A week ago Tyler Ofstad and I rode up Palomar Mountain, twice. Starting at the corner of Valley Center Road and CA 76, at the mexican restaurant there, we climbed up 76 to South Grade Road. At the top, we descended down East Grade Road, and rode 76 a bit south for another climb on Mesa Grande. At the top of that we turned around and went back the way we came. The total climbing came out to over 2,500 meters, or about 8,300 feet. The only time I have climbed more than this was at the Everest Challenge, which has 15,465 and 13,570 feet of climbing in its two days.
Palomar Mountain is a popular destination for Southern California cyclists, as well as for motorcyclists, who roar up and down the mountain on any dry day. The constant buzzing of motorcycles gets a bit old over the course of South Grade Road. Thankfully, motorcyclists don’t drive so much on East Grade Road, due to its near lack of hairpin turns. Mesa Grande is a short and steep; it climbs about 250 meters in about 2 kilometers.
If you look closely at the elevation versus distance graph below, you’ll see sharp, jagged edges on the descents. This is due to trees blocking the signal to my GPS, degrading its 3D resolution. 2D degrades much less in trees, so the GPS measures my distance, but doesn’t update my altitude. I’m moving so fast decending that by the time the 3D resolution comes back, I’ve dropped a fair amount.