For me, winter California bike rides always revive my spirits. Living in the Pacific Northwest means I can pretty much ride my bike year round. But even when riding in the winter, I still want to ride somewhere that is warm, sunny, and not wet. Where you can see the blue sky, and don't have to concentrate on avoiding puddles and potholes. Luckily, with family members scattered around the San Diego, Los Angeles, Palm Springs communities, I often have a good excuse, to take that break every winter for a few days of warm sunny riding.
The section of coast highway linking just north of San Diego makes for some spectacular riding. Cruising along with dozens of other roadies, sea and surfers on one side, and spectacular houses on the other. And I have discovered that if the temperature outside dips down into the low 60's or there are a few clouds in the sky, everyone stays home and you can have the road pretty much to yourself.
The coast highway has shoulders and even marked bike lanes that are plenty wide for bicycles and in most cases clearly defined.
This ride between
Carlsbad and LaJolla
that is mostly flat, but has a few hills thrown in to keep those muscles toned up.
At the top of this climb, you look down into the canyon bowl formed by the mountains of Anza-Borego State Park and Wilderness on one side, and the high plains of Joshua Tree National Park far on the other.
One thing about riding out here in the desert is that it usually warm to hot, and the roads are straight, smooth and you can just peddle along concentrating on cadence and keeping a steady pace.
This climb features lots of bike lane style streets and highways just perfect for bicyclists on the move.