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    • CommentAuthortbird
    • CommentTimeJan 12th 2016 edited
    Hi All,

    New member here - moving to SD from sunny Chicago later this month.

    I'll be working in Solana Beach (near to I5) and living in La Costa area (near the Omni) I can commute a few ways by the looks of things:
    1) North on PCH then east on La Costa ave (~12 miles)
    2) North on PCH to Encinitas Blvd, then north on Saxony Rd to La Costa Ave (~11 miles)
    3) North on El Camino Real the whole way (~9 miles)

    Anyone familiar with those roads could you please comment:
    a) which route you would take; and
    b) which route you think is safest?

    Thanks all. Looking forward to riding with y'all!

    • CommentTimeJan 12th 2016
    Hi TC,

    Welcome to town! :o)

    I would take route 1 because it is both the safest and the least hilly. :o)

    Avoid Encinitas Blvd if possible. It's a wide main thoroughfare and people drive as if they're on a freeway. Besides, it's way hillier than La Costa Ave between the Coast Hwy and El Camino Real.

    Route 1 on your list will be quite nice until you make the left turn onto El Camino Real. I'm afraid the ECR in that area is pretty hostile, but at least I don't think you'll have to spend much time on it (if you work by the Omni).

    If you'd like to get acquainted with the area's cycling-friendly routes after you move, come ride with Swami's Team Fun on Saturday mornings. :o) We start from Nytro Multisport in Encinitas (Coast Hwy between I and H Sts) at 8 am. Of course, the main Swami's group has a 'fast and furious' reputation (well earned one, it's probably the fastest group ride in San Diego's North County), but the last 3 groups led by Team Fun are quite friendly and law abiding (no red light or stop sign running, etc).
    • CommentTimeJan 12th 2016
    This was basically my route for years and I still ride it on a regular basis.

    I agree on using the coast highway and la Costa ave.

    I ride thru the Omni on my way to Alga. They don't mind that at all.
    • CommentAuthortbird
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2016 edited
    Awesome. Thanks guys!

    On my initial scouting (i.e. google maps...) it looks like ECR had a nice-ish cycling shoulder, but folks had commented (and you confirmed) that motorists are a bit fast and loose.

    I was also stoked to see that there is a potential cut-through through the Omni - cuts 1-2 miles off my trip (I'll be living off Alicante Rd and working in SB).

    Thanks again!
    • CommentAuthorbossvoss
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2016
    ECR between La Costa Ave and Calle Barcelona is not so bad. The bike lane is much wider than further South (though traffic speeds are much higher, but no worse than La Costa Ave). If you want some variety (and don't mind some additional hills) I recommend these routes:

    SB or NB: ECR to Calle Barcelona/Garden View to Leucadia to Quail Gardens to Encinitas to PCH

    NB (especially near sunset but not after heavy rains due to flooding): From PCH go one block on Encinitas to Vulcan to Sunset Dr to Orpheus to Leucadia to Garden View/Calle Bacelona to ECR

    SB (best when traffic is light): ECR to Crest Dr to Melba to Nardo/Mackinnon to Birmingham to San Elijo to PCH

    In my opinion, the first one I listed is the safest of all the routes, though the short stretch of Encinitas Blvd is not a great one.

    Regarding your routes:

    1. La Costa Ave is slightly curvy and lazy car drivers cut into the bike lanes all the time (at 60+ mph). One of our forum members was hit on La Costa Ave (I believe he now takes the sidewalk instead), but this was also before the bike lanes were widened. I also do not like all the inconsiderate faster cyclists who pass very closely to slower cyclists rather than waiting for a clearing in traffic to make a safe pass. None of these factors stops me from taking La Costa Ave when I need to go to Carlsbad or Oceanside. But this stretch is not for the novice. Definitely use a mirror.

    2. I have never tried this route. Now I am intrigued and will try it out.

    3. ECR between Encinitas and Leucadia has numerous driveways, traffic lights and a narrow bike lane. It's fine when traffic is light, but frustrating and hazardous during rush hour. Be very cautious of rIght hooks and cars pulling out of strip malls; ride slow when passing long lines of stopped cars on the right.

    Note: I live just south of La Costa Ave and like to vary my commuting route based on mood, time of day, traffic levels, weather, how much time I have, etc
    • CommentAuthorbossvoss
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2016 edited
    On my first route, I forgot about a way to avoid the Encinitas section by using Requeza. This would add some more climbing and a few more blocks, but the safest IMO. Here's the modified route:

    SB or NB: ECR to Calle Barcelona/Garden View to Leucadia to Quail Gardens/Westlake to Requeza to Cornish to E St to PCH (or Vulcan if you don't mind the goathead thorns)
    • CommentAuthorJSnook
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2016
    Route 1 from the original post is definitely the fastest (and flattest) and despite high speed traffic in spots (La Costa!) it is a good route and highly trafficked by cyclists. A couple tips I can provide from my experience with this route:
    - in Encinitas (southbound) after crossing Encinitas Blvd take a right on D and then immediate left on 2nd and take 2nd down to K and then back on PCH - this will bypass the total cluster that is PCH through a busy part of Encinitas and will be much better trust me.
    - Depending on where you are going in Solana Beach you can do the same thing and take Ocean to Pacific to bypass a busy section of PCH there, but whether that helps depends on your destination - I used to commute through Solana Beach so I continued on Sierra all the way to Via de la Valle. Dahlia connects Sierra to PCH right where there is a bridge over to Cedros which could be helpful.