Launching your ride from North Park is pleasant because of a good variety of food to fuel your ride. From which, you’ll head east and travel on some lightly traveled streets. There are a couple steep hilly warmups, which will help prepare your legs from some of the dirt slopes ahead.
After a steady climb, you’ll launch into the heavens with a frightening 14% grade climb. Luckily, the views are nice on a clear day. Catching your breath, you’ll descend into some canyons of mixed cover and then stumble upon a shaded oasis, which is a good spot for a snack if you’d like.
Keep riding to find the mixture between canyon and suburbs. The paths scream downward along the fences of single family homes and all of a sudden you find yourself at a busy traffic signal.
Why did the urbandirter cross the road? To get to the sweetwater reservoir, of course, which begins to reveal itself to you. The trails start easy and then turn to a rocky, sandy mix, which is the hardest part of the day. You may have to walk, but the difficulty will ease soon.
Unexpectedly, you’ll then turn away from the reservoir, but don’t worry, you will return! The next section of gravel is smooth, steady, and enjoyable.
When you cross a small bridge and head back toward Sweetwater, singletrack says hi. Most of your next miles are on easy trails, but there are some technical sections. This section is also largely exposed to the sun. Sunscreen up! You’ll continue on this path until a short paved section and then you start on the Sweetwater trail itself.
If you are getting hungry, the burrito place is up ahead, which is also adjacent to some other food options in case you have drowned in mexican food. After your meal, the trails are gentle all the way back toward San Diego. The dirt trails eventually turns to pavement and you’ll pass through the Navy Yards to end a brewery for a sweet beer.