By Dustin Clendenen
Our weather is the envy of the world year-round, but even SoCal blooms in the spring. Now’s the time to venture out of your car and experience all the Golden State has to offer. Our roundup of group bike tours are the perfect excuse to explore the great outdoors and work up a sweat while you’re at it. Having such an eco-friendly hobby won’t hurt either!
If you want to experience Los Angeles, you’re in for one of the most diverse urban landscapes in the entire world, from a bustling downtown metropolis, to sun-soaked beaches, to beautiful hiking trails and national forests, not to mention all the celebrities, world-class food and an art scene getting attention across the globe. LA Cycle Tours offers a number of group bike adventures in all these areas, every single day. Focusing mostly on the diversity of downtown, the company’s tours take riders on a sightseeing expedition of the areas brightest street art and murals, the city’s best taco stands or pastry shops and a 40-mile ride from the urban core to the beach. Tours start at $65 and up. Check out the event calendar for more details and specific pricing at www.LACycleTours.com or call (323) 550-8265 to book your adventure.
Orange County has some of the best biking routes on the west coast — possibly even the nation. Covering almost 1,000 square miles of lush landscape, The O.C. has more natural diversity than Los Angeles, and without the crowds. ARB Cyclery offers group tours along Newport Beach’s stunning coastlines (starting at $230 per person), through the picturesque neighborhoods of Irvine, and up to spectacular views from the Santa Ana Mountains. Prices vary based on distance covered and the number of riders in your group. Visit www.ARBcyclery.com or call (866) 742-2196 to find a tour that’s a great fit for you.
Just mentioning Santa Barbara summons images of picnics and wine-haze revelry, but the rolling vineyards have so much more to offer than fun for vino-connoisseurs. Santa Barbara Wine County Cycling Tours take riders all across the Santa Ynez Valley and even up into the canyons of the San Rafael Mountains. The Wine, Dine & Unwind ride takes riders on a leisurely, 20-mile ride across the valley in the morning, concluding with gourmet lunch and massage at next door Terra Massage. Tour prices vary, depending on the number of participants. Go to www.WineCountryCycling.com or call (888) 557-8687 to learn about their numerous options.
To SoCal natives, Palm Springs is that vast, quiet oasis in the desert we escape to for a recharging, relaxing (maybe even mystical) experience. Big Wheels Tours takes riders on a breath-taking, 20-mile trek through the San Andreas Fault and into unforgettable destinations like the ghost-town around Salton Sea. The four hour journey costs $105 per person, with group discounts available. The company will also work with customers on creating a customized tour. Visit www.BWBtours.com or call (760) 779-1837 for more information.
“America’s Finest City,” aka San Diego, is renowned for its amazing food and the surf community along its miles and miles of white sand beaches. With such a beautiful locale, it should come as no surprise that San Diego has an incredibly large and active biking community. Two of the most popular group tours in the region are provided by La Jolla Bike Tours. The La Jolla Freefall takes riders on a three hour descent from Mt. Soledad into the Pacific Beach community. Rates start as low as $49 per person. The $29 La Jolla Loop takes tour-goers on a leisurely trek through the city’s most luxurious neighborhoods. Visit www.BikeAndKayakTours.com or call (858) 454-1010 to make a reservation.