After enjoying a great e-bike ride through Santa Barbara, we decided to do the same in San Diego. We booked a tour with “Another Side Of San Diego”. This tour operator offers many private and group tours. See their offerings here.
We selected the “Old Town & Balboa Park eBike Tour”. We have visited both places in the past but thought it would be fun to go at a more leisurely pace.
This tour starts from their location near Old Town. Jeff, our tour guide, began by explaining how to use the e-bike and gave us some time to practice. This is important because e-bikes can differ in handling and operation.
After we mastered our bikes, we passed by Old Town and learned about the historic buildings. Unfortunately, we could enter due to park regulations.
Tip: the bikes do not have a basket for belongings or water. Jeff was willing to carry our stuff, but I would have preferred to hold my own water, camera, and phone. So bring a backpack or a waist bag.
Jeff regaled us with the town’s history and important buildings. We quickly learned that Old Town is not the real birthplace of San Diego. It actually started as a settlement on the hill with the Presidio Fort. Later a mission was established close to the fort. This location was chosen due to the commanding view over the San Digo harbor.
Even though it is not the real first settlement, the Old Town Historic Park is still worth visiting. It is a good representation of early period San Diego with its adobe buildings, museums, and shops.
To get to Presidio hill, we had to peddle up a steep incline. Thankfully, the e-bikes peddle-assist came in handly. We still had a workout, but it was more manageable.
On our way to Balboa Park, we had to pass through some busy city streets. This part of the tour was not very enjoyable, but there is no avoiding it. It is a major city, after all. Next time I am going to try The La Jolla Coastal Bike Tour. We will probably encounter less traffic and enjoy the ocean views.
The best part of this tour is entering Balboa Park and enjoying the long stretch of trails with no cars. The parks 1200 acres are full of open space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, gardens, walking trails, museums, theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
Heading back, the ride was mostly straight or downhill. We still had to pass through some busy streets, but it was more relaxed and a good ending to our tour.