"As a social revolutionizer, the bicycle has never had an equal. It has put the human race on wheels, and thus changed completely many of the most ordinary processes and methods of social life. It is the great leveler, for not till all Americans got on bicycles was the great American principle that every man is just as good as any other man fully realized. All are on equal terms, all are happier than ever before." -- New York Evening Post, June 2, 1896

When do your rides start?

The recyclers meet at 8:00 AM for 8:15 roll out. Occasionaly there is a early bird start which adds 8-15 miles to the regular ride and the early birds usually meet an hour earlier.

Recycler Rides

1 Chain Ring easy ride, mostly flat, good for beginners.

2 Chain Rings intermediate ride, small amount of climbing, recommended for intermediate riders.

3 Chain Rings challenging ride, lots of climbs not recommended for begining riders.

Around Town 1 Chain Ring
Print a route slip

Distance 32 mi
Climb 1229 ft

Could this have been called “Why OB Normal?”, yes, but Around Town is just what the doctor Z ordered. This one starts at the familiar Old Town Trolley station parking lot and heads west to Ocean Beach. After a little climb we drop down to San Diego Bay and skirt Balboa Park on our way to Kensington and Normal Heights. After riding in circles and every which way, we head back west to Hillcrest and down to Old Town.

Balboa, Bonita, San Diego Bay 1 Chain Ring
Print a route slip

Distance: 35.3 mi (excludes ferry ride)
Climb: 743 ft

Start at Balboa Park then head through the park, the Gaslamp Quarter, and along Harbor Dr. toward Pepper Park. After a restroom stop we pick up the Sweetwater River bike path to Bonita Plaza Rd. After looping around Bonita we rejoin the Bayshore Bike Path to Coronado. After a coffee stop we take the ferry back to San Diego then back up to Balboa Park.

Riders who would like to avoid the distance and climb of the Bonita loop can cross the Bayshore Bikeway bridge across the channel at mile 9.2 and continue south on Bay Blvd until rejoining the route with a right on Lagoon Dr. This shortened version of the ride results in a distance of 28 miles with a climb of 550 ft.

Cabrillo Monument Ride 2 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 35.2 mi
Climb: 1089 ft

A fairly easy ride from Old Town, along the San Diego River bike trail, and west to Ocean Beach. We then climb up to Point Loma, and out to the Cabrillo National Monument. On the way back we drop down for a lap around Shelter Island and Harbor Island. We continue to downtown where we climb up into Mission Hills then down through Presidio Park and back to the start.

Carmel in the Middle 2 Chain Ring
Print a route slip

Distance: 33 mi
Climb: 1535 ft*

Beginning at the Sabre Springs Transit Station we go west on the 56 bike path and continue through Carmel Valley to Sorrento Valley. From there we climb to take a loop through Carmel Country Highlands and Del Mar Mesa. Next, we cross to the north side of the highway 56 and head toward Black Mountain before heading east on the bike path to return to the start.

Charlie's Bread 1 Chain Ring
Print a route slip

Distance: 34 mi
Climb: 931 ft

A relatively flat ride starting in Del Cerro, going west through Mission Valley, and up the center of Mission Bay to Charlie's Best Bread**. Then, we return along the west side of Mission Bay and through Mission Valley to return to the start.

**The Charlie's Best Bread ride may not actually contain Charlie's Best Bread. Ride leader may substitute alternative coffee stops of equal or lesser value without notice.

Cruising the Eastern Hood 3 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 38.6 mi
Climb: 2150 ft

A ride around the eastern neighborhoods of San Diego and La Mesa. Starting at Lake Murray, we drop into Santee, climb the Hwy 52 bike path to Tierrasanta, then cross through Kearny Mesa before heading into Mission Valley for a coffee stop. We return through Mission Valley and the College area.

Dehesa Road to Alpine 3 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 35.7 mi
Climb: 2165 ft

A challenging climbing ride from Rancho San Diego near Cuyamaca College, out Willow Glen Drive to Dehesa Road. We climb up Dehesa Road to Tavern Road then up to Alpine for coffee. We return along South Grade Road, through Harbison Canyon, and rejoin Dehesa Road to get back to Rancho San Diego.

Don Fritgzes' San Diego Bay Ride 1 Chain Ring
Print a route slip

Distance: 33.5 mi (excludes ferry ride)
Climb: 350 ft

An easy flat ride that meets at NTC Park in Liberty Station (on Cushing Rd just east of Dewey Rd - 92106). This is a very nice, not too difficult ride, that takes us around the San Diego Bay, and then up the Silver Strand for a coffee break at the Coronado Ferry Landing. We ride the ferry back to the downtown then ride along Harbor Dr to get back to Liberty Station. It's a great ride for first timers and old timers alike.

Easy Peasy Ramona Circuit 2 Chain Ring
Print a route slip

Distance 37.7 mi
Climb 1732 ft

Starting at Dos Picos Park this moderately challenging circuit takes us through oak forests to the overlook of San Vicente Reservoir. Then we ride west past Mount Woodson through the "flatlands" of Ramona. Next we cover familiar territory along Dye, Ramona, Warnock San Vicente, and Hanson. Our coffee stop is at Packards, a Recyclers favorite. Then a circuitous route through eastern Ramona back to Main Street and then back to Dos Picos Park.

Elfin Forest Ride 3 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 36.4 mi
Climb: 2300 ft*

Ride the rural and sparsely developed areas of Olivenhain, Elfin Forest, Harmony Grove, and Rancho Santa Fe. Enjoy the challenge of the rolling hills of Harmony Grove and Elfin Forest. See the view from the overlook of Lake Hodges Dam. Enjoy the downhill cruise into Rancho Santa Fe and the coffee stop in the Village.

El Monte Park Ride 2 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 34.5 mi
Climb: 1295 ft

Beginning at Woodglen Vista Park in Santee, we go west to Mission Trails Park then climb up and around Cowles Mountain before dropping into Santee. We continue out through Lakeside to get to El Monte Park for a quick break. We return through Lakeside and Santee on our way back to Woodglen Vista Park.

Island Hopping Ride 1 Chain Ring
Print a route slip

Distance: 36.3 mi
Climb: 638 ft

Get out your hurricane glasses and tiny umbrellas, it's time to go island hopping. From Old Town we go north to circumnavigate Fiesta Island. Next, we travel around the vast maritime expanse known as Mission Bay and head down to our second destination, Shelter Island. After a quick layover we take flight to Harbor Island before once again navigating the Pacific (highway) and concluding our adventure.

Jesmond Dene Ride 3 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 39.1 mi
Climb: 2050 ft

Starting from Kit Carson Park travel north along Bear Valley Parkway past San Pasqual Valley Road up to Daley Ranch. From there we go west on El Norte Parkway until turning north to Jesmond Dene Park for a quick stop. After a nice climb up Jesmond Dene, we head west to loop around San Marcos where we take a coffee break. Next we shadow Hwy 78 east toward Harmony Grove on our way to Via Rancho Parkway, ending at Kit Carson Park.

A Jewel, a Loch, and a Magic Cristobal 2 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 33.4 mi
Climb: 1325 ft*

Join us on this magical journey through the five kingdoms of Middle San Diego on our quest to the Loch to the beastly Panniculus and free the Jewel for its return to its rightful place at the foot lonely Mount Soledad. Along the way we may encounter flying beasts guarding their secluded Miramar den, sun beaten Anglers who prey upon the inhabitants of the Loch, and a Hall of Knowledge where the Boffins roam in their pursuit of enhanced cognitive perception. It will be a long journey with many trials and it will not be until after we conquer the Loch that we will be able to seek respite at the shop of Panera the Caffeinated. We continue our journey by looking north to Aquarius and consulting the magic Cristobal to understand that our future lies to the west. Feeling buoyed by our success we will muster our strength to climb up to the 6 realms of the Boffins before our final descent to the carriages.

Loma, Liberty, and the Zoo Too (aka Dr. Z's wild ride) 2 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 30 mi
Climb: 1275 ft*

Start from the Old Town Trolley station, head out to Ocean Beach, Point Loma, around Liberty Station, Harbor Drive and then up to Balboa Park. After a loop around the park, we proceed through North Park and Mission Hills to Presidio Park, returning to the trolley station.

Mount Soledad Wildcard ride 3 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: Less than 35 mi
Climb: Less than 1500 ft

For this iteration of the Mt Soledad ride we will start at Liberty Station at the same start location as the New Don Fritgzes ride (Cushing Rd and Dewey Rd 92106). Before we start, we will decide how we want to climb and descend the mountain. We will change our minds early and often. Aside from the mountain, the ride will be mostly flat.

So many options...

Nando's Ride 2 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 37.3 mi
Climb: 1575 ft*

Fernando Fernandez's variation on our series of Rancho Santa Fe rides. Starting in Del Mar, ride down to the 56 Bike Path, then north through Fairbanks Ranch, Rancho Santa Fe, and Olivenhain. We finish out the ride by heading to the coast along La Costa Ave and then down Highway 101 to return to the start.

Northern Hodgepodge 3 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 32.1 mi
Climb: 1800 ft*

Have you ever said to yourself "Man, I wish I could string together a whole bunch of Recycler rides, I wish I knew what it was like to ride this road in the opposite direction, or I wish I could climb as many steep hills as possible in a single ride!!!" Well, in this ride two of your three wishes will come true. Join us at the Solana Beach train station for a big loop around Encinitas, La Costa, Rancho Santa Fe, and San Dieguito.

Oceanside to Dana Point 2 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

8:15 am Las Pulgas start - Distance: 40 mi, Climb: 720 ft
7:15 am Oceanside start - Add 18mi distance, Add +500 ft climb

This ride has two starts, the 7:15 am start is at Oceanside Harbor and the 8:15 am start is from Las Pulgas Road, just outside Camp Pendleton. The early start crosses Camp Pendleton and joins the main group at Las Pulgas. The main group rides up Pacific Coast Highway to San Clemente, then El Camino Real through San Clemente to Dana Point. After a coffee stop, we turn around and go back.

Early (7:15 am) riders must either obtain a pass to access the base or must ride the freeway shoulder from Oceanside to Las Pulgas (yes, it is legal). To learn about acquiring a pass, go to https://www.pendleton.marines.mil/Base-Access/Recreational-Bicycling/

Old Julian Highway 3 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 31 mi
Climb: 1643 ft

A scenic and challenging back country ride starting at Dos Picos Park in Ramona. After we make our way around the southwestern end of Ramona we climb the Old Julian Highway to the junction with Highway 78. Then a swift downhill return to stop for coffee at Packards in downtown Ramona.

Olympic Training Ride 2 Chain Rings
Print a routeslip

Distance: 38.8 mi
Climb: 1600 ft*

This ride starts at Marina View Park, just west of the J St exit on Interstate 5 in Chula Vista. The route takes riders south to the Border then east along the Tijuana River Valley. Then we head north along Beyer Boulevard through Chula Vista and east along the Sweetwater river valley. After passing Otay Lake we regroup at the Olympic training center and then head west on the Olympic Parkway to get back to where we started.

Pepper, Salt, Ranch, and Greens 3 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 39 mi
Climb: 1950 ft*

This one is a little familiar and a little different. From Pepper Park in Chula Vista we take a familiar route south toward the border before reaching San Diego and turning east on Coronado. Next, we pass by hidden trails and a brown field before turning north for a tour of ranches. Once we hit sunnyside up on the pretty road, we go west to the beautiful plaza. Finally, we catch sweetwater and go with the flow back to the start.

Poinsettia Station/San Marcos Loop 3 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance 37.2 mi
Climb: 1345 ft

Starting at the Poinsettia Train Station on Avenida Encinas in Carlsbad, ride north past Carlsbad State Beach, into Oceanside. In Oceanside enter the San Luis Rey River bike path and ride east to Santa Fe Ave and then turn south. After a brief coffee stop in San Marcos we head west back to the start.

Rancho Santa Fe Ride 3 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 33.5 mi
Climb: 1907 ft

Short but moderately challenging, this ride starts at the Solana Beach Train Station. We ride out the Highway 56 bike path to Camino Del Sur then we travel north, through Fairbanks Ranch to Rancho Santa Fe for coffee at El Positivo. Then we wend our way out to the coast through scenic Rancho Santa Fe, returning to the train station.

The Royal Road 3 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance 32.8 mi
Climb: 1741 ft

Starting from Stratford Court in Del Mar, we ride over to El Camino Real then head North, through Rancho Santa Fe and Olivenhain, then west to Carlsbad and back south to Del Mar.

Santa Luz Cruise 3 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 31.5 mi
Climb: 2150 ft

Starting at Arbolitos Sports Fields near the corner of Pomerado Rd and Ted Williams Parkway, we head north on Pomeardo Road toward Lake Hodges. After crossing over I-15 at Lake Hodges we head back south into the Westwood section of Rancho Bernardo. At Rancho Bernardo Road, we turn west through 4S ranch then out Camino del Norte and Camino del Sur to Carmel Valley Road. Near the top of the hill there's a small park, where everyone can get a breather before heading back through 4S ranch on our way to Carmel Mountain Road. After a coffee break in Carmel Mountain Ranch, we continue south on Sabre Springs on our way to Poway Road then back east to Pomerado Road and Arbolitos Park.

Santee Saunter 1 Chain Ring
Print a route slip

Distance: 32.5 mi
Climb: 1000 ft

Starting at Santee's West Hills Park just east of the 52 on Mast Blvd, we go south to Prospect and around Gillespie Field to Vernon. We turn north on Winter Gardens to Lindo Lake and continue to San Vicente Reservoir. Next, we ride southwest through Lakeside to Mast Blvd and then over for an easy ride through Santee Lakes before returning to the start.

Solana Beach to Oceanside to Solana Beach 1 Chain Ring
Print a route slip

Distance: 35 mi
Climb: 650 ft*

An easy ride that starts at the Train Station in Solana Beach travels up the coast highway to Oceanside for coffee by the harbor and returns.

Tour De Campus 2 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 32.8 mi
Climb: 1331 ft

This ride starts at Mission Bay and goes through Rose Canyon and up to UCSD. After climbing Gillman Drive, we cross the campus and make our way to the top of Torrey Pines Road. We ride back down La Jolla Scenic Drive through Bird Rock and Pacific Beach along the coast then back to Mission Bay.

The Vomiting Sheep Ride 2 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 39.3 mi
Climb: 1305 ft

This ride starts in Mission Bay Park and continues through Linda Vista before we make our way to Mira Mesa. We then turn west toward UCSD where we have a coffee stop before riding down Gilman Drive to the Rose Canyon Bike Path and back to Mission Bay Park.

Weiss' Five City Ride 3 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 32.1 mi
Climb: 1690 ft*

Starting in Del Cerro, we ride north and then east past Mission Trails park out through Bostonia, Granite Hills, and east to Lake Jennings Park. We return through Lakeside and Santee along Prospect Ave and Gillespie Field. The climb up Fanita Drive is challenging, topping out by Grossmont College. We again pass Mission Trails Park and return to where we started.


* = Climb adjusted down from the value shown on the mapping site to correct for elevation drops due to bridges that pass over valleys. That is, the road passes over the valley rather than dropping into the valley as the map elevation suggests.

Infrequent Routes

The following are routes we do less than once a year, if ever.

Carol's Alpine Ride 3 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 43 Miles
Climb: 4037 Feet

A tough climbing ride from Rancho San Diego near Cuyamaca College, out Willow Glen Drive past Rancho San Diego Golf course to Dehesa Road by the Singing Hills Country Club. Dehesa Road to Japatul Road right to Lyons Valley Road. More climbing to Jamul then back down Campo Rd/Highway 94 to Jamacha Rd and back to the start in Rancho San Diego.

Del Diablo Del Dios Romp 3 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 35.9 Miles
Total Climb: 3408 Feet
Total Descent: 3394 Feet

Starting from Kit Carson Park in Escondido west on Via Rancho Parkway to Del Dio Highway, West on Avenido Del Diablo. West through Harmony Grove, Elfin Forest to the community of San Elijo Hills. Then west to Olivenhain and Rancho Santa Fe. We return via Del Dios Highway past lake Hodges and back on Via Rancho Parkway to the park where we started.

Dave Nunez Memorial Ride
Print a route slip


This week we remember Dave Nunez with a ride in his honor. This ride will have two main start times. Starting at Santee Lakes this ride goes west through Mission Trails and then turns east past Santee Lakes where we pick up the late group and then we go out to El Monte Park before returning to Santee Lakes to celebrate Dave. Arrive at 8:00am for an 8:15am rollout for an approximately 37 mile ride that includes Mission Trails. Arrive at 9:00am for a 9:15am rollout for an approximately 25 mile ride that is mostly flat.

Original Don Fritgzes' San Diego South Bay Ride 1 Chain Ring
Print a route slip

Distance: 24 Miles
Climb: 213 Feet

Easy flat ride. Meet at the San Diego County Administration Bldg., off the Pacific Coast Highway at 8:00am for an 8:15 roll out. This is a very nice, not too difficult ride, that takes us around the San Diego Bay, and then up the Silver Strand for a beautiful coffee break at the Coronado Ferry Landing, and then onto the ferry for the ride back to the city. It's a great ride for first timers and old timers alike.

Original El Monte Park Ride 2 Chain Rings
Early Bird

Distance: 32.59 Miles
Altitude climb: 1369 Feet

Beginning at Woodglen Vista Park in Santee, West to Mission Trails Park turn around at south entrance turn East again through Santee and Lakeside, and turn around at El Monte Park. Return back through Lakeside to Santee and back to Woodglen Vista Park.

Great Western Loop 3 Chain Rings

Distance 43.1 miles
Altitude: 4000 ft

The Great Western Loop is a popular route in the east county, starting from Rancho San Diego, following Dehesa Rd, Japatul Rd, and Lyons Valley Rd. This one has a lot of climb. The goal is to take it slow and steady.

Los Lobos Loop 3 Chain Rings
A route slip should be here, when we have one"

Distance: 33.7 mile
Altitude: 3407

The ride starts at 10989 Avenida De Los Lobos, San Diego, CA. The route goes west out Camino Del Norte/Sur and then turns east out to Lake Poway. From there we go north to Lake Hodges and then return south to where we started.

Mesa Grande Lake Henshaw Down and Up 2 Chain Rings

Distance: 31.2 Miles 50.2 kilometer
Climb: 3336 ft 1017 Meters

Start from Dirt parking lot behind Julian Pie Company. Head north on Highway 79 then North West over Mesa Grande until the riders meet back up with Highway 76 Pala Rd and ride more northwest to Lake Henshaw. Coffee Break at Lake Henshaw Store and then turn around and do it again in the opposite direction. That's right this is an out and back ride.

Northern Half Loop 1 Chain Ring
Print a route slip

For those who wish to take a longer route back to Dos Picos from the coffee stop at Packards, here's a routeslip for the Northern Half Loop. It probably adds about 8 miles.

Oceanside to San Clemente up and back 2 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 40.4 Miles
Climb: 1286 Feet

This is the easiest 40 miler you will ever do. Almost half of the ride is on bike paths with the only a minimum of traffic stops going through Camp Pendleton. Since it's an up and back ride, you can shorten it to fit your abilities and desires.

Riders must obtain a pass to access the base. To learn about acquiring a pass, go to https://www.pendleton.marines.mil/Base-Access/Recreational-Bicycling/

Paulie's 40 - 60 - 90 1 Chain Ringand 2 Chain Ringsand 3 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

40: if you start at Las Pulgas
58: if you start at Oceanside
84: miles if you start in Encinitas

Climb: also varies according to your starting place, mostly flat

This is like no other Recyclers ride. What would you expect from Paul? There are three starting points, Encinitas Train Station, Oceanside Harbor Parking Lot, and Las Pulgas Road and Old Pacific Highway, just east of I-5. There will be three different start times, one hour apart. The turnaround is Dana Point. The challenges of this ride are the distances. The more challenge you want, the earlier you start. Want an easier ride, start later and further north. The roads are mostly flat, except through Camp Pendleton.

Poway Loop 1 Chain Ring
Print a route slip

Distance: 13.6 Miles
Climb: 600 Feet

A quick sub 15 mile loop around Poway. Good practice ride.

Solana Beach to Oceanside extension ride 2 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 15 Miles (round trip)
Climb: 323 Feet

For riders who want to log a few extra (8 miles), this starts a little farther south and a little earlier and gets you warmed up before you meet up with the other riders leaving from Solana Beach.

Tour de San Elijo 3 Chain Rings
Print a route slip

Distance: 36 Miles
Climb: 2837 Feet

Starting from Kit Carson Park in Escondido, west on Via Rancho Parkway. Head west through Harmony Grove, Elfin Forest to San Elijo Hills. Then South Along Rancho Santa Fe Rd, into Olivenhain. El Camino del Norte to Del Dios Highway then Del Dios Highway back to Via Rancho Parkway and back to the park.

Organized and Supported Rides

The following are organized rides that are not affiliated with the San Diego Recyclers.