Thor didn't think much of my plan; however, and lit up Tuesday night with some pretty terrifying electrical storm that was still streaking up San Diego sky at midnight. Having seen many charred results of lightning strikes in my days in SE Asia and the US Midwest, I was properly dissuaded from hitting the road before I was sure that Thor had worn his hammer out... And so, the route was chopped to about 3/4 the previously planned distance and I got to sleep a few more hours before hopping on the 4:48 a.m. bus to Escondido and then to the Hwy 76/Old Hwy 395 junction in Fallbrook to start the ride there instead. It was still a long ride, though one that's 256 km instead of 250 miles long.
|The day's route.|
As soon as I hit the still drizzly wet road in Fallbrook my ears experienced quite a weather shock and tried their best to separate themselves from the rest of the body. It helped a bit that the first two miles on Old Hwy 395 was a climb, but I still took most of the ascent to Rainbow Gap to properly warm up... That, of course, was followed by the fast and frigid descent into Temecula, by the bottom of which my ears were quite a pair of pain in the noggin. My only consolation was that 80% of all the people hurrying to work in their cars were heading south toward San Diego in the opposite lane of the narrow, curvy Rainbow Valley Rd rather than behind me... so my on-bike shivering was only uncomfortable rather than perilous.
|Passing the Rainbow Gap on Old Hwy 395 while salivating over the sight of Lone Oak Rd on the east side of the freeway.|
|Old Town Temecula... looking less old and dusty as ever!|
|Heading up Whitewood Rd toward Menifee.|
Next time, tho... I'll take the hillier detour. Live and learn.
|Freshly repaved, but as narrow as it was 20 yrs ago Antelope Rd in Menifee.|
|Murrieta Rd thru Perris.|
Staying on the flattest route possible also meant missing most of the by-way towns' goodies. I didn't get any glimpse of Lake Perris, the famous Rock Castle, March Air Field Museum, or La Sierra's Lake Matthews. The only 'excitement' along the way was catching some skydiving action while riding past Skydive Perris, and almost getting to tickle the tummy of the skydiving plane as it barely skimmed the roadside treetops while landing at Perris Valley Airport.
|Skydiving in Perris, CA.|
|Dude really didn't clear the trees by much...|
|A bit of nothingness at Ben Clark Training Center in Mead Valley.|
|Box Springs Mtn, looking pretty inviting from afar.|
|Tio's Taco's fabulous Folk Art Garden made of recycled refuse.|
|The charmingly shaded Mission Inn Ave.|
|Mt Rubidoux from the foot of the Buena Vista Bridge off Mission Inn Ave.|
The place reminds of Mt Helix, my favorite haunt in La Mesa. Though, unlike Mt Helix, Mt Rubidoux is mostly rocky part with no houses except at its base, and people come from all over the surrounding towns to hike it everyday. You run into a lot of happy people doing laps on this hill even in the middle of the work week.
|Don't get carried away photographing. There isn't much between tarmac edge and a lot of vertical tumbling.|
It was a cool and cloudy day, so I'm afraid I didn't get the best pictures of the place. But you can still get good ideas out of these, I think. It was a nice first visit, and I look forward to many more in December!
I'm afraid my camera ran out of batteries soon after, which was just as well since the return trip was a mad dash along the I-215 and I-15 corridor. I passed thru Temecula again just after dark, and had a harrowing time cycling up Rainbow Valley Rd with the endless stream of cars speeding down the hill in opposite direction (all I could see was their headlights... and apparently the few cars that were heading the same way I did couldn't see well enough to realize when I was on the edge of the very wide turn out bulbs and the lane to the left of me was clear for them to pass). I got into Fallbrook too late to catch bus 389, and so ended up riding all the way down to Downtown Escondido to catch the 235 home (it was way too cold to hang around for another 1 1/2 hr for the next bus)!