Pine Creek Challenge Information
Hi Friends! Yes, it is finally here. The 6th Annual Pine Creek Challenge is October 9th, 2016, and it is going to be an awesome day!
If you have not seen the flyer, you can download above. At 7:30am, the ride will start from the Descanso Park n Ride. The temp could be very cold at the start, so bring layers. Trust me, you will not be cold once you are on Pine Creek! I have done this climb in 22 degrees, and I was not cold. The first aid station will be at the Mt. Laguna Store (mile 20). After the 16 mile descent and trip out to Kitchen, the temps should warm up for the 3,400 foot climb up Kitchen. Kitchen is an incredibly fun climb. You can give us your clothes at the Kitchen Creek lower gate, which is Aid Station Number Two (mile 40). We will meet you again at the Mt. Laguna Store (Aid Station Number Three) at mile 50. From here it is approximately a 25 mile descent, down Sunrise HWY, across HWY 79 after turning LEFT on HWY 79, down Engineers Rd. (yes, we actually descend Engineers Rd.), and then down Boulder Creek to the saddle, which is where Aid Station Number Four will be set up. From here you will climb up Boulder Creek Rd. until it hits Pine Hills Rd., where you will U-turn, come down past the Aid Station again, then hit the final climb, Engineers Rd., for one of the most beautiful climbs in San Diego. After the sustained 13% top out, which is a little tough after 9,500 feet of climbing, and turning RIGHT on HWY 79, we will meet you at Aid Station Number Five, which is at the Lake Cuyamaca Store. Get some caffeine here for the dangerous descent down HWY 79 back to the cars.
This is a fun ride, not a race, and we will have some slower riders. We will do our best with our SAG vehicles to help those riders that are too far off the back, or just want to punt. Remember, we buy food! Please RSVP with an email to us (see flyer).
Warning: This is an extremely dangerous ride through very remote places. If you do not have a USAC license, make sure you get a one day license when you register so that you have the back-up insurance. The nearest hospital is over 1 hour away and the paramedics will call a very expensive helicopter if you are seriously injured. Here are some of the dangers of this ride:
• Crudely paved forest roads open to traffic, barely wide enough for one car, but with two way traffic.
• Sections of dirt, gravel, rocks (thousands of them), and huge potholes on Pine Creek.
• Long, deep, tire-eating cracks on Sunrise HWY during 40+MPH descents.
• Zero bike lane, skinny roads, and 60+MPH traffic on Sunrise HWY and HWY 79.
• Lots of bugs and bees, including potential swarms.
• Lots of hairpin turns during very steep and fast descents.
• Sustained sections of double digit grades on the climbs, including 20% corners, and 10,000 feet of climbing.
DO NOT GHOST RIDE. REGISTER AND GET THE INSURANCE!
Pine Creek Challenge Route Details:
Start: HWY 79 Park and Ride, right off HWY 8 at Descanso. We will meet there at 6:30am. Peddling at 7:30am. To get there, just take HWY 8 East about 10 minutes past Alpine. Exit HWY 79 and turn left. The Park and Ride will be on your left after going under the freeway. Just to warn you, it is a long way out there so plan accordingly.
Leg One: Descanso, Guatay, Pine Creek, Mt. Laguna Store. Only 20 miles, but a very tough 20 miles with 3,500 feet of climbing and 20% grades. If you want to punt from here, it is 18 miles back to the car down Sunrise HWY, through Pine Valley, up and over Guatay, leaving your ride at 38 miles with 4,100 feet of climbing.
Leg Two: Descend Sunrise South, Old HWY 80, Kitchen Creek, Mt. Laguna Store (2nd time). 33 miles, 3,500 more feet of climbing. If you want to punt from here, it is 18 miles back to the car down Sunrise HWY, through Pine Valley, up and over Guatay, leaving your ride at 72 miles with 7,600 feet of climbing. Alternatively, you can also punt when you top out on Kitchen via turning left instead of right, which would leave your ride at 67 miles with 7,200 feet of climbing.
Leg Three: Descend Sunrise North. Left at HWY 79, to Lake Cuyamaca, right on Engineers Rd, right on Boulder Creek Rd., climb up to Pine Hills Rd. and u-turn (if you U-turn early, you will not get 100 miles or 10,000 feet of climbing). Climb back up Engineers Rd, turn right at HWY 79 and stop at the Lake Store around mile 87. 34 miles, 2,800 more feet of climbing. Yes, you are tired now and Leg Four is dangerous. Get some caffeine at the store. Alternatively, you can skip the Engineers Rd. climb and just head back to the start. Finishing the ride this way, will put the ride at 83 miles with 8,000 feet of climbing.
Leg Four: Descend HWY 79, Descanso, and back to the cars. 15 miles. This is a very dangerous descent with no bike lane, hairpins, lots of two-way traffic and numerous sharp downhill corners that are easy to over-shoot. Be careful. Despite the distance and the difficult climbing, we are determined to keep this a joy ride and not do any hammering. Hammering Pine and/or Kitchen will only kill you on Engineers, which has a very sustained 13% finish, so don’t do it.
Listed below is the route sheet. Please note, we did not use decimal points, so these numbers are approximate and could be off by a half a mile here and there. These will be available on-site as well. Looking forward to an awesome day of climbing together!
Mile Turn Street Notes
0 Straight Old HWY 80
6 Left Pine Creek Road Turn bottom of hill
15 Right Sunrise HYW
20 STOP AID STATION #1 Mt. Laguna Store
20 Straight Sunrise HYW Watch for Rd. Cracks
30 Bend Left After Crossing FWY
34 STOP STOP SIGN - STOP or TICKET Cops Watching!
37 Left Kitchen Creek Road
42 Stop AID STATION #2 At the Gate 1/2 way up climb
48 Right Sunrise HYW
51 STOP AID STATION #3 Mt. Laguna Store
65 Left HWY 79 After long descent. Do not turn right and go to Julian!
67 Right Engineer Rd (After Yaqui Rd) 1/2 way around lake
68 Straight Fun, but Very Dangerous Decent with Cars and Hairpins!
73 Right Boulder Creek Rd (at the Fire Station)
74 Straight PASS THE AID STATION Unless your dry, skip us and hit us on the way back
76 U-TURN Pine Hills Rd (up to & back) Tire must hit Pine Hills Rd B4 U-turn
76 Straight Descend Boulder Creek Dangerous. Careful!
78 STOP AID STATION #4
84 Right HWY 79 Single file. No bike lane
85 STOP AID STATION #5 At Lake Store
97 Right Old HWY 80 (2nd Rt. Past Market) Almost there.
101 FINISH AID STATION #6 - Yummy Food! You did it!