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Riding in San Diego(5 posts)

Riding in San Diegojrcoll
May 22, 2001 4:22 PM
I'll be down in San Diego for several days visiting family and I'd like to do some riding while there. I don't think I'll be able to get out of 'family' stuff so my riding will be early am (5 or 6). Most of the organized training rides seem to start around 8 or 9. Does anyone have a good training route they'd like to share with me. I'll be in the Mission Bay area and would like to ride out rather than drive someplace. But I'll take whatever I can get.

Thanks for your help.
You're in bicycle heaven ...Humma Hah
May 22, 2001 4:40 PM
... I just got back to Virginia after two years there. You can ride virtually anywhere you want in San Diego -- excellent biking conditions compared to Northern Virginia.

I have, right here beside me, a neat little sheet of paper called the San Diego Region Bike Map, published by RideLink, part of SanDag. My boss gave it to me, not sure where he picked it up, possibly the downtown train station. It is a modified roadmap, which shows recommend bike routes, bike lanes, and secret bike paths that don't show up on regular road maps. See if you can snag one of these.

The coast road is ridable, but traffic in Pacific Beach up thru La Jolla is horrid on weekends. Not dangerous, just annoyingly slow and in your way, lots of shoppers and beachgoers. North of La Jolla is not as bad, and you can ride all the way to Ocean Beach and back if you're inclined. The conjested area is loaded with bike shops, many specializing in beach cruisers, and many bike rental shops.

One option, parallel to I-5, starting at Balboa Ave, is a road tucked in just east of the interstate so close that maps don't usually show it. I recently mistakenly said this was Morena, but it is between Morena and I-5. It goes north, passing a Mountain Bike Warehouse (call them for directions if you want to find this road) and Blacksmith Wheels, and then dead ends -- unless you're on a bike, in which case there's a nice paved bike path going further north. I believe that dumps you on Gilman Dr., from which you can find Torrey Pines Rd. and continue north. You're past the worst conjestion.

Torrey Pines is the worst hill on the route. Coming south, it climbs about 400 ft at about a 6% grade. Flatlanders find it a killer, mountain riders think its a bump, and I routinely rode it on a singlespeed cruiser.

Check the bike shops for scheduled events. July 4 is a nice 50-mile fun run called the Scripps Ranch Old Pros.
re: Riding in San DiegoLive2_Bike
May 22, 2001 5:12 PM
I think the road is Santa Fe Rd. I do this ride a lot only I start downtown, ride up along the bay into Pacific Beach. I then head up Mt. Soledad, there are 5 ways up that dam hill and I've done them all. You can ride as far as you want North on 101, very pretty. Torrey Pines has two ways up, heading up Highway 101 or going into the park. Inside the park is steeper and shorter, try both if you have time/energy. I have the same map Humma Hah is referring to, I'll check tonight and see if I can figure out where I got it.
That dam hill ...Humma Hah
May 22, 2001 6:28 PM
... I wasn't gonna have him go up that puzzle palace. The map in question don't do it justice -- I ran a high-magnification topo map using DeLorme before going in. I went in from the south on a gentle grade, but went down on the west side which averages something like 15% and much steeper in places. Fortunately, the cruiser has 3 working brakes, and I used 'em all.

Mt. Soledad is not outrageously high, about 700 ft, and not too steep from the south. There's a good view from the top (I got to watch part of the airshow at Miramar from there last year). But it is a wicked maze of residential streets, and easy to get lost.
I was out there in April ...bianchi boy
May 22, 2001 9:13 PM
Visiting relatives in Mission Hills area, as well. First thing, go by a local bike shop (I think Bike USA is where I went) and pick up a map of bike trails and routes in the area; it's free. The best place I found for daily short rides was Fiesta Island, which is an old dredge-fill island in the bay. There is a causeway connecting it to the shore, and a road running around the perimeter. It's almost exactly 4 miles around, taking the long loop. From Mission Hills, it's about a 3 mile ride down there, and there are bike lanes on the busy roads. So you can ride down to Fiesta Island, do 4 laps and end up with a 22 mile round trip. It would be a great place to do time trials or intervals.

Another nice ride I took was out to the Point Loma lighthouse, which was about 20-24 miles round trip from Mission Hills. You'll need one of those bike maps to figure out a route, but there are lots of ways to do it. I took the bike path along the river down to "Dog Beach" and then cut through neighborhoods up to the main road out to the lighthouse. There's a bike lane on the side of the road just about the whole way. There's an entrance fee at the park entrance, but you can turn around there if you don't want to pay it. The park is worth a visit though.

I also rode with one of the local bike clubs one weekend day from San Diego to La Jolla and back, about 35 miles round trip. Nice ride but more traffic in a few places. We stopped for a nice break at a bagel shop, the Busy Bee or something like that, in La Jolla.

I rode 130 miles the week I was out there, so I obviously found plenty of places to ride. I wish we had bike trails and lanes like that in North Carolina. BTW, make the trip out to Torrey Pines -- to hike if nothing else. I didn't ride out there, but hiked from the visitors center down to the beach and back, and it was a fantastic trail. Lots of nice views and wildflowers blooming. It was worth taking an afternoon off for that.