I am coming to San Diego next week for a conference. I am going to rent a road bike and I hope to ride a couple of times - maybe 20-40 miles each. Can anyone recommend some good rides? I am trying to find some good coastline rides. If I were going to play golf, I would try to play Torrey Pines South, If I were going to go on a good ride, I should ride ___________ - you fill in the blank. Any links to maps would be appreciated as well.
Easiest thing to do is park at the bottom (north side) of the Torrey Pines hill and ride your bike along the coast as far as you wish. If you want to get some hills/mountains routes, you have to drive inland about 30-45 minutes. The hills of Escondido where I live by are enough hills to get your heart going and legs sore (pending pace).
Up Hwy 101 from Torrey Pines is a great ride almost all of the way. There are three exceptions.
1) northbound on 101, just entering Oceanside. The bike lane disappears, and there is a right lane with traffic merging into the lane you're on. Just take the entire left lane until you're sure it's safe to move to the right. Then, as soon as you get into Oceanside, on the first street, take a left, then a right, then go down to Cassidy, and then over to Pacific. 101 through Oceanside is a nightmare.
2) southbound 101 through Leucadia. No bike lane, lots of traffic, dangerous DZ's. It's fine, however, early on a weekend morning. I find it's generally safer to take the whole right lane thru Leucadia, even if some motorists get pissed.
3) southbound 101, where it meets Jimmy Durante Blvd, just as you enter Del Mar. The lane to your right merges, and you're going up a hill at the same time, so it can get very hairy. However, if you go right at the stop sign at the bottom of that hill, and hug the coast, you can avoid that mess.
The rest of the ride up the coast is a dream -- good roads, bike lanes much of the way, drivers who are used to bikers, great weather, and fantastic scenery.