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

by on February 25, 2014 · 17 comments

in Culture, Economy, Environment, Ocean Beach, Organizing, San Diego

bikes and beersJohn P. Anderson is an occasional contributor both to the OB Rag and the San Diego Free Press.  Just recently, 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

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

San Diego Resident February 25, 2014 at 11:27 am

So you’re promoting, drinking alcohol and then riding bicycles….


John Anderson February 25, 2014 at 12:59 pm

San Diego Resident – 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. We believe that drinking responsibly, being safe, and having a good time are not mutually exclusive.


Frank Gormlie February 25, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Howdy John! You may want to know that this post hit local google news today.


John Anderson February 25, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Thanks for the heads up. Hope all is well. :)


Ed Mie February 25, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Please register me for 29th.


John Anderson February 25, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Ed – welcome aboard, would love to have you! There’s a registration link on the home page of our website –


Ritch Azocar February 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm

You might want to look at how they do it in the U.S. capital of urban cycling, Portland. The Tour De Lab visits all of the “Lucky Lab” Breweries, but there’s no drinking allowed until the final stop. Drinking and cycling is dangerous and stupid enough in a city with vast bike infrastructure and mostly 25 MPH city streets…


John Anderson February 25, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Ritch – thanks for the heads up and I’ll check out that event. Portland has done a lot in the past few decades to make the city much more friendly to people on bicycles and people walking, there are many lessons we can apply here.


Link February 25, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Your we link at the boots of the page is wrong for the bikes and beer dot com. It takes you to:


John Anderson February 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Link – this was a mistake I made in the press release. The correct website is: Thanks for the heads up.


jim grant February 26, 2014 at 7:08 am

Brilliant idea are they holding a ” sign up for organ donor party” before the ride…


John Anderson February 26, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Jim – I’m not sure if this is simply snarky or you’re making a threat towards participants. People on bicycles and walking are very vulnerable in nearly every area of San Diego, I don’t appreciate jokes with this sort of tone.


obracer March 2, 2014 at 10:50 am

No John, that’s reality !
Come up with other ways to promote biking without the threat of DUI or serious injury.


Chuck February 26, 2014 at 7:13 am

Common sense tells us that using any amount of drugs while opertating a vehicle on public roads is not a good idea. To promote a event where you admittedly drink alcohol and ride on public roads is in my opinion, sketchy at the least. Not to mention the organizers liability. Of course alcohol is so accepted we have thousands of outlets to engage in drinking but no realiatic plan to get all the intoxicated people to their next destination afterwards. The idea of providing beer at only the last stop sounds like a possible solution. Good luck and hope the event is a big success!


John Anderson February 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Chuck – thanks for the well wishes and I appreciate your thoughts and concerns. All of the beer tasters provided are 100% optional and we’re also providing water and snacks at all stops on our ride. Legally and physically one pint of beer over 4 hours is not an issue with inebriation but I understand the concerns.


Chuck February 27, 2014 at 7:21 am

Sounds like a logical approach, John. Particicpants having several beverage options and the choice to just drink at the last stop is about all you can do. We have a poster for the event up at my work and have seen quite a bit of interest. Thanks for promoting cycling in Dan Diego!


John Anderson February 27, 2014 at 7:28 am

Chuck – very kind of you to put that up, thank you! Hope you have a great (and wet) rest of the week.


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