Swami’s Cycling Club members ride… a lot!
Listed below are some of their favorite routes.
If you’d like one of your best rides featured here, then email the link to the route (from either Strava.com or ridewithgps.com) and a brief description of the ride to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Del Mar Mesa Loop
The Del Mar Mesa Loop, submitted by Board Member Susan Anthony, has become a club favorite. Starting and finishing at Revolution Bike Shop in Solana Beach, it begins with a scenic warmup down the 101 then climbs up Carmel Mountain Road to the Mesa. From there it continues east on the 56 bike path, makes a big lap around Black Mountain Ranch, and eventually returns to the coast on beautiful winding roads of Rancho Santa Fe.
What we love about this ride: it generally avoids the busy roads near the beach and offers just enough climbing to keep things interesting. There are also plenty of options for coffee at various points along the route!
Black Canyon Gravel
Guru John Welch submitted this challenging Black Canyon Gravel ride. It’s ideal training for BWR or any gravel event.
Start and finish in Ramona (you can park at the library across from Starbucks). Almost half your ride is on dirt, and most is uphill. The conditions range from smooth hardpack to washboard; not too steep and not too technical. This isn’t a MTB ride posing as a gravel ride, so 32mm tires will suffice.
At 25 miles grab a snack at Don’s Market, then proceed on Hwy 78 for 9 miles before the turnoff to Lake Sutherland Dam Road. Most of your climbing is done by this point, so settle in for the final 12 miles to the finish.
Lake Hodges – BWR Recon
In this installment, Rob Klingensmith profiles one of his favorite local gravel routes: the Lake Hodges – BWR Recon Ride.
Starting near the fruit stand on Del Dios, it takes you over the rolling shoreline trails of Lake Hodges, up and over Highlands Valley Rd and [sandy] Bandy Canyon… then back again. Scenic views, a bit of challenging terrain and the likelihood of spotting some wildlife makes this a favorite.
Bonus: this route serves as a great recon for those aspiring to the Belgian Waffle Ride!
Swamdo Piccolo Route
Each year Swami’s hosts its own gran fondo, known as the Swamdo. Club board member Tatiana Dearinger nominated the short course — the Swamdo Piccolo — as one of her favorite rides.
It begins from Carlsbad on the familiar Vista Twist, then climbs up Olive Hill. A left on Burma Rd takes you up Sleeping Indian (the back way), and then winds back through avocado orchards and farmland to the coast.
Plenty of ups and downs, and twists and turns on generally quiet roads makes this a Swami’s classic.
De Luz – Rainbow Loop
This challenging ride is provided by longtime Guru Steve Ummel, who knows most of the secondary roads of northeast San Diego County!
The De Luz – Rainbow Loop starts and finishes at Fallbrook High School. Enjoy the rural beauty of DeLuz Canyon Rd, which has very little traffic. After a fast descent to Front Street in downtown Temecula, get provisioned for the latter portion of this ride.
Climb up Rainbow Canyon and again to Reche Road, then finish with a rolling spin past Live Oak Park. (Bonus: Stop to peek into the old 1-room De Luz Schoolhouse. Built in 1924, it was in operation until 1967.)
If you’re looking for a bit of adventure, try this Kitchen Creek Loop submitted by Guru Tatiana Dearinger.
Start in Pine Valley and take advantage of a 10 mile warmup before tackling the main climb: 11 miles of roughly paved forest road that winds up to Sunrise Highway (don’t worry about jumping the 2 barriers… they keep most of the climb closed to traffic). At the top, refuel at the Laguna Mountain Lodge Store before enjoying your well-earned descent back to Pine Valley.
Jill’s Vista Twist
Jill Theodossi has been a fantastic leader of our weekly club rides and is well-known as a route designer extraordinaire. This ride — Jill’s Vista Twist — can be ridden as-is, or used as a wonderful way of accessing the roads and climbs of Bonsall and east county.
Great Western Loop
Eli Marx-Kahn is a fellow Guru and president of the UCSD Cycling Team. He’s submitted this famous route as one of his favorites. 40 miles long with 3,800′ of climbing, the Great Western Loop is a San Diego classic. With consistent grades, sweeping descents and spectacular views, the GWL is a must-ride!
West Lilac with Couser Canyon
Former club president Heather Bruemmer is often found riding in the hills of east county. This Couser Canyon Route combines the beauty of West Lilac Road with the climb of Couser Canyon and a ripping descent on Circle R… It’s no wonder why this is one of her favorite rides!
My Favorite Ride is presented by Swami’s sponsor Allen Sports, the leading manufacturer of high quality car bike racks. Remember, Swami’s members receive exclusive discounts on all Allen Sports’ products!