San Diego to Tijuana, Mexico

Tijuana Travel Blog

 › entry 21 of 21 › view all entries
- Distance: 16.3 miles
- Cycling Time: 1h 10m 47s
- Average Speed: 13.82mph

The final day of my ride - a mere 15 miles to cross into Mexico. All the way down the coast I had heard that it was too dangerous to go to Tijuana due to wars between drug cartel and the authorities. I had a back up plan which would have involved going 45 miles to Tecate, a smaller town further inland but in the end I decided to just go to Tijuana. It wasn't really a pleasant ride because the roads were poor quality and the skills of the drivers were equally poor. I got a little confused at the boarder and didn't really feel safe in Mexico with my bike so I got a photo by a Mexican flag and left.
My bike in Tijuana
I had expected the border to lead straight into downtown Tijuana, for which I had a map of but it didn't and I wasn't keen on finding my way there and risk getting lost. I spent more time queuing to get out of Mexico than I did looking around.

Final Thoughts
It was a great ride with some fantastic scenery and interesting wildlife. If I was to do it again I would take more detailed maps for the section between Bellingham and Aberdeen, through Seattle. The ACA route would be more scenic but this involves taking a lot of ferries and I did not want to do this. On looking at maps when I got home I have found there are ways to avoid Interstate 5 almost entirely and this would have lead to a more pleasant ride, although would have added on more miles and the terrain would have likely been slightly harder.

Unfortunately I got some bad weather in Oregon but what I did see of the coast was very spectacular. The redwoods provided the first true touristy places and I enjoyed cycling through these as it was a change to the remote and sometimes run down towns north of here. Northern California was very similar to Oregon but the conditions gradually became more arid as I continued south.

The section from Malibu to the southern outskirts of LA were very heavy with traffic so care is needed when cycling through here but it is not too bad. There are numerous off road bike paths but navigating theses with the ACA maps is difficult as you usually can't see road signs so don't know where you are and the signposting was poor.

There is nothing exciting about ending in Mexico although it was nice to cross the US boarder at the start and end of the ride. San Diego would have made a perfectly good end point though.

So, in summary, the scenery is amazing, you see some of Americas big cities and the terrain is relatively easy. It is rolling for most of the route with no really steep hills then completely flat for the last couple of days. The route is certainly best done north to south due to the strong prevailing winds that blow in that direction. I felt very sorry for cyclists going the other way. I'd highly recommend this route for anyone interested in touring cycling.
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My bike in Tijuana
My bike in Tijuana
2,194 km (1,363 miles) traveled
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photo by: diisha392