CiclaValley Now Finds Issues with Cycling in San Diego

If you checked CiclaValley yesterday, I gave you Mayberry-like view of cycling in San Diego with an incredibly small sample size.

While finishing off the 2015 Cal Bike Summit, I had a couple of hours to fill before my train took off. So, with a severely stretched chain and the chance to be stranded with a mechanical, I set off from my downtown Chateau to try to get a quick twenty miles in of adventuring.

I wrote a great story about riding across the Coronado Bridge when my friend informed me that it’s closed to cyclists. So I had to go back to writing about the truth. Here’s what happened this time.

SDR01Climbing up through Balboa Park through Pershing Dr. had a Baldwin Hills type of feel to it. Okay, not that sparse since there was a golf course to my right, but Angelenos get what I mean.

SDR02Do you notice anything in this picture? It’s a bike lane in a 50 mph zone. Not ideal for a cyclist. You’ll notice this as a common theme in this article

SDR03About a hundred yards down the road, you can relax in the comfort of traffic slowing down to 40mph, but that’s only because you now have to complete the exercise to cross it. YIKES!

SDR04After leaving the park, I turned up Utah Street which was super wide with bike lanes. Most would bask in the number of California Bungalow styled homes. I could just think what if this was a buffered bike lane!

SDR05I turned onto El Cajon Blvd., a street wide enough for too many lanes and not enough bike infrastructure. It was a bit empty at the time I turned on, but I felt something was coming.

SDR06Ahhh… here came the scourge of traffic. Actually, I’ll hand it to vehicle operators. It’s tough on this street to make a light, so a lot of on them didn’t rush to the next red one. In LA, most drivers would only get 5 MPG on a road like this.

SDR07How not pleasant to be on the Fairmont Avenue Expressway next to 55 MPH+ traffic with bike lanes at parts that pinch you into traffic. What could be worse?

SDR08Turning onto Montezuma Road and having to pass another cyclist with cars zooming the same speeds while going uphill. At least it can’t get worse than this?

SDR09Oooh, what about having to cross all this traffic while you’re ascending. At least they identified the kill zone.

SDR10I figured I had to stop by SDSU to stop by to pay homage to my favorite baseball player ever, Tony Gwynn. You are sorely missed.

SDR11While still on campus, I got to witness a universal truth that happens in every American city, public transit parking in a bike lane.

SDR12I headed back down Montezuma Road where I had to cross AGAIN high speed traffic to get back to Fairmont. While riding back up, I didn’t want to cross anymore and made my way off the road.

SDR13Turning up Adams Road had a pleasant Italian countryside feel to it, kind of like the original “Love Bug” movie. Except a few cars were riding me up it. Nevermind the sign on the right….

SDR14…that is until the bus behind me played fullback and protected me from all cars behind. Thank you anonymous MTS angel.

SDR15I turned onto Adams westbound and started a pleasant sharrowed stroll on my way back. A complete opposite from earlier conditions.

SDR16By the way, I love signs. It’s like Google dropped these giant pinpoints around town in real life.



Who can feel good about this? A ripoff of one of our country’s most beloved TV shows! This was more disturbing than my bike ride!

SDR18I turned south onto Park Ave., just because I remember this being the area where my wife lived back in her UCSD days. Okay, I just remembered the sign.

SDR19I also had to add a pic of Twiggs coffeehouse. My wife said it would add to my street cred.



I wish I had taken this picture a couple of hundred feet back, but crossing El Cajon Blvd. had way too many visual distractions and not much clarity. I was hoping I was following the right bike route back to the park, but I prayed to the god of dumb luck.



Finally, rolling down Florida St. through Balboa Park. Does a guy riding on a sidewalk while there are bike lanes next to 40MPH+ traffic mean things are working for you?

SDR22Bike share! Unfortunately, this bike was not well equipped for what was about to happen.


Really? Just a tiny crosswalk to transverse TWO freeway entrances? This would kill off all the cyclists in LA!

It’s easy to tell that this poor lady could not get what I think is a comfortable speed to cross traffic. That’s just me. I like to live.


Made it back downtown only to see more outdoor cyclists….on a stationary bike. Why world?



Making it back to Petco Park was calming and I got to spend a little time relaxing on the lawn. The ride around an extended San Diego was probably not as difficult as it seemed, but relative to my other journeys around town, it definitely amped my alert level.

A former local told me she would feel totally safe on these roads because drivers respect cyclists around here with the number of triathletes you’ll find, but still, that did little to calm my nerves.

I’ll be back someday soon San Diego. Thanks for being a great host.