During the winter, I love to take my motorcycle down to Mexico. Living in San Diego County, Mexico is an easy hour or so away. Since I don’t like the freeway for leisurely rides, I take the 101 down to La Jolla and then hit the 5.
When I leave, I go through South Oceanside, which is not that interesting or exciting. But, as soon as I reach Carlsbad, I can get in the right lane and see the ocean in all its glory. Be careful, if you ride in Carlsbad, make sure to go the speed limit or lower as cops will get you for even the slightest speed limit infraction. Once you hit South Carlsbad, you can speed up a bit, but you will want to watch out for pedestrians and slow tourist drivers.
Once I hit Leucadia, I tend to watch the road even more as there are plenty of people driving and riding their bicycles. Also, in Leucadia and Encinitas, there are a lot of stop signs, so you want to take it easy as you will simply waste your gas if you floor it constantly. When I want to buy a burrito or other Mexican snack, I stop at Juanita’s – a famous and popular food joint.
Once back on the road, I usually don’t stop again until Mexico as I pass through Del Mar and go down to Torrey Pines. Of course, if there is room and it's a nice day, I stop at Torrey Pines and enjoy the weather. Then I'll hop on the 5 and head down to Mexico quickly.
Crossing is not hard as the Mexican border guards typically wave me in without a second look. I must note, if you don’t buy insurance for Mexico, you are going to end up suffering if you have your bike stolen or you get into an accident. I usually buy it online and just print out the information, but you can also stop at an office on the border. Remember, your regular policy probably doesn’t cover you in Mexico.
Once I find the Rosarito sign, I get on the road and head south. If you want, you can take the toll road, but I prefer the more scenic route, which is free. In my 10 years of riding, I have never had a problem in Mexico, but remember that you are a guest in another country and follow all the rules. Once I arrive in Rosarito beach, I typically grab a beer and enjoy the sun and sand.
If you have a bag, you should grab some cool gifts like cheap liquor or whatever you like. Remember, on the crossing back to the United States, you are going to wait in line. If you have time and know the area, consider heading to Tecate as this is a faster and more enjoyable crossing. Either way, if you are in San Diego and want to enjoy a ride in a foreign country, heading south of the border is a must.