Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
Weekend road closures to affect Escondido
Amgen Tour of California bike race kicks off this Sunday
A host of road closures have been announced that will affect traffic and parking this weekend (May 11 and 12) in Escondido in order to accommodate the Amgen Tour of California road bicycle race as the 102.6-mile Stage 1 of the Tour gets underway.
Areas closed beginning at 6 a.m. Saturday and running through midnight Sunday include:
Grand Avenue between Escondido Boulevard and Ivy Street Maple Street between Valley Parkway and Second Avenue (including Maple Street Plaza) Municipal parking lot #1 on Valley Parkway between Broadway and Maple Street Broadway between Grand Avenue and the south side of Valley Parkway
Additional locations closed Sunday only beginning at 6 a.m. are:
Broadway between Woodward Avenue and the north side of Valley Parkway Municipal parking lot #2 on the corner of Maple Street and 2nd Avenue Municipal parking lot #4 at the corner of Kalmia Street and 2nd Avenue
Temporary road closures on Sunday will also be as follows, and will run for approximately 45 minutes:
Juniper Street between Grand and El Dorado El Dorado between Juniper and Bear Valley Parkway Bear Valley Parkway from El Dorado south to San Pasqual Road Valley Center Grade (north and south) Lake Wohlford Road to East Valley Parkway East Valley Parkway between Lake Wohlford Road to El Norte Parkway El Norte Parkway between East Valley Parkway and Escondido Boulevard Escondido Boulevard between El Norte Parkway and Grand Avenue (Note: Valley Parkway between Hickory and Escondido Boulevard will also close temporarily)
Race-day attractions for spectators will include a free kids’ zone at the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, a “food truck village” on Broadway between Woodward and Valley Parkway, live music (starting at 11:30 a.m.) and a free 9 a.m. Crossfit session in Grape Day Park, and “lifestyle festivals” on Broadway between Grand and Valley Parkway and along Maple Street between Second and Grand.
Race promoters recommend the following viewing spots for spectators:
Downtown Escondido - It doesn’t get any better than Grand Avenue and Broadway where the start and finish will take place. If you want to get a look at the riders and their bikes, or snag a photo or autograph, this is the place. Most of the riders will start warming up an hour or more before the start and you can often times catch them riding around some of the local streets in small groups or individually. The race sign-in area is also another good place to get a good look at the riders. Also, check out the Lifestyle Festival, which will host entertainment, food and refreshments, big-screen race viewing, vendors and more from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Ramona (Main St.) - First Sprint of the Tour! Dudley's Bakery - Long straight away coming to you as they turn on to 76 Hwy. Mesa Grande Climb – Three-quarters of the way up you will be able to see racers in the valley and then coming up the grade. First King of the Mountain point. East Grade Ascent- Scenic spots along the way up are great. At the top, the second King of the Mountain points. Cole Grade Road Ascent - Best climbing spot, last categorized climb, exhausted cyclist, 6.9% grade average. Lake Wohlford Road Descent - Speeding down at 45 to 50 mph. Finish Line - Everyone wants to see the finish but it will be very crowded (10-12 people deep). If that’s what you want to see, then get there early, stake out your turf, and stay there. Escondido Boulevard also is a good place. It’s long, wide, and flat, so you can see the riders coming from a long way off and watch them as they pass. The closer you are to the turn onto Grand Avenue, the more exciting it will be. It will also be more crowded in that area (3-4 people deep).
After leaving Escondido the Tour heads north for a Murrieta-to-Palm Springs route, then moves toward the coast, winding up in Santa Rosa on May 19 after covering nearly 729 miles.
More like this:
- Valley Center Bike Ride — March 25, 2009
- Lake Wohlford — June 11, 2008
- Stomach Space — June 30, 2005
- Ramble amid the fast-disappearing rural landscape of Twin Oaks Valley on a 12-mile bicycle ride. — Sept. 30, 1999
- Loop through Woods Valley and Valley Center on this bicycle tour out of Escondido. — Oct. 22, 1998