Bike the Bay is an annual event benefiting the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. Although it's been going on for years. I heard it about it for the first time in 2012 when I literally ran into the bikers. I was training for my first half-Ironman, Superfrog, and since it was in Coronado/Imperial Beach, I was doing a lot of training rides there. One Sunday, as I drove over the Coronado Bridge on my way over to Coronado, I saw tons of cyclists on the bridge. I was confused, as there are no bikes or runners allowed on the bridge, except for races. I came to find out, as I later started biking and talking with people around me, that this was the annual Bike the Bay, a ride that started downtown, went over the bridge, through Coronado, over the Silver Strand into Imperial Beach. and back through Chula Vista and National City. It's a 25 mile ride---untimed, uncompetitive, and open to anyone who wants to ride.
We (my husband, J, and my son, D and I) went with a few friends---my dear friend Todd, and my friend David and his daughter, among others. We caravaned to the Convention Center, parked, and walked our bikes to the start area. I have never---EVER--seen such a wide array of cyclists. The events I have been in have been either triathlons or bike-focused rides (like my century or metric century). This had serious cyclists, but lots of recreational ones---tri bikes, road bikes, beach cruisers, kids, riders in tutus....crazy. I loved it. We check in, put our numbers on our bikes, and waited in the long line of cyclists to get on the road.
|let's roll! (yes, I wore my helmet)|
|waiting to start|
Soon after we started was the one big hill---and it was quite a doozy. The Coronado Bay Bridge. I've driven this countless times, and ran it once in a race back in the 90s, but never biked it. Going up was pretty darned steep. I was worried about my son---but I waited at the top and was so happy to see him and J coming up soon after me. He had ridden up without walking his bike up. I was so proud!
|looking north on top of the bridge|
|looking south on to of the bridge|
The rest of the ride was mostly routes I had done before in various training rides. The bike path on the Silver Strand, the Bayshore Bikeway....most of it pretty flat and easy. My son had some trouble, as he tired easily. I had mistakenly told him it was a 22 mile ride, and he was unhappy to see it was 25 miles. At one point, he was so frustrated and tired that his face literally crumpled. It was heartbreaking. But he pressed on, and finished the ride. I thought he wouldn't want to do it again, but he said he loved it and wants to do it next year! I hope we do. If so, I'll make sure he gets more training in than he did for this one. 25 miles is a long way for a young boy, especially if he hadn't properly trained.