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route suggestions for San Diego? (road)

Old 01-08-23, 05:32 PM
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route suggestions for San Diego? (road)

The missus and I will be taking a vacation in March to San Diego CA (staying in the Mission Hills area) and bringing our road bikes. Any suggestions for Must Do routes in the area? Anything from ~30-70 miles distance, 0-100' elevation gain per mile (...although, since it's supposed to be a vacation, maybe more towards the 0'/mile end of the scale than the 100'/mile). Thanks.
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Old 01-08-23, 06:24 PM
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Ride around San Diego bay. Start at the Harbor Island area, head east. It's bike path for a while, then you go through a rough industrial patch on the east side of the bay, then you're back on bike paths. Go all the way around to Coronado (almost all bike path). You might stop at the Hotel Del Coronado for lunch. Take the ferry from Coronado back to the Embarcadero area. About 40 miles, nice and flat.

https://www.sandiego.org/articles/bi...e-bikeway.aspx

(edit: apparently only 24 mi.)

I'd also recommend riding up to Cabrillo National Monument for the views. Probably 400 ft. elevation but there are routes with no real steep parts.
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Old 01-09-23, 01:31 AM
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stay west of the 5 freeway if you want anything remotely flat. And San Diego isn't flat. Mostly 30ft/mile is more realistic. Head inland and it's 50-80ft/mile real quick

southbay loop is flat but expect windy w/o any building or structure protection. So it's a trade off.

I'd suggest ride from your hotel North towards Oceanside on the 101. Many places to stop for food /coffee along the way. You will see more of San Diego than just the bay. If you get tired, you can take the train back down from Oceanside to Downtime pending day of week you plan to ride. Not a flat route but beach route.
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Old 01-10-23, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
The missus and I will be taking a vacation in March to San Diego CA (staying in the Mission Hills area) and bringing our road bikes. Any suggestions for Must Do routes in the area? Anything from ~30-70 miles distance, 0-100' elevation gain per mile (...although, since it's supposed to be a vacation, maybe more towards the 0'/mile end of the scale than the 100'/mile). Thanks.
on vaca till wed. i’ll give you more route possibilities than you can shake a stick at on wed in the pm. will post a few strava routes so hopefully you’ll be able to visualize/view the maps and possibly download/rebuild/etc. have the mileage and el gain parameters but what is the realistic combined comfort level of you and the lady regarding traffic? from 1-10 with 1 being a deserted but perfectly paved bike path with zero car/auto interface to 10 being rush hour/freeway/55+mph traffic with trucks and trailers?
also…are you able to
load the bikes and drive a short (5-15 mins) distance to a start/end point or is everything locked in from Mission Hills?

Last edited by diphthong; 01-10-23 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 01-10-23, 04:34 AM
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What is totally fun is to take the Coaster train from downtown SD or Old Town (literally down the hill from Mission Hills) to Oceanside. Then ride south along the coast. The wind will be at your back (usually) and hills are minimal.
Until you get to Torrey Pines, just south of Del Mar. Going up that bluff will definitely earn you that end of ride beer.
From there you can either follow the coast through La Jolla to Pacific/Mission Beach or take the Rose Canyon bike path.
The Rose Canyon bike path is the shortcut and has the advantage of all downhill and dumps you out at Mission Bay.

Here is the San Diego region interactive bicycle map for more ideas:
https://gis.sandag.org/iBikeMap/index.html
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Old 01-10-23, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga
what is the realistic combined comfort level of you and the lady regarding traffic? ...[snip]...also…are you able to
load the bikes and drive a short (5-15 mins) distance to a start/end point or is everything locked in from Mission Hills?
We're both experienced cyclists quite comfortable mixing it up in close proximity with high-speed traffic if necessary (e.g., we've taken a number of rides up and down the Pacific Coast Highway where the bike lane is ~3' away from 55mph+ autos...all things being equal we'd prefer a quieter/safer route, but we understand the realities of getting from Point A to Point B and all that entails).

Would rather be able to ride directly out from our front door and not have to drive, just because we'll want to leave the car available to other non-cycling family members who'll be sharing this vacation home with us.
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Old 01-10-23, 12:20 PM
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Another little visited place that I like is Friendship Park at the far southwest corner of the US of A.
Very rural.
And then make your way to Imperial Beach Pier and have lunch.
That little part of the world reminds me of San Diego from 50 years ago.
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Old 01-11-23, 01:15 AM
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homes and gardens tour:

https://www.strava.com/routes/3048117739140825168


downtown and harbor:

https://www.strava.com/routes/3048125113947017296


mission bay, beaches and la jolla coast:

https://www.strava.com/routes/3048135864511498212


from mission hills to coronado and back:

https://www.strava.com/routes/3048138407606232036


local short and stiff climbs:

https://www.strava.com/routes/3048143017342136646


mount soledad and cabrillo national monument:

https://www.strava.com/routes/3048147085882065892


(coaster train from nearby old town station down the hill) coastal ride back from oceanside

https://www.strava.com/routes/3048149957461673956
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Old 01-11-23, 02:58 PM
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Another fun thing I like to do is take the trolley to the end of the line and then ride back.
This is good if you are not into an all day sufferfest (not that there is anything wrong with that).
You get to see the soft underbelly of San Diego that a lot of natives haven't even seen.
To further enrich your experience take a map with you to orient yourself as you travel through the San Diego region. The place is sprawling.

ps I've been riding that hill up from Old Town to Mission Hills for 50 years. It never gets easier. Nowadays I usually have to walk it.
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Old 01-15-23, 05:22 PM
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In the spirit of Gilligan's Island, a three island tour is always fun.
Loops on Fiesta Island, loops on Harbor Island and loops on Shelter Island.
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Old 01-15-23, 05:35 PM
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Gratuitous photo of Harbor Island
--


Gratuitous photo of Shelter Island.
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Old 03-25-23, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
The missus and I will be taking a vacation in March to San Diego CA (staying in the Mission Hills area) and bringing our road bikes. Any suggestions for Must Do routes in the area? Anything from ~30-70 miles distance, 0-100' elevation gain per mile (...although, since it's supposed to be a vacation, maybe more towards the 0'/mile end of the scale than the 100'/mile). Thanks.
let us know how it went!
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Old 03-25-23, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga
let us know how it went!
Thanks for asking. We just got back from the trip I mentioned in the OP a week ago. My takeaway from road cycling in San Diego out of the Mission Hills area:

It sucks.

Between the crap pavement and the incessant traffic lights every ~2/10ths of a mile, it was quite possibly some of the worst cycling the missus and I have ever encountered on a vacation.

And I'm not even factoring in the 20% grade climbs to get back to the AirBnB where we stayed!
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Old 03-26-23, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
Thanks for asking. We just got back from the trip I mentioned in the OP a week ago. My takeaway from road cycling in San Diego out of the Mission Hills area:

It sucks.

Between the crap pavement and the incessant traffic lights every ~2/10ths of a mile, it was quite possibly some of the worst cycling the missus and I have ever encountered on a vacation.

And I'm not even factoring in the 20% grade climbs to get back to the AirBnB where we stayed!
sorry to hear. was hoping you could use the car to shift starting points down to mission bay and elsewhere. always a big climb back up to the mission hills area if you choose to descend.
once out of the hillcrest area to the east, it gets better.
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Old 03-26-23, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
Thanks for asking. We just got back from the trip I mentioned in the OP a week ago. My takeaway from road cycling in San Diego out of the Mission Hills area:

It sucks.

Between the crap pavement and the incessant traffic lights every ~2/10ths of a mile, it was quite possibly some of the worst cycling the missus and I have ever encountered on a vacation.

And I'm not even factoring in the 20% grade climbs to get back to the AirBnB where we stayed!
Hi Bob, well, you can't say I didn't warn you about the hill from Old Town to MIssion Hills. As you now know, it is a doozy!
Concerning the traffic lights, you were in the middle of a city, it's almost to be expected. And yes, roads are crappy here, this is where 38mm tires and appropriate pressures come into play.

You didn't mention if you went to the north SD county coast. The stretch between Oceanside and La Jolla I would argue is the crown jewel of bike rides in San Diego County. I did mention taking the Coaster train up to Oceanside and riding south to San Diego.

Admittedly bike riding in San Diego can be somewhat gnarly, with the traffic, the hills and a lot of sheet road surfaces. But the weather usually is pretty nice. Like a lot of things in life, sometimes you gotta take the good with the bad.

I don't currently have a car so have been using my bicycles exclusively for both sport and utility riding. So I guess one just kind of becomes acclimated to the less than ideal conditions and unconsciously focus on the good stuff and don't even notice the not so good stuff.
I hope your visit wasn't a total bust. Good luck!
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Old 03-26-23, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by HelpSingularity
You didn't mention if you went to the north SD county coast. The stretch between Oceanside and La Jolla I would argue is the crown jewel of bike rides in San Diego County.
We did do one route that got up to at least Del Mar -- I can't recall if we got as far north as Oceanside on that ride -- but the stretch from Del Mar through Torrey Pines and La Jolla Cove was by far the highlight of the cycling.
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