When is the last time you went on a long-distance bike ride? No, not from your house to the liquor store, I mean the kind of ride that takes you hours to finish and covers half the county.
San Diego County is filled with hundreds of miles of roads that are perfect for bicycling so what are you waiting for? This article is not directed so much at you beach cruiser types, but more for you people who are aspiring to join the Spandex short-wearing overachievers who ride in large packs and take up valuable roadways on Sunday mornings. You know who you are.
So where do you start? Try a place like Nytro Multisport in Encinitas. They offer a couple of different training rides every Saturday morning for intermediate to elite level bikers. If you jump in the elite level group, keep your eyes open for the many professional cyclists who participate each week. The group can often be seen biking in large numbers throughout coastal Encinitas, Leucadia and Carlsbad.
If you are more of a mountain bike person, Nytro also does a fun Thursday night bike ride around the trails of North County. The Gravel Ride meets at Nytro at 6 p.m. and takes riders on a 90-minute, 23-mile ride on Encinitas and La Costa roads and off-road trails. The group leaves at 6:10 sharp and is done around 7:45 so bring your water bottle and smile and be ready to make some new friends.
Address: 8715 Villa La Jolla Drive, La Jolla
Phone: (858) 452-8842
Address: 940 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas
Phone: (760) 632-0006
Another great option for you to check out is the website socalcycling.com, which is dedicated to road biking and has a deep calendar of rides taking place throughout Southern California.
They have a ride every Wednesday that meets at 8:05 a.m. at La Costa Avenue and Coast Highway, or if you’re running a little late, meet them at 8:15 a.m. at Starbucks in downtown Carlsbad. The ride will take you from North County all the way to San Clemente as you bike through the empty paths on Camp Pendleton. This is an intermediate/advanced group so bring your “A” game, as you will cover 45 miles in just over 2½ hours.
Maybe you’re not interested in the North County group rides and want something more focused on the San Diego.
Check out the guys at UC Cyclery and join their weekend rides in conjunction with the San Diego Bicycle Club. Bicyclists meet every Saturday and Sunday at 8:30 a.m. (first timers meet at 8:20 a.m. to go through a quick orientation).
The riders are broken up into smaller groups to help focus everyone on honing the skills they want to improve. The ride is a fast-paced 47-mile route throughout the city and paths of San Diego. If you have been wanting to try to up your skill level on a road bike, get in there and give it a go, you just may find a new passion.
As a lifelong San Diegan, Ken Lewis has surfing and ocean life in his DNA. A 30-year surfer himself, Lewis has worked in the surf and skate industry for most of his career.