Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunrise Highway Loop (San Diego area Motorcycle Ride)

Sunrise Highway Loop

Not a really long ride, but a nice loop in the San Diego area. The Sunrise Highway Loop sees over 5,000 feet in elevation changes as it takes the rider from I-8 through the Cleveland National Forest, the Anza-Borrego desert, Julian, Wynola, Ramona, Lakeside and Santee before returning to the I-8 freeway.

I left La Mesa, east of San Diego, at 11 AM on a Saturday morning. After about 33 miles of easy highway on I-8 east, I exited on Sunrise Highway, S-1. After 30 miles of truly beautiful riding, I found the 79 east and I entered Julian. Famous for its pies, apple cider and fresh bread, and tourists, Julian was packed with bikes of all flavors. Any little restaurant in Julian --such as the Julian Pie Company or Mom's--will offer tasty pie, coffee and cider.

I passed right through Julian and continued to Ramona via the 78 east-south. After about 30 miles of uneventful riding, nice countryside, not too crowded, I rolled through Ramona. Stop and go traffic, lights, etc.

Locating the 67 south, I opened it up a little and headed back toward the I-8. Though a well-made road, the 67 must have its share of accidents as there were more warning signs than vehicles. Stay Alive on 67! Also, there is a significant law enforcement presence to discourage speeding and dangerous driving.

I passed by Lakeside and Santee, and hit the 110 mile mark when I reached the I-8 again. Another 5 miles on the I-8 west and I was at my exit in La Mesa.

This ride is picturesque and easy going. No fast, heavy traffic and until I reached Julian, I only passed one RV and one car passed me. There are many opportunities to open up the throttle, if that's your thing. Also, a pleasant ride for those wanting to take in the sights.

There are many parts of this loop that require downshifting to 3rd and 4th gear to negotiate the twists and turns--not a bad thing! Also, there was a small amount of debris in and on the side of the roads to watch for--no real biggie.

I saw many other motorcycle enthusiasts enjoying the day, as well, and everyone waved and smiled as they zipped past.

In the San Diego area and have 2 hours or more to burn? This is a fantastic ride.

Trip total: 115 miles in 2 hours.

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