Where to stay in San Diego for cycling?

Hi all!

I’ll be working/taking vacation in San Diego for June/July this summer before heading up the Bay for grad school in the fall. I’ll be working remotely half the time, and the other half of the time commuting to downtown San Diego (near the gaslamp quarter) for work.

We’re planning on staying in an airbnb for our time there and since I’m training for multiple events (numerous triathlons + the BC Bike Race), I would ideally like to stay somewhere near some good cycling and climbs. Since I won’t be commuting more than a few days a week, I don’t mind being 40min from downtown (although closer is obviously better).

From my research, it looks like there’s lots of good riding up north (near La Jolla) or southwest of the city, but I figured I’d ask you guys for advice and recommendations.

Finally, if anyone has any favorite lap pool recommendations, I’m all ears!

North county 100%. San Marcos, Encinitas.


Here is a great classic route. Up Honey Springs is an hour climb. Once you get in the desert its rare to see cars


Another good one Mt Laguna:


1 Like

Problem with Honey Springs is getting there. Otay Lakes Road isn’t safe anymore as too much traffic now. Even my club ride uses a marked and lighted SAG car on that road now after one of our founders was killed by a motorcycle in January. That said, Great Western Loop is awesome - my favorite ride.

I live in Bonita (south county) and even I’d tell you stay in North County. I love Encinitas. Couple of strong group rides up there. Swamis ride is the fastest in the county. Good climbs, but nothing all that sustained unless you get East anywhere in SD county. Honey Springs is a 20 min classic climb. Palomar 60min plus. Be warned- it’s HOT when you go East that time of year. HOT.

If you end up staying downtown or south of it, let me know and I’ll get you hooked up with my club’s rides if you want. Wednesday night training races in Eastlake. Tuesday night worlds on Fiesta Island, all that will be rolling by June.


Check with the collegiate race team?

1 Like

I vote for Pacific Beach. North takes you to Mt Soledad. South takes you to Fiesta Island. Fiesta Island is boring and flat and fairly car-free, which is perfect for structured intervals.

As for east being hot, not in June. October is brutal.

1 Like

I went out from Kit Carson park in May to ride Palomar, and it was high 90s before I got to the base of the mountain! Just depends on the year and the day. It can be brutal just about any time. January I did a GWL where it was in the 80s in Jamul.

I’d vote for North County also. Even inland to avoid coast traffic. Though it will get hot in summer.
Good luck going southwest of downtown.
You’d either be on the Naval Base or swimming, ha.

1 Like

I used to live near the top of Honey Springs, Vista, Oceanside, and near Lemon Grove. I would say the Lemon Grove area might have been the worse comparatively, but I wasn’t a cycling person then. I don’t think you are going to find a bad part of San Diego to ride, just depends on your flavor of the day and how far you like to ride.

I am partial to north county for riding. But I loved living in Jamul/Deerhorn Valley.

My wife is going to San Diego for a conference at the end of October and I’m tagging along, planning to do some riding while she’s busy. Where should I rent a nice road bike? I’m having trouble finding a good shop since most bike rental results that come up are for beach cruisers.

I’ve used “Stay Classy Bikes” on a couple trips over the last few years with good results.

I searched “San Diego Road Bike Rental” and “San Diego Specialized Tarmac Rental” and “San Diego Trek Domane” and found a Pinarello Prince Disc, Specialized Tarmac, and Fuji SL/GranFondo/…

Fair enough, I did see those options. I guess I’m also just looking for some recommendations from people who have rented from those places before. I’ve had good and bad experiences renting bikes before and it’s hard to tell which you’re going to get just from the shop’s website.

Thanks, I’ll give them a call!

Been visiting SD for years and usually bring my own bike. But regarding rentals:

1 Like

I see a lot of UC Cyclery jerseys at local races, but I don’t know any of them. But I am an introvert so that doesn’t mean anything.

1 Like

UCC sponsors the San Diego Bike Club, oldest club in San Diego with a lot of members… just not that many active racers right now.