossed the centerline.

It is all about controlling the environment around you. Knowing how far to push the envelope. I push too far.

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post #13 of 22 Old 11-28-2013, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Kozaru View Post
I've heard stories about how Mira Mesa was considered far away and how it was just fields and canyons.

Urban sprawl, you gotta love it.

Every time I visit Palomar Mountain or Julian I get the crazy idea of living out in the country with a well, solar panels, etc. Totally off the grid. The commute would kill me, and it's why I always reconsider. That and the kids are in good schools now where we are.
First time I went to Miramar, in 1980-81, the Northern fenceline had no buildings on the other side of the road. My wife and I lived on board the base from roughly 1987-1989. By then, the sprawl had mated the base to Mira Mesa, and there was no break in buildings going West to the ocean.
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post #14 of 22 Old 11-28-2013, 01:39 PM
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Well done on the ride report! Looks like a great road.
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post #15 of 22 Old 11-28-2013, 02:53 PM
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Palomar is still one of the roads that I really want to ride. I'll have to make my way down sometime next year.
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