5-day trip in CA ... but where ?

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by nirusu, Feb 8, 2004.

  1. nirusu

    nirusu New Member

    Jan 23, 2004
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    Hi guys...we need your knowledge of beautiful trips in CAlifornia:

    We are coming to Santa Monica from Europe in early March and are looking for a 5 day cycling trip. Thinking about

    the area around Santa Barbara,

    or going further north to the Yosemite area.

    Or do you have any other recommendations in the general southern California area, cycling 60-80miles per day, either round trip or just A to B then taking the bus home!

    Terrain: small roads suitable for road bikes. Hills are fine but perhaps not whole mountain ranges :(

    Thank you for your ideas.


  2. lumpy

    lumpy New Member

    Oct 22, 2003
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    Do the East side of the Sierras up hwy. 395 and that area. My favorite part of the state. It'll be hard to find a loop though this time of the year but at least you can find lots of hot springs!

  3. rnagaoka

    rnagaoka New Member

    Nov 22, 2003
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    I live in the L.A. area and have had the opportunity to tour the California Coast, Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra.

    The Sierras (especially Yosemite!) are stunning, but it'll still be icy in March.

    If you are going to do only one trip in CA, the Big Sur area would have to be it! It's one of the most popular tours in CA. I met lots of Europeans doing this route. You could do a trip from San Francisco to Big Sur to Santa Barbara. Perfect for your 5 day, 60-80 mile itinerary.

    There's even a train (Amtrak) to take you back to San Francisco or Los Angeles. Be sure to travel north to south, so the wind will be at your back. Might be a little wet, but you'll have the place to yourselves. Camping would be recommended--there's plenty along the way with specially designated bike only sites.

    Another great biking area would be Anza Borrego State Park, east of San Diego. This is desert country...the weather in March is perfect and if you're lucky, the wildflowers will be in bloom. The drawback is that you would have to drive in from San Diego or L.A.

    Check out http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/pacificcoast.cfm
    A good book to read would be "Bicycling the Pacific Coast" by Tom Kirkendall

    Good Luck!
  4. cycleboy

    cycleboy Guest

    From Santa Barbara you could ride north to Buellton, west to Highway 1 or east to Solvang (Danish tourist trap) and up into the Santa Inez Valley and the wineries. Lots of rolling hills but no big climbs. Weather will be iffy. Still in winter rainy season but it's hit and miss. For a big climb you could head out of Santa Barbara up Highway 154 (San Marcos Pass (2200 ft. 2000 m)which loops back to Highway 101. President Reagon had a ranch up there at one time but no longer.

    Try to avoid 101 if possible. Too much traffic going too fast even though it's not an Interstate. Buy a Thomas Guide (at drug store) for Santa Barbara county and use it to find the back roads and you'll encounter almost no traffic, clean air and some amazing views.

    These routes will also take you past Lake Cachuma.

    Maybe drive to east of San Diego and ride in Borrego Desert State Park (previously mentioned). Weather will be more predicable.

    You may find that public transportation not as well developed in US as in Europe. California is the land of the auto. Everyone has one -- maybe two or three. You may want to plan on renting a car to get to these areas as you can then avoid busy highways.

    Good luck and have fun.