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San Clemente Route Recommendations

Old 06-18-19, 10:21 PM
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michael.anger
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San Clemente Route Recommendations

I'll be in San Clemente later this summer for a few beach days with the family but am planning to sneak out for a ride some mornings. In addition to going up and down the coast, I would like to see some hills as well.


If you have route recommendations in the area I would love to hear them - ideally rideable/reachable directly from San Clemente. Road please although some gravel might be okay. Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-18-19, 10:42 PM
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https://www.strava.com/activities/493815
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Old 06-18-19, 10:59 PM
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Thanks @Elvo! Seven Sisters looks awesome - in a painful kind of way...
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Old 06-19-19, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by michael.anger View Post
Thanks @Elvo! Seven Sisters looks awesome - in a painful kind of way...
Make sure you start with Alicia and PIDs (from both directions): some consistent 8-10% grade x ~ 1 mi.

Nyes has a long ~15% x ~0.4 mi stretch.

Blue Bird/Summit has a ~15-18% x ~0.3 mi stretch (you will need gears or >3 watts /kg just so survive).

At this point, Temples Hills are relatively easy.

In the end, Park Ave is a grinder: 12-15% x ~1 mi.
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Old 06-19-19, 10:16 AM
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if you have time, avenida pico from the coast north to avenida la pata west (turns into antonio parkway) takes you to live oak canyon and santiago canyon roads-two of the prettier roads in orange county.

https://strava.app.link/x11abdMpEX

i also like pacific island (included in the seven sisters ride) for the views at the top, west of its intersection with crown valley parkway and cove rd. just above dana point harbor. any of the roads heading east from laguna beach on that seven sisters ride are ridiculously steep but they all have excellent views. just make sure your ticker and your brakes are both in good order.

Last edited by ooga-booga; 06-19-19 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 06-19-19, 10:14 PM
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michael.anger
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Originally Posted by hsuehhwa View Post
Make sure you start with Alicia and PIDs (from both directions): some consistent 8-10% grade x ~ 1 mi.

Nyes has a long ~15% x ~0.4 mi stretch.

Blue Bird/Summit has a ~15-18% x ~0.3 mi stretch (you will need gears or >3 watts /kg just so survive).

At this point, Temples Hills are relatively easy.

In the end, Park Ave is a grinder: 12-15% x ~1 mi.
Thanks! Appreciate the details and advice! If I'm riding up from San Clemente, I may want to stay along the coast and climb Nyes and Blue Bird/Summit first for a clockwise loop. But I still have a few weeks to ponder that question... the whole ride actually ;-)
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Old 06-19-19, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
if you have time, avenida pico from the coast north to avenida la pata west (turns into antonio parkway) takes you to live oak canyon and santiago canyon roads-two of the prettier roads in orange county.
Live Oak Canyon Rd looks beautiful on Google Streetview, thanks! I should be able to do part of that ride.
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Old 06-20-19, 07:33 AM
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FYI be careful on Live Oak Canyon. Narrow, windy, sometimes crazy drivers. Riding solo I prefer to ride it eastbound from El Toro Rd to Plano Trabuco. This has a good climb leaving El Toro, but it is relatively straight with few trees and good sight lines. Past the summit it is then generally downhill all the way to Trabuco Canyon. Much of this is under a beautiful tree canopy, going downhill gives you enough speed to more easily take the lane, if riding the other way you are climbing and going much slower, harder to take the lane without getting drivers upset. Then past Trabuco Canyon there is a climb up to Plano Trabuco in RSM. But youíre out of the dense tree area so driver visibility is better.

Iíve done it both directions, as recently as 12 days ago. beautiful but it makes me nervous. Enjoy.
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Old 06-21-19, 12:13 AM
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Thanks @jimincalif

I also found a couple interesting area routes posted by Shawn from Synaptic Cycles
Our favorite road cycling routes in Southern California - Synaptic Cycles
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Old 06-21-19, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by jimincalif View Post
FYI be careful on Live Oak Canyon. Narrow, windy, sometimes crazy drivers. Riding solo I prefer to ride it eastbound from El Toro Rd to Plano Trabuco. This has a good climb leaving El Toro, but it is relatively straight with few trees and good sight lines. Past the summit it is then generally downhill all the way to Trabuco Canyon. Much of this is under a beautiful tree canopy, going downhill gives you enough speed to more easily take the lane, if riding the other way you are climbing and going much slower, harder to take the lane without getting drivers upset. Then past Trabuco Canyon there is a climb up to Plano Trabuco in RSM. But youíre out of the dense tree area so driver visibility is better.

Iíve done it both directions, as recently as 12 days ago. beautiful but it makes me nervous. Enjoy.
agreed. ride it (in either direction) with at least one rear blinky light.
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Old 06-21-19, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by michael.anger View Post
Thanks @jimincalif

I also found a couple interesting area routes posted by Shawn from Synaptic Cycles
Our favorite road cycling routes in Southern California - Synaptic Cycles
some good routes but nearly half of them would find you driving for a spell or taking the train. one route i donít recommend (not listed but obvious) is heading east on ca hwy 74. itís scenic but it carries fast commuting traffic and the sight lines (for drivers) arenít especially good.

you also may be tempted to head south from san clemente towards oceanside. camp pendleton marine base lies in between and now requires a valid military id/pass to ride through (which is only available at the south end of) the base. otherwise, you hafta ride on the 5 freeway for about 8-9 miles (which is no picnic) or take the amtrak train from san clemente to oceanside or vice versa.
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Old 06-21-19, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
some good routes but nearly half of them would find you driving for a spell or taking the train. one route i donít recommend (not listed but obvious) is heading east on ca hwy 74. itís scenic but it carries fast commuting traffic and the sight lines (for drivers) arenít especially good.

you also may be tempted to head south from san clemente towards oceanside. camp pendleton marine base lies in between and now requires a valid military id/pass to ride through (which is only available at the south end of) the base. otherwise, you hafta ride on the 5 freeway for about 8-9 miles (which is no picnic) or take the amtrak train from san clemente to oceanside or vice versa.
Right, I was primarily looking at the ones near Dana Point or even going through San Clemente. I'm actually from the San Diego area (maybe I should add some info to my profile), so some of these other rides like GMR/Baldy will be separate trips sometime in the future.

And thanks for the headsup on Highway 74! That was the first road catching my attention after a quick look at the map, but I came across the warnings on other threads here... that one is definitely ruled out.

Is Shady Canyon trail worth the trip?
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Old 06-21-19, 02:47 PM
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Shady Canyon in Irvine? We ride it a lot (Bicycle Club of Irvine). It's a nice path thru a gated community, but nothing to make a trip for in and of itself.

If you go to our club website (bikeirvine.org) you can see the rides we have posted on Saturdays and Sundays, with pdf route slips and a lot of ridewithgps links. We ride all over but mostly avoid MUPs (not good for larger groups of bikes), Shady Canyon being an exception and one we use a lot. Go back to April 27th and click on Tour de 5 Cities. We have several routes that started that day at the Trader Joes in Laguna Niguel and went down to San Clemente as well.
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Old 06-21-19, 10:30 PM
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Yes, that's the one. I found it recommended on a few websites and then there was this loop...
https://www.strava.com/activities/402103875

Will definitely check out your club's routes. Thank you!
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