If there are two things that really go together, they are bikes and tacos. Here in San Diego, one group we often ride with, holds their Taco Tuesday year round. The San Diego Urban Bike and Social Club organizes many rides, and this is one not to miss. With so many authentic taco shops in the area, the rides are varied and mellow.
The club has almost 400 members, but these rides usually garner about 10-30 riders on any given night. It works out to a good crowd of fun people who share the same interests. On some of the weekend rides, a larger crowd is known to gather. The club also mixes in with other group’s rides to maximize the fun.
They have monthly rides that head south of the border or to a ballgame. Movie nights in the park start with a ride, and groove into a relaxed setting for some entertainment. Riding at a conversational pace, there is a place in most rides for everyone. You can find them on the Meet-ups page through Google.
A typical Taco Tuesday starts at the iconic Balboa Park. Little by little, the riders assemble by the large fountain in the Plaza. The laughs and introductions continue for quite a while. New members are welcome and always greeted with a smile. Bikes and accessories are discussed, as are the weeks activities. Sometimes, a little bike maintenance is offered and accepted to make sure everyone is ready to ride.
Jeremy and Hans, the club organizers, make sure to choose a great taco shop and plan a ride that is full of interesting sights for each night’s ride. They are glad to take suggestions from the other members for new haunts to try out. The last one was deep in Barrio Logan, and the taco shop was awesome. I personally like the ones on the coastline. No matter where it is, the ride is half the fun anyway.
The variety of riders is always a constant. The ages of the riders hits both ends of the chart, and plenty in the middle. Gender is a 50/50 combo most of the time. The mixture of types of bikes is the same. Short pants and comfy shirts far out weigh the serious uniforms of road cyclists. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I saw Lycra on a Taco Tuesday ride.
This week’s ride was fun like always. Leaving the fountain, we rode through the park amidst the locals and visitors. As we hit the street, we worked our way north through some quiet neighborhoods. When we passed a couple of the local bike shops, we waved and rang our bells. We crossed over the freeway on a handy pedestrian and bike bridge. Turning towards the coast, we headed down the winding, steep hill in Presidio Park. That took us straight to Old Town. That is a cool place to stop and play tourist, but we pedaled on.
Riding down Pacific Ave, we had the busy airport to our right. This route took us down along the water on our way to the Convention Center. All was serene while we stopped for a group photo and some sips from our water bottles. The next day was the start of Comic Con, and you know what kind of crowd that brings. Next up was a circle through Petco Park. As the Padres were out of town, it too, was pretty deserted. All the better for our group of Taco Tuesday riders.
Here we made the turn east to head towards Barrio Logan. This area is at the base of the famous Coronado Bridge. What a majestic sight that is to behold. As riders are only allowed on the bridge twice a year, and we were headed east, we didn’t make the journey that way. Soon we were at La Fachada. There was a kid’s birthday party under way in the front of the parking lot. The helpful workers were quick to set-up some tables for us near the back of the lot. Orders were placed and the feast began.
The food was fantastic. Everyone had built-up their appetites and the cold drinks started flowing too. I like to stay true to the ride and ordered tacos, but the menu choices allowed all the riders to have their favorites. Some great stories hit the airwaves and the smiles were pasted on each and every rider. A discussion erupted on the destination for our next stop. Many wanted to head over to the Velodrome to watch some races, but it seems that a Kensington pub was number one on the list.
Once the table was cleared, the lights on the bikes came on. We pedaled off into the night. As we got close to our turn-off, we bid the rest of the group good-bye, and headed in a direction that would take us home. It was getting late and Barbara’s day always starts so early. We had our fun and rode off on our way.
So feel free to join-in if you can. You can see photos of this and many of the other Urban Bike and Social Club rides on Meet-up. If you can’t make it to San Diego for some rides like this, plan some in your own area. Even if it is just you and your sweetie, Taco Tuesday can be a regular part of your week. Or name it any thing you want, just ride, eat, and have some fun.
Ring, ring—Enjoy your tacos, Turbo Bob.
“Hey diddle, diddle
The bicycle riddle—
The strangest part of the deal.
Just keep your accounts
And add up the amounts
The ’sundries’ cost more than the wheel.”
—–Anonymous 1896 poem.