Dana Point Gran Prix

Sunday, May 6, 7:00am-6:00pm

Dana Point is host to the 6th annual Dana Point Gran Prix of Cycling, an all-day affair with fun for everyone, and did I mention racing.  USA Cycling NCC sanctioned, this racing event raises funds for local and national charities.  The racing is criterium style, meaning that there is a closed loop course of about a mile or so, and an elevation gain of 100′ or thereabouts for one loop.  Racers are on the course for set periods of time depending on their racing level or category.  Criterium racing involves strategy, teamwork, legs and lungs, and luck and skill.  Whoever can get their bike across the line at the end of the time period wins! Full details at the icon above.

Here’s a picture of the course:

Northbound riders through Dana Point shouldn’t have much trouble getting through, just be aware of extra traffic (with bike racks!) and racers warming up outside the course.

Southbound riders may see a sign like the one below so be careful! (no comment on the placement)

Traffic will be reduced from 3 lanes to 1 as the Pacific Coast Highway becomes
Del Prado. Chain link fencing will separate the traffic and race lanes so getting through to Golden Lantern could be an aggravation if you stay on Del Prado. There isn’t much room what with the “fence footies” sticking out and all the former 3 lanes of impatient drivers now reduced to one.  And did I mention the lights seem long?

You can enter the race venue at Amber Lantern and use the alleyway to checkout all the action at the vendor booths and beer garden.  Then make your way to Old Golden Lantern and Del Prado and be on your way!  Of course there’s also another way…

The picture below shows the green northward route, and the blue alternate southward route.


Warning: Cove Rd. is steep(-18%) and the manhole covers are in all the wrong spots, however the view of the harbor before the descent is a Kodak (rip) moment.  Below is the alternate in blue arrows.

Without further ado, from PCH south:
R on Green Lantern
S at Stop Sign
L at Cove (SS)
L at DP Harbor Dr. – Enjoy a scenic cruise around the harbor but stay out of the door zone and beware joggers coming at you in the bike lane!  (rant for another day)
S at Golden Lantern
R at Park Lantern and follow through the park (water and r/r here) across the bridge
R at stop sign – just after bridge – continue
S at stop sign – ride through the parking lot until it ends; continue on walkway
L where walkway ends (at Beach), and cross the RR tracks
R onto K-railed bikepath that parallels PCH / 101.

Happy Trails and Tailwinds on your journey!

Sprocket sez:
How awesome would it be for a tourer to show up at just the right time, unpack, enter and win a race, pack up and continue south? “Uhhh, yeah I started out in Fairbanks on my way to Ushuaia and saw this little get together so I…”. Awesomely_Epic_Win!   The timing would be critical (for age grouping) so the chances of actually having the stars and planets aligning for something like that would be pretty slim.  Good thing too, as the local racers would soon be putting their bikes into the chipper, and hanging up their cleats, thus depressing the local bike scene and on and on and on. /fantasy?