Yesterday I took a leisurely ride along the bike path that parallels Hwy 8 and ends more or less at a bridge that puts you onto Sunset Cliffs Blvd. After trying a few roads that led I wasn’t sure where, I got back onto Sunset Cliffs and followed it all the way to….Sunset Cliffs, a shore point that I’d only ever visited once or twice during all the years I lived in San Diego. This has been a good weekend for high surf so there were lots of folks out in the water and many more surveying the scene from the bluffs. I kept going all the way to the end of the road, rationalizing that if I didn’t figure out where I was, I could always turn around. At the end of Sunset Cliffs, the road turned to the left and headed uphill. I kept going, using the same logic…I could simply turn around and retrace my steps at any time. When this road stopped going up and turned sharply to the left, my logic still held because at almost every cross street, I could see Sunset Cliffs below. Eventually I came to a cross street that seemed to be a major road and turned right, heading straight up Hill Rd. The gradient rivals Eichele Rd, about which I’ve written much (mostly about me walking up it), and when I got to the top, I was rewarded with a view of the city skyline. While climbing this hill, I was admired by a woman and two children who were pushing their bikes up along the sidewalk. They assured me, however, that I “could do it” and, in fact, I did. With downtown San Diego in front of me, I now knew I’d be able to find my way home.
I usually hate being lost and take every precaution to stay on route during brevets. I enjoyed this ride though, a sort of meandering exploration, feeling a little lost in sort of familiar surroundings. It was good to take a break from the kind of highly organized riding that I mostly do. At one end of Sunset Cliffs is a parking area for trails. I wonder where they go. After descending Hill Rd, I discovered that Cabrillo Monument was to my right and Pt. Loma to my left. Even the ride from Pt. Loma back to Old Town (along Rosecrans Blvd) had an element of strangeness to it. The Marine Corp Recruiting Depot, that used to be a huge barrier between Rosecrans and the harbor, seems to have been transformed or partly transformed into malls and housing. There seemed to be roads into and through this area where before there were only fences and gates protected by guards. Exploration of this area will have to wait for another trip.