Camino Real Double Century Ride
February 16, 2013 · Irvine, CA
Distance: 200 miles
Our new route is shaped like a dog bone, with loops on each end of an out-and-back course.Beginning at the La Quinta Inn, you’ll head to the coast via the rolling hills of Irvine and Turtle Rock and get your first view of the Pacific Ocean as you blast down Newport Coast and hang a left on PCH.After riding through a bit of Newport Beach and Laguna Beach on PCH, you’ll hang a left and head back inland, meandering up Laguna Canyon Road. Hang a right on El Toro, and make your way through Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel, then blast down Crown Valley to the Coast and Dana Point. From Dana Point you’ll be on the coast through San Clemente, and along the bike path through San Onofre, all the way to Oceanside. From there, you’ll head inland, heading towards Bonsall and lunch at the All Seasons Campground. The climbing starts again after lunch, with a beautiful loop out towards Fallbrook. You’ll wind up back in Bonsall, and repeat the course back to the coast, and north through Dana Point again. The final leg is basically the reverse of the old Butterfield route: Up to Antonio Parkway (on Crown Valley however; not on Ortega Highway), through Trabuco Canyon, across Santiago Canyon and then the mostly downhill finish on Jamboree to Portola and back to Sand Canyon. This route is a huge improvement, safety-wise! No more of that crazy traffic by the Pechanga Casino; no more drunken, bottle-throwing drivers in Lake Elsinore; and no more traffic lights on every corner through Temecula. It does remain, however, particularly urban – but in the best and safest parts of Orange and San Diego Counties. Please note that due to the urban nature of this route, it’s impossible to provide checkpoint locations evenly spaced at perfect distances. That said, there are countless mini-marts and gas stations along the course where you may get water and snacks, if necessary. If you’re running low, and find yourself a good distance from the next checkpoint, please stop at one of the many conveniences along the route and refuel/re-hydrate. 198 miles with about 8,500′ of climbing.