Routes of Yore

Routes of Yore

Recently I received from ex club president Peg, several files of club ride routes, meticulously organized by start point and direction, north south east and west.  These route slips, printed on aging and sometimes yellowing paper give a fascinating insight into the NCCC of twenty and more years ago., locations which no longer exist, roads which have acquired another name, routes we no longer use as traffic has increased.  Many of these routes were accompanied by a hand drawn plan of the route, a routing map pre GPS. 

Here are some snippets.

Would you know where to find Hill Street?  Here’s a hint: it is one of the flattest roads in San Diego County, named, I suspect, for a Mr. or maybe even Mrs. Hill rather than as a description of the topography. It was in Oceanside and changed its name to Coast Highway in 1996, which clearly dates the route slips. Try another: Encinitas Road? This was the name of a section of the road between Palomar Airport Road and San Marcos Boulevard; at some time, possibly when Melrose was extended to Palomar Airport Road, the name disappeared and the two remaining joined up.

Rides started in many different locations which we rarely if ever use today: Mission Bay for rides to the SD Zoo and Point Loma; Harbor Drive, San Diego for rides to National City; several rides starting from Flower Hill Mall. One big favorite was rides which started and finished at Hadleys; like OCRR today, no further description was necessary. Hadleys was a fruit market on Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad which closed in the early 2000’s. Since 2012, it has been the Green Dragon Tavern but NCCC has not returned.

Then there are those rides which routed through Business Park Road, Vista because southbound Melrose did not connect through to Palomar Airport Road. The road went through in 2005. Similarly College was closed at Lake until a dispute between Carlsbad and Oceanside was settled. More complicated is San Diego: many of the planned routes are now one way streets, requiring some re-routing to follow the overall route.

There are a number of rides which we no longer do today. A whole group with different start points of some 12 – 18 miles, gentle rides for the Cruisers of yesteryear. There was a Century ride which passed Restaurant Row San Marcos on four occasions in loops of different lengths; ride all four and you had your Century; ready for a beer you could pull up at the end of any loop. Perhaps we should try this idea again.

The oldest identifiable ride slip is the December 6th, 1992 Holiday Bowl Bicycle Tour; starts in the parking of San Diego Zoo though Camino del Rio to the San Diego Mission. An aid station was available at the Mission, though whether this provided spiritual or physical support or possibly both is not specified; return over the same route for a 25 mile round trip. 

Rather different was the 1998 “Tour of Temecula wine country” starting from the Temecula duck pond at Rancho California and Ynez. As the whole route was just 16.5 miles, I suspect there was more wine sampling done than biking. The date was December 26th, a festive occasion. An idea for a future event.