By Claire Harlin
Giro de San Diego Bike and Fitness Expo is poised to take over Solana Beach the weekend of Sept. 15-16, with events ranging from a long distance bike ride to a tasting tour of Solana Beach’s finest restaurants.
The bike tour, organized by GranFondo Cycling Tours, will offer 106-, 65- and 35-mile road routes, as well as 10- to 30-mile mountain bike routes. The event promises great roads, well-stocked rest stops, beer, a gourmet lunch and a post-ride massage. The road bike event starts at 7 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, at San Dieguito Park, with Solana Beach Mayor Joe Kellejian, Deputy Mayor Dave Roberts and Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce representative Daniel Powell leading the ride together on a bicycle built for three.
Roberts, who has adopted five foster children into his own family, will be the Grand Marshal of the event, which benefits two charities focused on helping local foster youth: The San Diego Heart Gallery and Rivers of Hope. Other event VIPs include USO San Diego Wounded Warrior athletes, Paralympic athletes, and current and former pro cyclists.
The bike ride underwent a change of route recently, and the event website does not yet reflect the change. Once slated for a ride through Rancho Santa Fe, it will now start at San Dieguito Park and head down Lomas Santa Fe to Highway 101 and north on the 101 toward Cardiff.
The mountain bike ride will start at 9 a.m. at Del Dios Community Park in Escondido.
The Taste of Solana Beach will take place on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the event expo, located in the Distillery Parking Lot on the 150 block of South Sierra Avenue, across from the Solana Beach post office. Attendees will be given “passports,” which they carry from restaurant to restaurant and enjoy food and beverage tastings. Participating venues include Parioli Italian Bistro, Woody’s Restaurant, Crush Restaurant and Wine Lounge, Carruth Winery on Cedros, Pizza Port and Lockwood Table Cafe. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 the day of the event.
There will be a number of fitness- and bike-related vendors at the expo, which will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will also be tables from political organizations/candidates and a display by the San Diego Heart Gallery, which will feature photos of every child up for adoption in San Diego.
To buy tickets to either event, visit www.girodisandiego.com or