Bikes & Beers: Promoting Bike Friendly Neighborhoods and San Diego’s Craft Brews

bikes and beersSDFP’s occasional contributor John P. Anderson has joined up with other enthusiasts to start what they hope will be an annual trek through our city’s bike-friendly neighborhoods combined with visits to craft brewers along the way.

They’ve dubbed it Bikes & Beers SD, plotting out a 26-mile bicycling course taking participants through many of San Diego’s most dynamic urban neighborhoods and to some of the region’s most beautiful natural sights. The inaugural event will take place Saturday, March 29th, starting at 9:30 am with following groups at 10, 10:30, and 11.

Starting and ending in North Park, the event course will go through Hillcrest, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Downtown, East Village, Golden Hill, and South Park. Cyclists will enjoy vistas of the San Diego River, Pacific Ocean, San Diego Bay, Petco Park, and Balboa Park.

The event route has been planned out to be predominantly flat and relaxing with only a couple of hills – the steepest portion is crossing from Sunset Cliffs to Point Loma.  Whether on a 5-speed cruiser or a lightweight road bike, the course is meant to be welcoming to all participants. Additionally, much of the course utilizes bike paths, like the Ocean Beach Bike Path, to expose participants to existing bicycle infrastructure of which they may not be aware.

Participants will visit craft breweries in San Diego including Modern Times, Stone – Liberty Station, Mission, and Mike Hess.  There will be tastings of beer, snacks, and water at each brewery on the ride, ending with celebratory pints at Mike Hess Brewing and two of North Park’s noted beer bars – Tiger!Tiger! Tavern and Waypoint Public.

Bike shops will have staff and equipment on hand to help with repairs and accessories to get bicycles in top working order.  At the registration area in North Park there will also be local organizations with information and wares for sale including the SDSU Business of Craft Beer program, BikeSD, and North Park Bikes.

Co-organizer Tim Stempel founded the Tour de Brewtah in Salt Lake City and organized the event for the past five years before moving to San Diego.  With the strength of the craft beer industry in San Diego, as well as the unbeatable weather, the organizers think it’s a great match.

They’re seeking to support more bicycle infrastructure and safer, more enjoyable streets and neighborhoods for everyone in San Diego via a contribution of  a minimum of 20% of the proceeds to BikeSD to support them in representing bicycle riders in the public space and continuing to build on the momentum for better cycling facilities region-wide.

Estimated cycling time is 4 hours but will depend on the pace of each participant. The full route map can be found here

The event follows major bicycle news in 2013, including adoption of an updated Bicycle Master Plan by the San Diego City Council and the city’s first open streets celebration – CicloSDias.  The second CicloSDias event is scheduled for the day after Bikes & Beers SD – Sunday, March 30, 2014, in Pacific Beach.

To learn more about Bikes & Beers SD or to register please visit


    • avatarJohn Anderson says

      John – during the ride we’re providing optional tasters of beer which amount to one pint over 4 hours and 26 miles. Following the rules of the road and acting responsibly are also required for everyone attending. I’ve received (and anticipate receiving more) comments on this topic – I think primarily because it’s a bicycling event. I hear very few concerns about the many breweries in the area that are located in office parks and draw almost exclusively from motorists, who then drive home.

  1. avatarSerge says

    “Whether on a 5-speed cruiser or a lightweight road bike, the course is meant to be welcoming to all participants.”

    Sounds like a great event.

    Must the cruiser have at least 5 speeds? I’m sure a standard single speed beach cruiser good enough for this course? It needs to be in order to be “welcoming to all participants.”

    • avatarJohn Anderson says

      Serge – I would be comfortable on a single-speed cruiser but might need to walk the steep hill over Point Loma from Sunset Cliffs. We’ve minimized hills but there are a few blocks that might require walking regardless of the bicycle used.

  2. avatar says

    Thanks for setting this up. Should be fun… if I don’t imbibe more beer than I can handle.
    I hope that it will be ok to bring and hand out flyers about the San Diego Co. Bicycle Coalitiion? And, I may have a bunch of SD Regional Bike Maps for anyone interested.

    • avatarJohn Anderson says

      Jim – Absolutely! Would love to have you on hand and passing out information is great. Would the SDCBC like to have a table at our start / finish area? We appreciate their work in making the whole region safer and more enjoyable for all.

      • avatar says

        I am not planning to be that organized/formal unless necessary. I had thought I’d be able to bring some materials to hand out; maybe to be able to address the group for a minute. Then to be able to head out on the ride.

  3. avatarVallie says

    Some friends and I are coming from North County. What’s recommended for parking? Is it possible to take the train to the start? Sorry if this info has already been provided–but I couldn’t find it. Thanks and I’m looking forward to this fun ride!

    • avatarJohn Anderson says


      Thanks for joining us! All participants will be receiving an email prior to the event with this sort of information (just fyi). There is a large parking garage at 29th & North Park Way that is $5 a day and usually little used. The street parking in the area is also generally easy.

      You could take the train to the Santa Fe Depot and it’s be about 25 minutes / 5 miles to the start area from there. Depending on your cycling ability that could definitely be an option.

      Cheers, John

  4. avatarStacia says

    I was hoping to do this for my birthday with some friends. I just went to buy tickets and they are sold out. Do you have any additional tickets available?

  5. avatareric rivera says

    I note that the event is sold out. Will any more tickes be released? Or is there a way to get on a waiting list or something in the event a few peopel can’t make it? I appreciate your time and effort to this event. Eric

    • avatarJohn Anderson says

      Eric & Stacia,

      Thanks for your interest but there will not be additional tickets released. If you follow the event Facebook page there may be some people that can’t attend that are looking to transfer their registration.

      Hope you can join us next year and please feel free to come out to the registration area on Saturday morning. We’ll have coffee, photos, information booths, and lots of fun.