This summer at the crack of dawn of Team Fun, when it was only a handful of kits in a few friends’ hands, a few of the founding members took it upon themselves to explore some of the best long rides our far Southern California coast has to offer.
Coronado Island, July 26, 2013
Beginning at a not too awful hour, the three Heathers and Jill set off from La Costa and the Pacific Coast Highway on the border between Carlsbad and Encinitas, planning to head south for a really, really long way. All smiles, with some helpful clouds overhead keeping the heat at bay for the time being, they headed off at a brisk pace down the coast.
The traffic was extremely quiet that morning, and we had an easy 40-ish mile jaunt all the way down through Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar, up Torrey Pines, sneak down through La Jolla on Gilman to the Rose Canyon Trail, then pop out down near Mission Bay. A few short miles later, and you are in the heart of downtown San Diego, gawking at the Star of India and the USS Midway along Harbor Drive with all the other tourists. Heather Bro. (yes, in fact, there are so many Heathers we cannot by go last name initial alone) was quite busy at the time, and head to depart from us at this point to return home via the Coaster (a smart option to be aware of if you try out this route and realize you bit off more than you can chew). Well, Heather hadn’t bit off more than she could chew, she just is all about educating herself for a career and all that business… so we reluctantly said goodbye and continued on south.
The next part of the trip is not really my favorite – there’s quite a long way through National City on some rather bumpy roads seemingly riddled with really poorly designed railroad tracks that have huge gaps just large enough to really take a cyclist out, but you’ll make it. You’ll head onto the South Bay Trail, you’ll see the salt ponds just before Imperial Beach, and then you’ll finally reach the glorious strip of land known as “The Silver Strand”. Some photos from the trip down.
Although the Silver Strand was arguably the most beautiful stretch of road we cycled on that day, I am sorry to say we have precisely zero pictures from that point. We were, in a word, famished. >40 miles into the ride and it was fast approaching what could be argued as a lunch time, our tummies were grumbling for some food!! (One thing you learn quickly about cyclists is that they are a very hungry bunch.) I know from my perspective, when I get hungry, I get all head-down-focused-on-the-goal-ish, which means, legs spin, minimal talking, just a bit of pain to get me faster to something tasty.
Coronado Island has dozens upon dozens of delicious options for lunch. I visited Coronado Island several times on vacation when I lived in Idaho, and I had particularly fond memories of a little French Bakery on the bayside we used to frequent in the mornings. We’d see groups of local women arrive on their cruisers to hang out and have coffee and snacks – and this was in January. I thought at the time, “How strange… groups of women on bikes, together, biking in January… what a concept!” (It was maybe 3 degrees in Idaho at the time, and I could count on one hand the women I knew who biked regularly). I thought that might be just the place for us today: Tartine Cafe on 1st Street. We were not disappointed.
We lingered just long enough to pass the time before the next scheduled Ferry back across to downtown. I know, I know, what wimps! You mean to say we didn’t go David-style (David is my husband) and bike all the way back down the bay and make it a >100 mile day (perhaps closer to 120)? No, I’m sorry to say we did not. The Ferry offered a much, much better opportunity for a photo shoot.
Point Loma, August 23, 2013
Another of my favorite San Diego spots I visited prior to moving here in 2010 is Point Loma, and more specifically, Cabrillo National Monument. Our goal on this day was to marvel at the view as we traipsed around the peninsula, then feasted our hearts out on Italian food for lunch. Is there a better way to spend a Friday? I very seriously doubt it.
The pictures in this case absolutely tell the best story!
We enjoyed lunch that day at Old Venice on Canon in Point Loma. You can absolutely never go wrong with this place: great prices, fresh pastas, large portions, great outdoor seating. We possibly enjoyed our lunch a little too much as the ride back had its ups and downs (as they always do when the miles pile up!), but all in all, it was a perfect day and a perfect ride!
Coming in February…
Team Fun will be revisiting one of these routes for our a special weekend team event. Will you be joining us? Plenty of time to train up to it!