Reprinted from the Hi Sierran. Some of the information below is now out of date.
“The Bicycle Section to take you for a spin”
by Sandy Sanders, former Bicycle Section Outings Chair
In 1982 Sierra Club members Lee Siegel and Rusty Runholt, both avid cyclists, saw a need for a bicycling group within the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club. They publicized a meeting and Lee volunteered the use of his condo as a first gathering place. Fifty interested cyclists showed up and shortly thereafter the Bicycle Section was formed and joined the list of other officially-recognized sections within the chapter. Susan Schereschewsky became the first chair of the group.
Soon the section had a full schedule of monthly bicycle rides led by Chapter Outings Leaders, and the membership quickly grew. Today the section’s membership hovers around 150. We have a monthly newsletter in print form and our list of rides appears on the web.
Every month the Bicycle Section has rides of every type, length and level of difficulty. Most of the rides are road rides of a few hours ranging from 15 miles to 60 miles. But the section also has one-day rides of over 100 miles and multi-day tours for the more avid cyclists, and mountain bike rides on some of the local trails.
Some of our more popular annual outings are our four-day Rose Parade ride from San Diego to Pasadena, weekend car-camps in Anza Borrego desert, a weekend in the Temecula wine country, a weekend stay at Warner Springs Ranch with an ascent of Mt. Palomar and a long soak in the hot springs, and weekends at the Sierra Club’s Foster Lodge in the Laguna Mountains. We average about 15 one-day rides every month, in all areas of the county.
During the summer months with their later sunsets we have several after-work evening rides. A tradition is our weekly Thursday evening ride through the Fairbanks Ranch/Rancho Santa Fe area, after which everyone gathers for dinner at a local casual restaurant. The Thursday evening rides start in mid-April and go through September.
We also have monthly meetings which usually include a potluck dinner, a slide show or other presentation about tours members have taken, or other topics of interest to cyclists.
Another aspect of the Bicycle Section is advocacy. The section has always been a member of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. One of our members sits on the board of the coalition, which represents the interests of all bicyclists in seeking safer, more bicycle-friendly facilities throughout the county and promotes responsible riding.
All of the Bicycle Section rides are open to everyone, members and non-members alike. If you haven’t been on a bike in a while you might want to watch for one of our short, flat beginner rides, which usually begin with a bike safety inspection and include brief instruction on safe riding techniques.
If you are a little more confident in your abilities, come to one of our regular Sunday morning rides. Every Sunday morning at 9 we have a moderately-paced ride of about 25 miles with some rolling hills. The first, second and fifth Sundays of the month the ride starts at the Carmel Valley Community Center, 3777 Townsgate Drive, across the street from the Del Mar Highlands Shopping Center, 1/2 mi E of I-5 Del Mar, and the third and fourth Sundays of the month we meet in the parking lot immediately north of the Mission Bay Visitors Center.
You can always find our schedule of rides and a membership form on the web at http://sandiegosierraclub.org/get-outdoors/bicycle/ or you can email and if necessary call Jerry at 858-224-3437 to request that a free copy of our newsletter, Out Spoken’, be mailed to you. For more general information about the section, please call (858) 452-3905. All you need to join us on a ride is a bicycle in good working order and a helmet (required on all rides).
Come out for a ride. You’ll be welcomed by friendly active people who love the outdoors.