The Great Outdoors

Eagle Rock

We haven’t done a special issue devoted to hiking and biking in a while, and we felt this is the perfect time to do it. Working from home and quarantine isolation have led many San Diegans to feel cooped up, and our expansive trail system, canyons, forests, and bike paths offer some much-needed fresh air and relief from the Zoom fatigue.

Even those of us who wouldn’t call ourselves outdoorsy (raises hand) have been hitting the trails. Claire Trageser, the local hiking expert who writes our trail guide every quarter, put together a list of trails starting on page 62 that includes the tried-and-true landmarks, along with less popular (and less-crowded) alternatives. You’ll want to check out the complete hiking list whether you’re new to hiking or regularly run up to the summit of Cowles Mountain—and don’t miss Claire’s list of three overrated hikes that, dare we say it, are worth skipping (your mileage may vary, of course!).

If you’d rather explore on two wheels, writer Andrew Bowen mapped out some scenic bike courses, ranging from six to 24 miles (page 72). We also sent out photographer Ariana Drehsler to visit landmark bike shops around town for this month’s photo essay (page 74). These shops recently saw an unprecedented demand for their business—a study by NPD Group says bike sales increased by 81 percent last summer, and the need for bike repairs also soared. We got an inside look at a new-school mobile bike repair, an OB favorite, a cycling shop that rents e-bikes on the boardwalk, and one in South Park that’s over 100 years old.

The great outdoors touches nearly every part of this issue. Karlene Chavis, chief meteorologist at CBS 8, also happens to be an avid hiker, so she enthusiastically hiked the South Fortuna Trail at Mission Hills for our cover shoot, on top of sharing her favorite hiking boots and other personal style touches as this month’s tastemaker (page 40). Writer Jenna Miller interviewed Amy Dixon, a paratriathlete for Team USA, and it’s an inspiring read (page 20). Dixon lost her eyesight in her early 20s, but that didn’t stop her from moving. She has won seven International Triathlon Union gold medals since she began training for triathlons, and she still runs and bikes six days a week. It’s a privilege for us to share her story.

Lastly, we honor Tom Blair, our former editor-in-chief, who passed away earlier this year (page 18). Blair was at the helm of San Diego Magazine from 1995 to 2010, known for the famous three-dot column he started while at the Union-Tribune. Ron Donoho, who worked with Blair for 12 years as his executive editor, penned this heartfelt tribute to his life and legacy. No one loved San Diego like Tom Blair. So in honor of “Mr. San Diego,” we encourage you to get out, explore, and admire every part of this sun-kissed city.

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