Oceanside, known for its great beaches, iconic pier, historic mission, neighboring marine base and popular restaurant/brewery scene, has added Valentine’s Week to its stable of attractions. A key component will be a unique Valentine’s Day Bike Ride that will cap 10 eventful days of Valentine-themed activities, including the unveiling of one of the largest (26-feet high), heart-shaped balloons in the country.
“The Oceanside Valentine’s Day Bike Ride offers three distances – 5, 14 and 25 miles – all quite manageable for the casual cyclist,” said event director Jim Curl of Event Media, Inc. “The emphasis is on fun and enjoyment.”
The five-mile ride is a cruise along the beach, under the Pier and back to the finish at the beautiful, Greek-inspired Oceanside City Hall. The 14-mile route takes place on the vehicle-free San Luis Rey bike trail to the historic Old Mission San Luis Rey where riders are blessed by the Mission’s friars, offered a snack and a photo op and return to City Hall. The 25-mile loop is the beach ride, plus the Mission and a bit more. Near the end of the 25-mile course is a unique optional challenge. The 25-mile riders will have the option of climbing straight up the three switchbacks to the Prince of Peace Abbey to receive a unique memento of the climb before they descend. The hill is short, but steep and only those who can climb hills, or are willing to walk their bike, should try it.
All finishers receive special gifts – a Valentine’s friendship bracelet, a Valentine’s Week lapel pin and all riders receive a logoed cap. In addition, they will enjoy post-ride complimentary snacks of chocolate from So Rich! Chocolates and sparkling wine (for those 21 and older) from Bon Affair. Cookies, candy, music, food and a wine/beer expo round out the finish. A celebrity judges’ panel will award prizes for best individual costumes, best group costumes and best couple costumes, all with a Valentine’s Day theme. Bike riders who also complete that morning’s 5K Run/Walk will get a special combination gift. Proceeds from the Oceanside Valentine’s Ride benefit the Oceanside Parks Foundation, a 501(c)3 charity.
About Oceanside Valentine’s Week: Oceanside, San Diego’s North Shore, will be the warmest spot in the county during its inaugural Oceanside Valentine’s Week (OVW) celebration from Feb. 5-15, 2016. Businesses, attractions and community members throughout the coastal community have come together to offer 10 days of exciting Valentine-themed activities and promotions that include events, exhibits, performances, tours, movies, special menus, hotel packages and the unveiling of one of the biggest inflatable hearts in the country. A co-production of the City of Oceanside, MainStreet Oceanside, The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, Visit Oceanside and Event Media, Inc., featured events include a Valentine’s Car Cruise, Valentine’s Night at Sunset Market, Valentine’s Harbor Cruise, Romantic Movie Night (“Sleepless in Seattle) at The Bandshell, a theatrical event, street and museum art, and special menus and brewery offerings. Designed to appeal to all types of visitors from couples to families and friends, OVW will showcase the best of the beach community. For more information, visit: www.oceansidevalentinesweek.org.
About Valentine’s Day Run and Valentine’s Day Bike: The Valentine’s Day 5K Run (http://vday5k.us) by the beach and around the Pier and the Valentine’s Bike Ride (http://vdaybike.us), a 5, 14 or 25-mile ride around the Strand and out to Mission San Luis Rey and back, are the premier athletic events of Oceanside Valentine’s Week. Both events feature music, unique prizes and participant gifts, along with a special costume contest for participants at City Hall after the event. The official wine is Bon Affair, the official chocolate is from So Rich! Chocolates and the official endurance shop and course support sponsor is Endurance House. Other sponsors of the Bike/Run are Omega Bikes and Diamond Environmental. Late Registration for the bike and the run will be held at Endurance House http://endurancehouseoceanside.com on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 12 Noon to 5:00 pm. Visit www.OceansideValentinesWeek.org for specific events and updates, travel deals and more. To register for the Bike Ride, go to http://valentinebikeoceanside.com. To register for the 5K run, go to http://valentine5koceanside.com.