San Diego offers bountiful opportunities for bikers, from casual boardwalk cruises to strenuous rides into the hills. The mild climate makes biking in San Diego a year-round delight. Bike culture is respected here, and visitors are often impressed with the miles of designated bike lanes running alongside city streets and coastal roads throughout the county.
Lomas Santa Fe Drive. Experienced cyclists follow this route in Solana Beach east into Rancho Santa Fe, perhaps even continuing east on Del Dios Highway, past Lake Hodges, to Escondido. These roads can be narrow and winding in spots.
Mission Beach Boardwalk. A ride here is a great way to take in a classic California scene. Keep in mind this route is more for cruising than hardcore cycling, as the gawkers and crowds often slow foot- and bike traffic to a crawl. Mission Beach, San Diego, CA, 92109.
Route S21. On many summer days, Route S21, aka Old Highway 101, from La Jolla to Oceanside looks like a freeway for cyclists. About 24 miles long, it's easily the most popular and scenic bike route around, never straying far from the beach. Although the terrain is fairly easy, the long, steep Torrey Pines grade is famous for weeding out the weak. Another Darwinian challenge is dodging slow-moving pedestrians and cars pulling over to park in towns like Encinitas and Del Mar. La Jolla, CA.
The Bike Revolution. Choose from a wide array of rentals, from road bikes to cruisers, and embark on a ride along the downtown waterfront, up the hill to Balboa Park, or hop on the ferry to Coronado Island for a leisurely ride around the idyllic island. 522 6th Ave., Downtown, San Diego, CA, 92101. 619/238–2444. www.thebikerevolution.com.
Cheap Rentals Mission Beach. A little over a block off the boardwalk, this place has good daily and weekly prices for surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, skateboards, ice chests, umbrellas, chairs, and bike rentals, including beach cruisers, tandems, hybrids, and two-wheeled baby carriers. Demand is high during the busy season (May through September), so call to reserve equipment ahead of time. 3689 Mission Blvd., Mission Beach, San Diego, CA, 92109. 858/488–9070 or 800/941–7761. www.cheap-rentals.com.
Hike Bike Kayak San Diego. This outfitter offers a wide range of guided bike tours, from easy excursions around Mission Bay and Coronado Island to slightly more rigorous trips through coastal La Jolla. Tours last up to two and a half hours, and cost $30–40 per person. The company also rents bikes and can even deliver them to your hotel. 2222 Ave. de la Playa, La Jolla, San Diego, CA, 92037. 858/551–9510. www.hikebikekayak.com.
Holland's Bicycles. This is a great bike rental source on Coronado Island. It also has another store (Bikes and Beyond 619/435–7180) located at the ferry landing, so you can jump on your bike as soon as you cross the harbor from downtown San Diego. 977 Orange Ave., Coronado, San Diego, CA, 92118. 619/435–3153. www.hollandsbicycles.com.
Wheel Fun Rentals. Surreys, cruisers, mountain bikes, tandems, and electric bicycles, among other two-, three-, and four-wheeled contraptions, are available at the downtown Holiday Inn and a number of other locations around San Diego; call or visit the website for details. 1355 N. Harbor Dr., Downtown, San Diego, CA, 92101. 619/342–7244. www.wheelfunrentals.com.
The academy opened in 1997 as the first bullfighting school in the United States. Year-round, the school offers a weeklong (Tuesday through Saturday) course in San Diego that finishes with a trip to a working bull ranch in northern Baja California. An intensive (12 hours of instruction) weekend course, beginning on Friday in San Diego and moving to the bull ranch in Baja on Saturday, takes place once or twice monthly year-round. A weekend intensive course in central Mexico and one or two annual field trips to Spain are also part of the syllabus.
Bike & Kayak Tours. This bike and kayak outfitter, with locations in La Jolla and on Coronado, is your one-stop shop for biking fun. It offers bike rentals and tours like La Jolla Freefall tour that starts at Mt. Soledad, La Jolla's highest point, and continues down the mountain, past mansions and along the coastline. Bike & Kayak Tours also offers a hotel delivery service, via which they drop off Gary Fisher mountain bikes or Scott Racing road bikes right at your doorstep. 2158 Ave. De La Playa, La Jolla, San Diego, CA, 92037. 858/454–1010. bikeandkayaktours.com.