Bike Mission Bay—A Fun Way to Enjoy San Diego.
Group bike rides are becoming more of a passion for my wife and I lately. For the longest time we would just ride to commute or go together on outings. Sometimes we would take our bikes on the train or in the car to distant locales to enjoy the scenery and freedom of biking. A few years ago we saw an ad in a local paper about a group organizing a Taco Tuesday evening ride. Since that first night’s group ride we have been hooked.
As a child I would enjoy long rides by myself or with a friend. Through those years that was my main way to get around and see the local world. As it turns out, group rides can be a much more fun way to experience our bikes. Unlike the high-speed, long-distance group rides you might envision, the ones we take are easy and relaxing. Most are in the 10-15 mile range with nearly level terrain. Plus, they are almost always in great scenic areas that make us smile.
The most recent group we have met up with holds an afternoon ride that circles Mission Bay. It is about a 12 mile loop that uses mostly bikeways right along the water. They start and end at the same place, near some great little eating spots in Pacific Beach. That way you can re-hydrate and grab a bite before or after the ride. Also, there is a large parking lot there for the riders who come by car or truck.
The group starts arriving about a half-hour before the ride and the fun begins. Checking out each other’s bikes and getting acquainted with people new to the ride is the first order of business. Sometimes a little help with adjustments and filling tires is needed and is part of the activities. Dave likes to set his phone GPS to track the ride and keep everyone abreast on our progress.
The ride around Mission Bay is an easy one. It is perfect for talking and sightseeing. We stop for pictures and water whenever the need arrives. There is no push for speed, just enjoyment. There are a few bridges, but they are not very steep or long. It is nice to stop on the bridges to look over the bay and take in the higher vantage point. One of the bridges is the new Mike Gotch Memorial Bike and Pedestrian bridge that was just completed this year.
During the ride we can see sailboats, water skiers, jet skiers and many other sights on the bay. The path offers room for many other people enjoying a stroll or ride that aren’t part of our group. The fancy homes along the waterway are filled with activities and interesting things to see. As we pass Sea World, we can see and hear the riders of the new Manta roller coaster squealing along the tracks. And the quiet coves we pass can sometimes be quite tranquil.
This group is just starting a sunset cruise. This is a Sunday evening ride that promises to be very well attended. I am really looking forward to it, as a evening ride in Sothern California is one of the best ways to spend your time. With the lights on the bay and the cool evening air, they will be great. There is nothing like joining in with a pack of bikes, lights all blinking, to make your mind wander to a perfect place. Bike nirvana, you might say.
If you don’t have a bike or can’t get yours to the bay, you can still be a part of this ride. Cycle Armory has acquired several bikes that will be brought to the ride as no-cost loaners to allow anyone to participate. This ride is geared for the whole family and kid’s bikes are included in the loaner program. They will all have lights and I do believe helmets are available too. So, no excuses, come ride with us.
We ride with many groups here in San Diego. Some I have mentioned before. Check below for links to most of them. The San Diego Urban Bike and Social Club is one of our favorites. We also ride with the San Diego County Bike Coalition, the Electra Bike Forum Group and we do Courteous Mass. (Not to be confused with Critical Mass). We have met so many like-minded people here in town by joining in with these groups.
Many of these rides are on city streets. Not to worry though, as bike safety is increased in the pack of riders. We ride for food, to our own movie screenings, to ball games and picnics too. The Bike Coalition hosts exploration rides that are geared for beginners. They are usually in fantastic scenic spots like Coronado and La Jolla. There is a newcomer on the scene (The Greenfield Group) that has a full fleet of freshly painted green loaner bikes. They will host group rides in the Ocean Beach area.
So I recommend that you give it a try. Even if you are used to riding alone, you might find it fun. If you are new to riding, it might be just the thing to trigger you into getting out on your bike more. Meeting new people and riding to new places it what it is all about. We fully enjoy it and I would hope you give it a try to see if you do too.
See you on the bike trail, Turbo Bob.
“It is all very well to say to yourself that you are not thinking as you wheel serenely along; but you are, and that sure uncertainty of the cyclist’s balance, that unconsciously watchful suspension (solid on earth yet so breezily flitting) seems to symbolize the task itself.”—Christopher Morley, The Romany Stain.
Link to the ‘Bike Mission Bay’ Facebook pages.
There will soon be a Sunset Cruise page and a website too.
Link to the San Diego Urban Bike and Social club Facebook and Meet-up pages
Link to the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition Facebook page and to their website.
Link to the Electra Bike Forum Facebook page
Link to the Courteous Mass and Critical Manners Facebook page
Link to The Greenfield Group Facebook page