Balboa Park

San Diego has an interesting layout.  The airport is right in the center of the city (literally a 10 minute bike ride from downtown).  Balboa Park is also downtown.  Standing at the corner of 6th and Laurel it feels like you can reach up and touch the landing gear on planes as they come in for a landing.

Balboa Park is huge.  Not as large as Central Park in New York or Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, but larger than Discovery Park in Seattle.  There are tons of museums, some nice gardens, a huge zoo, the velodrome, and lots of other stuff.

What brought me to Balboa Park this morning were trails.  Flying into San Diego I was looking out of the airplane window and there were trails everywhere in the hills outside of the city.  I don’t have time on this trip to ride out to those trails, but I read that there were trails in Balboa Park too.  I found them.

Folding bikes with 16″ wheels aren’t known for their offroad handling.  These trails wouldn’t be technical on any sort of mountain bike, or much of anything on a touring or cyclocross bike, but they were pretty challenging with 16″ wheels.  Trails here are much different than in Seattle — you can look around and see where everything is instead of being buried in thick forest.  The surface was sand instead of mud.  The plants are flowering in early april, and falling might involve landing on a cactus.  All good stuff.

If you are coming to San Diego and have a travel bike then I recommend bringing it.  Having a few days of summer riding in the middle of Seattle’s spring has been very refreshing.  Tomorrow my wife arrives and we move farther up the coast — I look forward to seeing what riding I find up there too.


  1. You”re making me miss it there a little bit.
    Do me a favor and go to these places for some food.

    breakfast: Big Kitchen

    vegan mexican food: Pokez

  2. AlexWetmore says:

    Thanks for the suggestion for Big Kitchen, we had brunch there this morning. Big and good portions and a pretty unique character.