Amgen Bike Tour comes through Ramona Sunday; expect traffic delays this weekend

By Karen Brainard

Drivers in Ramona should be prepared for rolling road closures on State Route 78 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, when the 2013 Amgen Tour of California professional bike race comes through downtown Ramona.

Caltrans also cautions that there could be traffic  delays on State Routes 67 and 78 between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, as cyclists and race officials may be in the area.

The race will begin in Escondido around 11:15 a.m. Sunday. Cyclists will ride through San Pasqual Valley and come up Route 78 into Ramona. They will turn left on 78/Main Street and turn at Third Street to journey down Old Julian Highway and eventually connect back with Route 78 toward Santa Ysabel.

With crowds expected to come through Ramona to see the cyclists, as well as ground and aerial media coverage, Ramona Chamber of Commerce has asked businesses to help promote the town that day. Ramona Rotary Club will have U.S. flags lining the street.

Kirk Newell, owner of Kirk’s Bike Shop in Ramona, is excited about the race and has planned a storewide sale with all bikes on sale, and discounts on clothing and accessories.

“We’re expecting a lot of bike enthusiasts in town,” said Newell.

He’s also trying to have a flat screen TV in the store to air any live coverage of the race.

Newell said the first sprint of the race is scheduled in front of Ramona’s Town Hall so there will be an official presence and photo finish there. A race like the Amgen tour has two or three sprints, he explained, and certain racers compete for sprint points and the money that comes with it.

“The biggest sprint, of course, is at the finish,” said Newell.

Racers are expected to cross that first sprint line between 11:59 a.m. and 12:11 p.m., according to the Amgen website.

“It flashes through pretty fast,” commented Newell.

He said about 160 riders in a big pack will take up the whole road. Team cars follow with spare bicycles and wheels, he added.

“It’s a real interesting spectacle to see,” said Newell.

The road should open soon after the team cars  are through, he said.

Other businesses in town plan to have sidewalk sales, including Unicorn Books and  Gifts, said Chamber Secretary Sally Westbrook. Sun Valley Florist will have a Mother’s Day special, and Bonnie’s Nook will have complimentary refreshments.

The chamber will be selling bottled water at strategic places along Main Street, and a food vendor will be at Sixth and Main streets in the Farmers Insurance parking lot.

Once the race leaves town, Newell said he plans to hop on his motorcycle and head on Route 78 while the cyclists are on Old Julian Highway and catch them in Santa Ysabel.

From Santa Ysabel the racers will turn left onto State Route 79, head north for a few miles and ascend Mesa Grande Road to State Route 76. The route takes them up the East Grade Road of Palomar Mountain, about a 12-mile climb.

After descending Palomar Mountain, racers will head east on State Route 76 through Pauma Valley,  climb Cole Grade Road to Valley Center, and take Lake Wohlford Road back into Escondido.

The cyclists are expected to finish at Grand Avenue and Broadway between 3 and 4 p.m. The entire route, according to Amgen, is 102.6 miles.

For more about the race, see or

Related posts:

  1. Chamber plans to promote town during Amgen bike race
  2. Professional cycling race puts Ramona in its route
  3. Traffic delays on Poway roads to start
  4. Eastbound Poway Grade to close four hours for bike ride Sunday
  5. County, planning group invite public to tour emergency evacuation route

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Posted by Staff on May 7 2013. Filed under Featured Story, Local Spotlight, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

9 Comments for “Amgen Bike Tour comes through Ramona Sunday; expect traffic delays this weekend”

  1. stephen strappelli

    I used to live in Escondido so I know what a fantastic race rout this will be. I am proud to say that my brother in law will be helping to direct traffic during the event. When I was in HS at Orange Glen High School, my buddies and I used to ride our bikes up Lake Wohllford Road then circle back Through Valley Center and back into Escondido. We would do this after track practice just for extra training. The grade up to Palomar Mt. is a nasty one. We never did that one! Good Luck to all and have a great time!

    Stephen D. Strappelli of Denver Colorado

  2. Judith

    Could you possibly post a MAP of that bike ride, so those of us who WANT to AVOID those roads, CAN do so?

    • Alice

      Judith, my husband went to the cemetary and now he's been stuck without any way out. We didn't see any signs and now I'm trying to find out when this mess will be over. This is absolutely insane to hold this town hostage like this!

  3. Judith

    Could you possibly post a MAP of the route, so that those of use who WANT to AVOID this traffic situation may DO so? PLEASE.

    • guest

      They are coming up 78 out of Escondido, travelling north out on Main, going right on Third (turns into Old Julain) and heading up to Palomar from there.

  4. hal9000

    WHO CARES! This is their "sport". It's Mothers Day on Sunday. Who wants Main Street and surrounding area shut down for a bike race. No parking on Main? I'm tired of obnoxious bicycle and motorcycle riders coming to Ramona to practice their sport. Do it in your own community.

  5. laurie

    we are her visiting from utah and would like to know about the car show also i think this would b exciting111111111111111111111

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