LGRAB, California style

It all started with our friend Wanda . . .

. . . who summoned me, Dottie and our friend Erin to California to visit her for a long weekend. At the end of January. Who were we to say no?

Because Dottie and I can’t seem to travel without taking at least one turn around the city by bike, our sunniest San Diego day was reserved for a cruise down the boardwalk near Belmont Park, and a meetup with our blogger buddy Beany of Brown Girl in the Lane. Though Beany didn’t want her picture on the blog, if you look closely you might catch a glimpse of the handlebar of her sharp customized Surly in some of these shots.

The group sets off!

The group sets off!

We didn’t get a real sense of what cycling in San Diego day-to-day was like (check Beany’s blog for that), but our one beachside afternoon was a lot of fun. So consider this your glimpse of what LGRAB would be if Dottie and I relocated from the midwest tundra and the land-locked southeast!

First of all, the colors would be a lot brighter; at least, this time of year.

Grass would be green, and it would be windy! The hair is flying in these shots.

Erin against the ocean

We would make sure to pause for some goofy photo breaks — OK, so that’s not a change.

handlebar pushups!

And stop for ice cream. OK, also not much of a change!

I’m still not completely sold on beach cruisers. In addition to the strange geometry, they don’t do much to encourage people to make cycling part of their everyday lives, even though they’re easy to ride in everyday clothes — we saw a lot more bikes on the boardwalk in San Diego than on the streets. On the other hand, a pleasant cruise alongside the beach might be a nice introduction for a reluctant rider — and who says cycling has to be serious all the time? Certainly not us.

Dottie & her cruiser

Dottie sparkles!

A beautiful beach with a vibrant city behind it is a pretty killer combination — now I realize why people fall in love with San Diego. You can see more pictures from our trip here.

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14 thoughts on “LGRAB, California style

  1. G.E. says:

    You all look beautiful, and you got to enjoy the Cali sun (hopefully you enjoyed it, because despite the rep SoCal has, it’s often foggy or cloudy at the beaches up and down the coast).

    I have to say, I am so thankful for my cruiser bicycle though. It’s definitely not one that is great for the long haul (though I have taken it on 20+ mile rides), but I find it enjoyable to ride in the right circumstances. The downside is that it’s even heavier and slower than my Amsterdam bicycle, but I think it serves a purpose, and if you’re not in a hurry, it can be great fun. I think perhaps it also depends on the type of cruiser bicycle? There is actually a local “cruiser ride” group here in the summer time, and they all ride through Denver… pretty cool. Regardless, it looks as though you all had fun on your trip, and that’s what really matters. :)

  2. Trisha says:

    @G.E. — good to hear from someone who has logged many miles on a cruiser! To every bike there is a purpose; nice to know they can be more versatile. And I’m kind of relieved to hear that SD is often cloudy, since I’ve been dreaming of sunshine since we left. :)

  3. G.E. says:

    @Trisha – S.D. is a bit better than other beach cities in regard to sunshine, I have found (and really, the year round weather is quite good by comparison to Chicago or Nashville or several other cities across the US), and the clouds almost always clear at some point, as I recall. Though, I must admit, it’s been several years since I’ve hung out around the area. Heck, I’d take 60 degree temps right about now, instead of the layer of snow sitting outside the door.

  4. Chirsta says:

    “I’m still not completely sold on beach cruisers. In addition to the strange geometry, they don’t do much to encourage people to make cycling part of their everyday lives, even though they’re easy to ride in everyday clothes — we saw a lot more bikes on the boardwalk in San Diego than on the streets.”

    Very true, Trisha. Cruisers are heavy and bulky. But yes, they can be quite fun. I have one just for cruising, and my Electra Amsterdam is for utilitarian purposes.

    You two look tres chic!

  5. Steve A says:

    You make me miss Southern California! Remember that the Masi from “Breaking Away” was from Carlsbad.

  6. David says:

    I want to start off by saying, I’m extremely jealous. It’s sooo cold here in Madison, Wi..

    You girls are as beautiful as always. The cruisers….not so much. But when you’re on the road, you gotta make do.

    David

  7. Dottie says:

    Blue Southern California skies – so close, yet so far away.

  8. anna says:

    Wow, I’m so jealous. I’m not really able to find friends to ride around at this time of the year.

  9. [...] about bikes and start riding one. Some ride out of choice, some ride out of necessity. Touring San Diego by cycle chic. A new study shows hands-free cell phone laws don’t reduce crashes. How to remove a stuck seat or [...]

  10. I am curious, what exactly didn’t you like about the Cruisers, and why re they not suitable for the street? I have never tried one.

  11. Sara says:

    So fun. Makes me want to get my tush on a plane to CA and then again on a bike. No better way to enjoy an afternoon with girlfriends.

  12. Esteban says:

    Nice to read you’r write up. SD is my hometown, was my parent’s hometown and I”m back after spending grad school in Western MA. I loved it back there, and I think its normal for folks to take their hometown for granted.

    The beach areas are flat – so a cruiser is OK for transportation down there. Not the most law-minded type of riding, but the beach is kinda a counter-cultural place.

    Once you move off the costal shelf, San Diego turns into hills and big climbing up to mid-town, which is a pretty rich utility cycling scene. We have *a lot* of riders – a huge road cycling and tri scene. If you went to the Coast Highway on a Saturday morning, you’s see hundreds, if not thousands of riders streaming past.

    Glad you got a little slice of it. For what its worth, I was riding about an hour from downtown today up in our mountains and rode through snow.

  13. meligrosa says:

    that is awesome!!! Sunny – Sun diego
    you all look marvelous :D

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