Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween bike ride thru Bay Park & Clairemont

It's (supposedly) the spookiest night of the year. I'm afraid I forgot to shop for candies to ward off all the sweet-toothed local goblins and monsters. Luckily I live in a unit that isn't very visible from the road, so no trick-or-treaters have wandered my way so far.
The Cardiff Kook as the Halloween Zombie...
I did venture out for a bit earlier today, though. Gotta give the computer a little break from spending too much time with me or it'd go ape. Today was a late-October-ish day with a lot of sun and comfortably cool temperature. I meant to only go for an hour long easy ride, but after a few sprints up the rolling hills of Mission Hills I got enthusiastic and decided to do a little route-scouting ride in hilly Bay Park.
Tantalizing Illion St climb from Tecolote Canyon Nature Park
No Bay Park ride would be complete without a trip up fearsome Illion St, of course. I had a good look at that terrible hill from a new vantage point today when I was investigating Tecolote Canyon Nature Park nearby. I have a feeling that this hill will never be a comfortable climb for me, but my lungs weren't exploding by the time I crested it today... considering that I was in blue jeans rather than comfy cycling kit, that was something quite worth being pleased about.

I headed east on Milton St, away from Mission Bay. There's a bit more climbing to do there, but it paid to look behind me every now and then. Milton St's ickiest section (15% grade according to the road sign) is between Galveston and Illion, but I didn't have to ride it since I came up Illion... not that that was less of an exercise. After a bit of a faux flat it kicks up into about a block worth of 12% grade before leveling out toward Bergener Blvd. I hung a left there and went all the way up to Mt Acadia Blvd with it, but if I ever take anybody riding up here I'd probably detour east a couple of blocks to Cowley Way (a bit more climbing, but worth it to miss the heavy school traffic).

Mt Acadia Blvd just before its 10% grade drop into Tecolote Canyon (from the west).
A right turn at Mt Acadia and a hair-raising plunge down into Tecolote Canyon. I used to drive through here when I was still golfing and remembered there used to be a stop sign at the bottom where it intersects with Snead Dr (to go to Tecolote Golf Course). Now the stop sign is only on Snead and not Mt Acadia (which has also gotten much wider!), so this stretch is much more fun for cyclists since you can sling shot part of the way up the other side.

Again, next time I ride thru here I'd hang a right at Acworth and then left on Boyd instead of staying on Mt Acadia after getting back up from the canyon. Another school and its traffic. By the time I got to Genessee I had already been out for more than an hour, though, and needed to get back (despite of appearance, Smorg does work many hours a week) so I turned south and followed Genessee down to Linda Vista Blvd. A bit past Ulric St turn off I spotted a rather tantalizing sign off on the right side of the road. Filipino lumpias! If you haven't tried one of these, my friends, you've got to. They are all that's right about deep fried food!

U of San Diego's Alcala campus off Linda Vista Blvd
Anyhow, a big attraction about going south on always busy Linda Vista Blvd is passing by the gorgeous campus of the University of San Diego, of course. Lots of cars on the road, but the bike lane is wide and mostly well paved. There are a few icky spots once you hit the really downhill bits after USD, though. One was a round manhole that was indented quite a bit below pavement level and covers the entire bike lane (you definitely have to swerve into car lane to avoid it, so spot it early to allow time for a safe merge).

This is what you look like when you lose yourhead over Halloween, I guess.
Took Morena Blvd down to Old Town, then climbed up Juan St back into Mission Hills. That was hungry work, though not so hungry as to not pedal slowly thru the area looking at some rather cool Halloween decorations.

Some folks really go all out with this spookifying of their property thing... It was great! I almost liked Halloween decor better than I do Christmas. More variety and more humor. I'm afraid I didn't put anything up at my pad, though. It's out of the way and nobody would see it anyway. Besides, the place is guarded nearly 24/7 by a black cat... That ought to be spooky enough to begin with, oughtn't it?

The lumpias made it home intact, of course. I tossed 'em into the oven while I took a shower, and when I came back out they were perfectly hot and crisp.
Yummy Filipino lumpias from Olga's in Linda Vista.
I guess I didn't lose any weight after all that riding after all!


  1. oh bro. That cat's in love with you! :D


  2. Awesome pix. I'm jealous that you have so many beautiful places to ride. I'm glad I found your blogs so I can keep up with you, my friend.

  3. Hiya Soren: She sure is one sweet kitty! :D Never seen a cat this affectionate before.

    Hiya Langley: Thanks very much for stopping by! I'm spoiled living here indeed. Lots of great routes to explore and the weather is good for riding most of the year. :)


Thanks for stopping by. Be safe on the roads!