Every summer, my home state of Iowa hosts one of the premiere bicycling events in the country. July 20 marks the start of the 42nd annual RAGBRAI – an acronym for the (Des Moines) Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. It’s the granddaddy of all cross-state bike rides, drawing cyclists from around the world. This year, for the first time, I plan to be among the 10,000 riders pedaling 450 miles across the Hawkeye state.
I’ve been training several months for the ride…slowly increasing my mileage and the all-important “fanny time” every cyclist needs to prepare for seven days in the saddle!
Completely out of my comfort zone, I’m grateful for advice and encouragement from my biking pals, good health to keep up with the training and the best place on earth to ride a bike.
It’s true! San Diego is the center of the universe when it comes to cycling. Cyclists who come here to train know it as Bike City, USA. And you don’t have to be a competitor to enjoy the benefits. There are 510 existing miles in San Diego’s bicycle network – an additional 595 additional miles are proposed by 2030.
While I’ve enjoyed (more like survived!) fabulous rides both in north and east counties – my favorite training rides have been along the beautiful Bayshore Bikeway. And apparently, I’m not alone. The 24-mile bicycle route is rated tops by San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and is a bicycling destination for thousands of riders every day.
I just love the 13 miles of bike paths that make up the car-free bikeway. It’s safe, well maintained and great for an intense workout or relaxing ride. The rest of the route consists of on-street sections designated as either bicycle lanes or bicycle routes.
Whether you’re training for RAGBRAI or just want a ride with a view, this is an iconic, must-do cycling tour of San Diego’s bay shore. Starting downtown, hitch a ride (your bike, too!) with “Flagships’ Coronado Ferry” or “Water Taxi” across the Bay. Then start your ride after docking at the Coronado Ferry Landing. The Bikeway makes its way through Coronado along the Silver Strand through Imperial Beach and Chula Vista and back into downtown San Diego.
The route is mostly flat, but definitely lengthy, so bring plenty of water and snacks. Most of the opportunities to stop and eat are at either end of the course. And while the ocean breezes keep you cool, they can also kick up in the afternoon, causing strong head and crosswinds. Just allow enough time and stay fueled and hydrated and you’ll have a blast while getting a great workout.
The Bayshore Bikeway is just one more reason San Diego is America’s Finest City. And from your bike, San Diego Bay never looked so good!