The First People Populaire

128km/4882ft RUSA Populaire

Start time Saturday May 18, 2024 8:00 am
Time limit 8 hours 32 minutes
Ride ends Saturday May 18, 2024 4:32 pm
Start location Iipay Tipai Kumeyaay Mut Niihepoks, 2829 Juan St, San Diego
Nearest parking Parking is available at the Old Town Transit Center parking lot on Pacific Hwy and other parking lots in the state park.
Map rwgps
Cue sheet PDF cue sheet, XLS cue sheet
Organizers Jonah Gray
Registration infoOnline registration closed on Thursday May 16, 2024 8:30 pm.
Register Brevet has already taken place.
Registered riders There are 19 registered riders.
Geoff Birch
Sea Chen
David Danovsky
Dean Dobberteen
Stephanie Garcia
Jonah Gray
David Horwitt
Takeshi Hosokawa
Tom Kimmelman
Eric Korevaar
Sam Liu
Dave Milsom
Paul Pettyjohn
James Pringle
Max Rosenbloom
Wei Sun
Yungyi Sun
Jaime Sy-quia
Aliya Weise
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Long before Cabrillo first landed in San Diego Harbor in 1542, the Kumayaay are the first people who have been residing in the San Diego region. This populaire will explore our region’s ancestoral past by visiting various parks and centers dedicated to preserving Kumayaay history and heritage.

Mission Gorge

The start will be at the Iipay ~ Tipay Kumeyaay Mut Niihepok – Land of the First People – outdoor exhibit in the Old Town State Historic Park located on the corner of Taylor St and Juan St. When Junipero Serra arrived in 1769, this area was the Kumeyaay village of Kosa’aay, which means “drying out place” in English. On the hill overlooking the village, the Spanish set up the presidio and the original mission, though in 1774 the padres relocated it further inland to have a more reliable source of water along the San Diego River. Cosoy Way on top of Presidio Hill reminds us of the area’s former name.

From the Iipay ~ Tipay Kumeyaay Mut Niihepok, you’ll make your way along the San Diego River through Mission Valley, Allied Gardens and San Carlos to Mission Trails Regional Park where you’ll ride on the Father Junipero Serra Trail (perhaps we should rename it the Dam Trail), a pave road closed to cars through Mission Gorge that will take you to Old Mission Dam. It was built by the Spanish in 1803 to impound water for irrigating the fields around the relocated mission. Mission Trails Regional Park, the largest municiple park in California, was once near the Kumeyaay village Senyaweche where the first people cultivated and gathered the natural resources to sustain and thrive while living along the river. Today the riparian landscape provides a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of mechanized life surrounding it. The park offers an abundance of hiking and mountain biking trails and rock climbing sites. Check out the 5-Peak Challenge. It is worth many return trips to enjoy the natural legacy offered by the park. Before exiting Mission Trails Park, you’ll stop at Kumeyaay Lake Campground entrance to check in as the first control.

A short stint on West Hills Pkwy, you’ll continue on the 52 bike path climbing to the Mission Trails Summit before making your descent into Tierrasanta where you’ll return to urban cycling. Through the neighborhoods of Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch, you’ll reach the Kumeyaay-Ipai Interpretive Center at Pauwai (Poway). The interpretive center is a 5-acre park founded by a partnership with the City of Poway, Friends of the Kumeyaay, and the San Pasqual Band of Indians. 4th graders in San Diego County (or at least in the Poway Unified School District) take school tours at the center as part of their California history curriculum. The center is scheduled to be open on this Saturday.

You’ll make your way toward the coast from Poway through Rancho Santa Fe and Encinitas, passing Black Mountain, to reach the San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center. Though not a Kumayaay historic center, it has on display a replica of a Kumeyaay circular, dome-shaped structure called “awa”. Nick Neely in his book “Alta California”, which recounts his retracing of the Portola Expedition as recorded by Father Juan Crespi, describes his visit to the nature center. Jenny, a member of San Diego Randonneurs, worked as the editor with the author and was instrumental in bringing this book to print.

You’ll take the San Elijo Lagoon bike trail back to Solana Hills and over Torrey Pines to return to Old Town. Due to current construction on Genessee Ave, the return leg has been rerouted to the tried-and-true Rose Canyon and Rose Creek bike path to East Mission Bay Dr.

Please read our accepted proof of passage.