San Diego

biking at Rose Canyon
A girl bikes San Diego: Rose Canyon area

If you are visiting San Diego and enjoy biking, then bike rentals might be just right for you. The weather in San Diego is often quite nice and there are lots of touristy, bike-friendly places to explore.

Bikes San Diego: Where to Rent a Bike

Not surprisingly, touristy places which are accessible by bike also have conveniently located stores offering bike rentals. For example, you can easily rent a bike in any of these bike-friendly places:

Mission Beach - has a concrete sidewalk alongside the beach
- access to Belmont Park (amusement park)
- eateries along Mission Blvd (one block inland)

La Jolla Shores - has a concrete sidewalk alongside the beach
- quaint restaurants & shops along Avenida de la Playa
- great place to people-watch and be watched

La Jolla Cove - nice bike path with picturesque grassy area
- at the Cove: tide pools and caves to explore
- at Children's Pool: seals
- walk on Sea Wall with ocean waves crashing on it
- at Windansea Beach: watch surfers at their best

Embarcadero - paved, waterfront bike path
- view of Star of India (sail boat)
- view of USS Midway (retired aircraft carrier)
- access to Seaport Village (quaint shopping district)

Coronado - arrive via 25 min Ferry Boat across San Diego Bay
- stunning view of San Diego skyline
- wide streets with little traffic
- access to Hotel del Coronado (renown hotel)
- view of Coronado Bridge (San Diego landmark)

Mission Bay Park - easy bike paths with no cars
- view of SeaWorld
- access to Fiesta Island
- family fun: picnic tables, playground, kite flying

If you are a bit wary of striking out on your own, you can sign up for a Bike Tour. Ask your shop keeper what kinds of tours are available. They range from easy-rides around downtown San Diego, or challenging rides up & down Mount Soledad!

Type in "San Diego bike tours" for a google search

Bikes San Diego: Types of Bicycle

Bikes San Diego merchants offer vary in style. The kind of bike you rent will depend on what it is that you wish to do.

types of bike
  • Road bikes have high-pressure, narrow tires which are designed for paved streets. The handle bars are curved downwards ("dropped") for better aerodynamics. These used to be called "10-speed bikes": they are lightweight and can go fast.
  • Mountain bikes are made to withstand rough terrain: they're sturdy and heavy. The tires are 2" wide, the handle bars are horizontal ("flat"), and the bike may have a suspension system.
  • Hybrid bikes are good for paved streets and well-maintained dirt paths. They are faster than mountain bikes but heavier than road bikes. They are intermediate in weight, speed, and durability.
  • Cruiser bikes have sturdy frames, raised handle bars, and balloon tires: they are a style of bicycle from the 1930's. These bicycles are comfortable and simple to use. Their carefree, easy-peasy style make them popular as bike rentals.
  • There’s also tandem bikes, kids bikes, and trailers (which you hook up and drag along).
Bike rentals can be per hour, per half-day, per full-day ($20 to $30), or for longer periods. When you rent a bike, don't be shy: ask the shop keeper about helmets, maps, and advice as to best places to eat and places to avoid.

Type in "San Diego bike rentals" for a google search

Bikes San Diego: Rules, Regulations, and Safety

Kids helmet law Generally speaking, adults are not required to wear a helmet, but it is highly recommended that you do so. Children under 18 are required by law to wear a helmet. When biking at night, make sure you have a headlight, reflectors, and reflective clothing. By law, children are not allowed to bicycle without an adult after dusk.

Keep both hands on your handlebars by storing belongs in panniers, an attached basket, or wearing a backpack. Hand signals should be used so drivers can anticipate your movements. Be wary of parked cars whose doors may open suddenly. See more safety tips from California Transportation.

By California law, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and should abide by laws that govern automobiles. Bicycles should be on the street (not on sidewalk), and travel in the same direction as traffic. Ride on the right side of the road and avoid weaving in-and-out erratically. Do not drink and drive. See full details from Dept of Motor Vehicles.

San Diego biking books