Monday, March 31, 2008

Bicycling in Oceanside California

Ever since I got my first Bike I have ridden the streets of Oceanside. Now called a beach cruiser I rode my Schwinn fat tired bike in 1958 up and down The Strand and Hill Street (Coast Highway) to explore all a nine year old could. By the time I was twelve I was cruising a non-descript ten speed. I made my first cross-county trip OK to Escondido and back alone. I was wheeling wherever I could. I rode bikes until I could drive in 1965. It wasn't until about twenty years ago that the Bike bug hit me again. I rode borrowed beach cruisers until I started going inland and up lots of hills away from the flat coastal plain. I looked into and bought a Schwinn beach cruiser with a seven speed hub. It was a perfect match, I could cruise The Strand and climb inland no sweat.
Oceanside is like many other beach communities with lots of traffic when the sun is shining. it also has some pretty cool trails
The City also a has a Dasini Blue Bike Program that loans out bike at no cost to the rider. One of Oceanside's best trails is the San Luis Rey River path a Class one trail. Of course our beach area and primarily The Strand and Harbor are great areas for the occasional rider and kids to ride.
The 101 Cafe has the Coolest Bike Rack which is a ten foot long bicycle for two ( see above ) where you can leave your bikes and enjoy all the eighty year old joint has to offer. Its sits at Coast Highway and Wisconsin Street where you can cruise directly to the Beach .
Enjoy your ride.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Looking good for the Ford Ironman Tomorrow along the beach in Oceanside

Every racers dream is cool weather on race day. Today, the day before the Ford Ironman in Oceanside it was 51 degrees at 5:30 AM and 56 degrees at 8:45 AM and that should mean good things for tomorrows race. I have some experience in marathons and know how much I dreaded hot race days. The course hugs the coast for the most part and should finish up under 67 degrees tomorrow.
It is awesome looking over the setup for an Ironman. The huge tents for changing after the swim along side the bike racks setup for thousands participants. This is quite a spectacle and if you can you should go and check it out. Look to the Ironman website for information about where to view the race best. If you want to experience a Carbo Load meal like the participants you can check out the Spaghetti at the 101 Cafe.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oceanside History

Oceanside became a town because the extension of the Transcontinental Railroad was planned to come from the Colton, Riverside area to San Diego.
Before that time Indians once roamed through the coastal plain along the streams and rivers in search of food for thousands of years. It wasn't until Spanish explorers led the expedition up 'Alta' California from Mexico to found the Missions that created a stronghold on this new land in 1769. It marked the beginning when Europeans came to settle our area.
In the 1880's the train was planned and built to accommodate the anticipated travelers from across the country. When these travelers stopped in our community some became owners. Some speculated and others stayed, many built beach cottages. The train remained the dominant transportation link until the time of Henry Ford's Model T. Cars would change the landscape of our community and drive demand for more services and create the need for more housing.
Once drivers discovered the coast route between Los Angeles and San Diego Oceanside became an important stopping place for autoist. The car culture in California drove the need for highways and the coastal route soon became US Highway 101. The popularity of the car has changed our state from a small agricultural based economy to the sixth largest economy in the world and has created endless miles of driving adventures.
Oceanside is now a community of 180,000 and with a harbor, miles of sandy beaches and a storied past is poised to make to make history for many decades to come.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Woodies on the 101

You soon discover the surf culture in San Diego County when you spot your first Woodie. You are more likely to see a completely restored car than the ones that cruised along the old 101 Highway with surfboards hanging out the back window in the sixties. There is something about their look that takes you back to your youth and makes you long for the beach.
Maybe it is the simpler times or that you could spend more time enjoying your friends that make you reminisce of days gone by.
If you cruise the 101 and see a special bus with an image of a classic Woodie you would be checking out the 101 bus that travels between Oceanside and La Jolla.
The North County Transit District partnered with the Highway 101 Association to put two of these unique rides on the 101. Woodies might not be unique to the coast, but they just fit the picture of the California Surf Culture to a T.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cities along the US Highway 101

Where can you find the largest number of photos or post cards of cities along the Historic US Highway 101, at the 101 Cafe's website and you will also find out about the Highway's history. The site is meant to give out as much information as possible and is updated occasionally with new photos and other historic information.
The links it has will take you to sites that speak to, preserve and promote the 101 and will lead you to a site that features El Camino Real Bells
The Cafe's website also features links to major attractions throughout Southern California.

Special Events are part of Oceanside

The 2008 Ford Ironman Oceanside California begins the season of Special Events in Oceanside March 29, 2008. There is little question the weather and the Pacific Ocean play an important part in the events that are attracted to Oceanside.
I believe there may be more surf contest; youth, Junior High School, High School, religious, fire, police, amateurs, pro, longboard and short board just to mention a few. The surf contest also use many of our beaches; South Pier, North Pier, South Jetty Harbor Beach and North Jetty Harbor Beach to name a few. These events are great eye candy for those wanting excitement.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring is the thing this morning

Spring days in Oceanside bring clear Blue sky's more often than not. As I walked this morning I could not help seeing the change from dark nest to the Spring Blue that I have come to know in Oceanside. It comes with a price, it is pretty cool. Sunrise at the beach is worth dressing warm for and getting up early. At 4:00 AM walking along the Strand next to the sand there are no other joggers or walkers. Not until a little before 5:00 AM do those seeking to exercise or comuning with nature arrive, but from then on you will see lots of folks enjoying the beach including surfers . It is quite a show if you consider all the surf spots in Oceanside 3 1/2 miles of beach, a spot for everyone. Now that Spring Break has begun you will see crowds all during the daylight hours.
Of course our sunsets now coming later with daylight savings time in place are just as spectactular as ever. I know that this is just one more small piece that make me the Californian I am.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Beach'n 101 Cruise Returns for 2008

Beach'n 101 Cruise III will mark the third year antique, classic, hot rods, muscle cars and customs will cruise along the beautiful coast line of San Diego. This event was started to bring these incredible vehicles to the coast and show off Historic US Highway 101, the "Mother Road of California." The drive between Oceanside and La Jolla affords looks at the very different communities of Oceanside , Carlsbad , Encinitas , Solana Beach , Del Mar and La Jolla .
The Highway 101 Association the sponsor group is dedicated to preserve and promote the Historic Highway in California and has worked hard to make San Diego North a showpiece of accomplishments of their work. The Association depends upon support by the County of San Diego and the communities where they work as well as individuals.
For those interested in the Cruise go to www.drivethe101 website for information and applications. This years event is September 7, 2008. Hope to see you there to be seen or to be seen.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Visiting San Diego North

It might be overwhelming to visit a new area unless you have the right contacts. I have been to all the places people search out so I can tell you about them. Today we can search for information on the net and do research at our leisure. So I will give you some help finding the right place to go to plan your trip.

If you plan to stay in Oceanside you will find it to be the center of the most popular attractions and going North South and East will be a short drive to these favorite spots.

Every good plan needs to start with a good foundation and the California Welcome Center in Oceanside is that start. You might decide to cruise the Historic 101 from Downtown Oceanside and stop first at the California Surf Museum then you could choose the Quail Botanical Gardens . If you really want a water theme then continue South to the Birch Aquarium . No trip to San Diego would be complete without a stop at SeaWorld , The San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park.

Continuing from Oceanside if you have young children you have to stop at Legoland and depending if your in our area in the summer check out the San Diego County Fair . Maybe you have a need to see our famous Mission San Luis Rey, King of the Missions.

There is no trip to Southern California without a stop at Disneyland about an hour North of Oceanside.

If you need help getting your trip planned then go to San Diego North Convention and Visitor Bureau for help.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Old Town San Diego on Historic Highway 101

It may be hard to believe, but Old Town San Diego had a highway through it. The US Highway 101 went right up San Diego Avenue from the beginning until it was replaced by the new location at Pacific Highway.
In this photo you will see the street improvements that we next to the Estudio House in this picture. It was promoted as Ramona's House after the publication of Helen Hunt Jackson's Book Ramona . Of course there were dozens of properties given the title.
It was not until the State purchased the Old Town property that the street was officially closed to traffic.

Sprinter Rail Service Begins

What a great ride! The Sprinter ride was quiet and smooth. It takes less than an hour to get from Downtown Oceanside to Downtown Escondido. A group of us decided to try the first day service and boarded the 11:03 AM train. The train pulled into the station practically full. We all got seats, but we rode the trip backwards. We headed for lunch at the La Tapatia Mexican Restaurant which was built in 1937. Margaritas, Coronas and good food were on tap for our leisurely lunch. The La Tapatia is only three blocks from the Station in Escondido. I can see by this first trip the Sprinter will be a nice vehicle for adventures to our neighboring communities. We met a crowded train station upon our return after lunch. We did have top wait for two trains to board for our trip back to the coast. I would not expect the ride in the future to be crowded because each train will hold 176 people sitting and standing. I can see smooth sailing for the Sprinter service in the future and look forward to more adventures.

Friday, March 7, 2008

California's Mother Road

In 1925 the Federal Government was faced with the dilemma of how to make a national US Highway system easily understood. The trend had been to name Highways after presidents or areas and this muliplied by all the Highways which cross the country would challenge even the best memory. They finally agreed upon a numerical system, which desiginated East-West Highways with even numbers and North-South Highway with odd numbers. This system was adopted, but took years for the signs to appear on most highways. The West Coast US Highway would be designated as US Highway 101. Then as now the large majority of people lived in the coastal area and this new highway would mimic the explosive growth of the Sunshine State.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Torrey Pines is stunning as it hugs the coastal cliffs between La Jolla and Del Mar. It has always been a place of beauty and enchantment. The oldest image shows a car driving up what is now the park road, but once was the coastal route which made up the early US Highway 101 between San Diego and Los Angeles. The color view to the South leaving Del Mar is almost exactly the same as today. No development has taken place to steal away this view. The same view in black and what shows what happens when to many cars clog the route. The last image is an early photo of the grade leaving Del Mar to the North.
The only section of National Register Designated US Highway 101 is in Torrey Pines State Reserve. It is a narrow ribbon of concrete in the Southern part of the Park.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

King of the Missions

Mission San Luis Rey in the beautiful San Luis Rey Valley of Oceanside draws thousands of visitors each year to enjoy its Majesty. By far this mission was the largest of all built by the Spanish Franciscan Friars. Returned to the church by President Lincoln after it had been seculaized by the Mexican govenment in the 1800's.
It has a museum to explore and a gift shop for those looking for souviniers and religous gifts.

Monday, March 3, 2008

March 3, 2008 What a great day at the beach. Southern California is known for its surf culture. Hazy sunny days year round. Here in Oceanside we enjoy our 3 1/2 miles of wide sandy Beach's crowned with the longest pier on the West Coast. Cruise on The Strand inches from the sand with the beautiful Pacific Oceanside on the West and some classic old beach cottges on the East. Remember there are no bad beach days.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Mexico to Canada

Us Highway 101 in its full splendor began at the Mexican Border and ran North through Califonia, Oregon and Washington next to Canada.