Mountain Biking San Diego Bays? How do you do that? Are the bays not surrounded by city … paved roads, thousands of autos, several million people?
And, how do you cut right across the middle of the largest bay on a bike? You must really have some high flotation tires … a super fatbike?
Now let me explain all this. Kayley (my youngest) and I spent 4 or 5 hours at the beach Sunday with Alissa (my middle daughter) Jeremiah, and their kids. Because of some strange weather patterns the coast was crystal clear and unusually warm (83°F) for a day in mid-April.
So, since I had to take Kayley to the airport yesterday (she lives in Salt Lake City) and the weather was supposed to be just like Sunday, I figured I might as well take the opportunity to show off our city.
The reason I included the words “Mountain Biking” was due to the fact I do not own a road bike so I was on my Specialized Camber, the rig I’m on for most of my trail rides … and, I did ride on some dirt and paved “paths.”
After dropping Kayley at the Delta terminal I parked the car at Spanish Landing, a park just south of the airport and sandwiched between Harbor Drive and San Diego Bay.
Leaving the very west end of Spanish Landing I crossed under the bridges on Harbor Drive. I used the support structures to get some unusual camera angles.
After my photo session I crossed over a bridge and entered the community called Liberty Station … a place with mostly restaurants. I did come across a strange phenomenon … a ship sitting parallel to the sidewalk!
From the beached vessel I rode up onto and to the west end of Point Loma … climbing close to 400 vertical feet.
As I traveled along the peninsula I passed several old (but beautifully kept) housing tracts. Eventually I pedaled through a military gate, passed by several cemeteries.
I checked out a couple of headstones and was surprised to find one person buried in 2012 … which seemed pretty recent.
At the end of the road I finally came to the lighthouse … what I later learned was the old lighthouse.
Views of the ocean, the city, and the inland empire (where I live) were staggering. About ninety-five percent of the time I drive to the San Diego coast only to find the sky, and everything below, a dull gray caused by a thick marine layer of clouds.
The Cabrillo Lighthouse was created in 1855 and still stands on the top of the cliff, despite being replaced by another lighthouse at the bottom of the cliff in 1891. The grounds are all now part of Cabrillo National Monument.
I returned down Point Loma but made a left turn which brought me down to Sunset Cliffs … where I carefully rode some trails along the edge of a 50 foot drop-off.
Heading north the elevation eventually drops until I found myself the same level as.the beach (called Ocean Beach).
After riding over the bridge crossing the San Diego River I wound my way around and through parts of Mission Bay, San Diego’s playground for water sports.
Near Fiesta Island I came across something new to me … some guys para-surfing on boards with a hydrofoil attached to the bottom. Years ago I had tried skiing behind a similar device which we called an “Air Chair.”
To view all videos on Mountain Bike Diaries please go to my YouTube channel at MountainBikeDiaries.
From Fiesta Island I biked along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) as it cut right through the heart of the city … surrounded by skyscrapers.
But the PCH ends at Seaport Village, necessitating a turn onto Harbor Drive as I headed south along San Diego Bay.
I passed Petco Park, the San Diego Convention Center, numerous shipyards and a navel base before Harbor Drive ended at the Interstate 5 Freeway.
From there I took various side streets and paths to navigate around the south end of San Diego Bay. One path took me right beneath several bridges of an I-5 interchange. At another spot I passed huge piles of salt and acres of salt ponds.
My route eventually led to the beautifully paved bike path along the Silver Strand … a long, lollipop shaped peninsula whose west edge meets the ocean with a beautiful sand beach.
Once I reached the candy part of the lollipop I was riding along the edge of the small town of Coronado. I soon passed under the Coronado Bay Bridge … a thin ribbon of roadway linking the lollipop to the City of San Diego.
Just past the base of the bridge I came upon my favorite kayaking spot … Tidelands Park. What better place to spend the day paddling around San Diego Bay?
I arrived at the Coronado Ferry Landing at 4:35, just soon enough to see the 4:30 ferry leave the dock. So I had to hang around until 5:30, at which time I crossed San Diego Bay with my bike parked in a bike rack on the lower level of the ferry.
I landed at the Broadway Pier right adjacent to the humongous USS Midway … a WW2 aircraft carrier turned museum.
The Broadway Pier lay at the intersection of Broadway (duh) and Harbor Drive. So I rode back to the car along the path parallel to Harbor Drive and alongside the bay and returned to Spanish Landing.
After more than sixty miles I did not feel real tired. I guess Mountain Biking San Diego Bays just doesn’t take as much out of a rider as the same distance on rough trails with major climbs. But hey, how could I ask for a better setting for any kind of ride?