Does the long, harsh winter leave you longing for luminous skies, warm sunshine, and stellar road riding? Celebrate the first days of spring with a bike tour along the sun-sprinkled roads of Southern California, a great way to start your cycling season.
We’ll meet at Chula Vista, home of a U.S. Olympic Committee training facility dedicated to athletes in a variety of sports, including, of course, cycling. Pedaling east, we’ll skirt around the Lower Otay Reservoir and climb into the Laguna Mountains. We’ll roll toward Borrego Springs, a small art-town completely surrounded by the fascinating Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Here, we’ll set up a base camp for several days. We can pedal a rolling loop over to Salton City, then enjoy an optional day ride up and over Yaqui Pass Road, or visit the town’s many galleries, shops, and museums. Then, we’ll bicycle to Julian and back to Chula Vista via the Sunrise Highway.
Featuring a multitude of training opportunities, this ride will leave you feeling well prepared for the summer cycling season. Sign up today for this unforgettable springtime warm-up!
|Start Date:||Mar 16, 2014||End Date:||Mar 22, 2014|
|Start Location:||Chula Vista, CA||End Location:||Chula Vista, CA|
|Total Days:||7||Riding Days:||6|
|Rest Days:||1||Level of Support:||Fully Supported|
|Miles:||201||Average Daily Mileage:||33.5|
|Accommodations:||Camping, Motel Options||Physical Difficulty:||Intermediate+|
|Elevation Alert:||High Point: 6000'||Airport:||San Diego International|
|Tour Leader:||Tammy Schurr||Cost:||$1,199.00|
Chula Vista. We'll meet up in Chula Vista, about seven miles southeast of San Diego — to the west sprawls the picturesque bay, to the east rise the inspiring San Miguel Mountains. At our gathering spot, we'll enjoy a scrumptious dinner and take part in our first map meeting. The tour mechanic can help make sure our bicycles are in top-notch operating condition for our up-coming bike adventure, and when it's time to crawl into our tents, we'll be dreaming about the great cycling to come.
Chula Vista to Julian, 54 miles. Today we'll edge around the Otay Reservoir and Lake Cuyamaca, as we ascend steadily toward our destination, the historic gold-mining town of Julian. Tonight we’ll delight in the indoor accommodations of the Julian Lodge and Julian Hotel! Don’t worry if you don’t have time to explore, as we’ll be back later this week.
Julian to Butterfield Ranch Resort, 35 miles. From Julian we’ll ride into history through an area known as The Great Southern Overland Stage Route. The morning will start by descending the “The Banner Grade” to the desert floor, as we turn right onto rolling Great Southern Overland Stage Route. Lunch will be served at the Vallecito Stage Station County Park with an option to ride further on to enjoy the soothing waters at Agua Caliente State Park.
Butterfield Ranch Resort to Borrego Springs, 42 miles. Today begins with retracing our route back on The Great Southern Overland State Route to parallel the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail briefly before we descend into the massive Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. We'll continue east past palm trees, dry washes, and blooms of desert wildflowers to our destination of Borrego Springs, an intriguing village completely surrounded and protected by gorgeous 600,000-acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Layover day, Borrego Springs. Ride or relax! This can be a day off the bike: Perhaps you're itching to lace up your hiking boots, grab your binoculars, and explore the desert state park, where wildflowers and a wide variety of migratory birds can be spotted. If you'd rather jump on your bike, you can ride a stellar 34-mile loop up to Tamarisk Campground and back on Yaqui Pass Road — plenty of elevation change in a relatively short distance!
Borrego Springs to Julian, 33 miles. We'll take a different route out of Borrego Springs as we point our bikes homeward and pedal through the desert sands toward Julian. A relatively short ride allows you time to explore Julian more thoroughly. Visit the Julian Jail, built in 1914 it was known for being the only indoor toilet in town for many years, or reward yourself with a bite of the famed “Julian pie” at one of the many pie establishments!
Julian to Chula Vista, 69 miles. We'll begin the day with a bit of uphill riding on the Sunrise Highway to Mt. Laguna, followed by a long drop into Pine Valley. After a short ascent into Descanso, it's mostly downhill to Chula Vista, where we may opt for a celebratory dinner at one of the area's seafood restaurants — after all, we've earned it!
"The downhills were fantastic, particularly into the desert."
2013 Tour Participant
"I am sure you hear this alot, but the encouragement and camaraderie made this trip special for me. I had never attempted a cycling adventure on this scale before and the encouragement that I received from the staff and other riders allowed me to do it. Thanks."
2008 Tour Participant
"Thank you for having this trip. The personnel were exceptional and exceeded our expectations."
2013 Tour Participant
"[There were] wild lilacs along both sides of the road for miles! I wish I had a helmet cam for the most awesome bicycle movie. The wildflowers were fantastic! Lilacs, salvia, fountain grass, white & blue verbena, dogwood, madrone, buttercups, yellow daisies, yucca, cactus…"
2013 Tour Participant