The Fallbrook, CA Guacamole Grande

I have derived the altitude information for the 1996 Guacamole Grande 50 mile bicycle ride by painstakingly reading it off the topo maps and reconstructing where the actual roads are now, as opposed to where they were when the topo maps were made. Changes were due to the construction of I-15.

It was clear that this information is badly needed by the people who ride the Guacamole Grande, since at the rest stops the entire discussion centered on the climbs and speculation as to what climbs might be ahead! The following plots refer to the "official" starting and ending points for the 1996 Guacamole Grande. (The official start was at Fallbrook Union High School. The ride officially ended at the Avocado Festival at Main and Alvarado.)

Graph of: Elevation (in feet) versus mileage of the 1996 Guacamole Grande.
(Click on graph for bigger image.)
Graph of Elevation vs. Distance

Graph of: Cumulative percentage for both uphill and downhill parts of the 1996 Guacamole Grande, versus mileage
(Click on graph for bigger image.)

To clarify what this plot shows, consider the points plotted for mile 30. At that point, you have done about 56% of the total miles. (Note that the total mileage is slightly over 50 miles.) You are in much better shape for altitude gain: you have done ~72% of the total gain already, so you only have 1/4 of the total gain to go. Also, you have done ~64% of the total descent at that point.

The total gain and loss for the 1996 Guacamole Grande is 4712 feet altitude gain, with a loss of 4537 feet of altitude, implying of course that you end up at a higher altitude that you started, which is possible since the finish point does not equal the starting point.

The major climbs are given in the following table, where they are ranked by my judgement of their difficulty, based on total elevation gain for the largest two hills, and then on slope for the rest, all of which have roughly the same total elevation gain.

Major Climbs of the 1996 Guacamole Grande

Hill NameMilesAltitude gain (') Slope ('/mile)
Couser Canyon3.4875257
3952.1 600 286
Gopher 0.6 265 442
Rainbow 1.1310 282
Lilac Road 2.0 320 160
Olive Hill 2.4340 142



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Copyright © 1997-1999 by Tom Chester.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
http://sd.znet.com/~schester/fallbrook/bicycling/guacamole_grande.html
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Last update: 11 February 1999.