I’m not much of a hill climber, but living in San Diego has conditioned me enough to be a semi-respectable performer up the big hills around here whether I like it or not. I climbed a total of 50,784 meters in 2015, which is pretty much on par with my totals for the past few years. Yeah, San Diego is a hilly place and I do most of my riding in those hills.
One of my favorite climbs is Mt Soledad. I should probably clarify that there are actually several ways to ride to the top – all of which are “insanely difficult” or “doable”. I always choose the doable route, which is the slower and more gradual south side route up Soledad Mountain Rd (from Pacific Beach). I’ve yet to try going up the northern side, and I’m not sure I ever will. It’s much more steep and a bit shorter but I really hate that kind of pain!
I recorded a video of a recent 23 mile ride around San Diego on my 2007 Specialized Allez road bike which includes the Mt Soledad climb and descent. FYI, the climb begins at 23:13, and the descent begins at 42:43:
Also included as part of this ride is a quick little jaunt up Gilman Dr through UCSD just to add on a few more base miles that morning. Just doing the Mt Soledad climb isn’t enough for me on days that I actually have time to ride, so I usually ride around the area a bit once I’m finished just to make it feel like I got a well-rounded workout. And I do have to say that the climb up Gilman Dr to UCSD isn’t so easy – it gets progressively steeper the closer you get to campus, but it’s not a total pain in the you-know-what. It’s always a nice little add-on to any ride that I do often since I live in the area.
One of these days I need to try climbing the northern side of Mt Soledad – and I’ll be sure to record video of it if I do. It’s not going to be pretty, and it’ll probably be a really slow ride with a few stops along the way. But as much as I loathe attempting it, part of me is highly intrigued as well…