Thousands join Rosarito Ensenada bike ride

Published 04 October 10 12:11 PM

By Sandra Dibble
San Diego Union-Tribune 

Photo courtesy 

Under cloudless skies, thousands of bicyclists from both sides of the border rode 50 miles from Rosarito Beach to Ensenada on Saturday, holding up a colorful Baja California tradition that has lasted more than three decades.

The Rosarito Ensenada Fun Bicycle Ride drew an eclectic crowd, some in unusual attire such as hula skirts and tutus. One rider wore a Mexican sombrero while another carried a large Cuban flag.

Of the 4,800 participants, about one-third were from the United States, including a truck driver from Chula Vista, an optometrist from Carlsbad and a schoolteacher from Oceanside.

“It’s pretty lighthearted. People dress up, have their kids with them,” said Emily Just, 29, who teachers fifth-graders at Camp Pendleton. “It’s not competitive at all.”

The ride started in 1979, and since 1987 has taken place twice yearly. Attendance numbers plummeted in 2008 amid an economic downturn on both sides of the border and homicides linked to turf wars between drug cartels. Baja tourism authorities have stepped in with support for the event, hoping for a resurgence in participation.

Jefferson Humphreys of Chula Vista said he stopped taking part in the bicycle ride several years ago “because of the violence.” But this year, he’s back in the saddle: “The atmosphere is a lot more quiet, more friendly lately than five years ago.”


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