Ride b/w Santa Barbara - San Luis Obispo PCH

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Cl6120, Feb 8, 2004.

  1. Cl6120

    Cl6120 Guest

    I may be in California mid March and if I do go, I am thinking about spending a few days riding
    Pacific Coast Highway.

    I read somewhere there is a Century b/w SB and SLO where the group takes Amtrak from one place to
    the other (forget which direction) in the morning and ride back to the original point.

    I am interested in doing something like that, comeback in one day or ride one way one day and ride
    back the next day.

    Can anyone share what the road.traffic condition is like on the Pacific Coast Highway b/w the two
    place. Any ride experience/advise/general impressions, etc. etc would be appreciated.

    Also what would be the mileage b/w the two? The mapping sites like Yahoo, keeps giving info for
    inland road, not the coastal road.

    Thank you.
     
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  2. Peter

    Peter Guest

    cl6120 wrote:

    > I may be in California mid March and if I do go, I am thinking about spending a few days riding
    > Pacific Coast Highway.
    >
    > I read somewhere there is a Century b/w SB and SLO where the group takes Amtrak from one place to
    > the other (forget which direction) in the morning and ride back to the original point.
    >
    > I am interested in doing something like that, comeback in one day or ride one way one day and ride
    > back the next day.
    >
    > Can anyone share what the road.traffic condition is like on the Pacific Coast Highway b/w the two
    > place. Any ride experience/advise/general impressions, etc. etc would be appreciated.
    >
    > Also what would be the mileage b/w the two? The mapping sites like Yahoo, keeps giving info for
    > inland road, not the coastal road.

    I rode along this stretch last spring as part of a ride from San Francisco down to Santa Barbara to
    pick up my daughter from UCSB. For much of this stretch there is no public coastal road until
    Gaviota. We had lunch in SLO and then continued about 12 miles along a lightly-used frontage road of
    101 to Pismo Beach where we camped overnight near the beach. The next day we continued mainly on Hwy
    1 to Vandenberg AFB and then on to Lompoc. Most of this stretch was through fairly flat inland
    farmland with a few short hills until nearing the AFB where there were a couple sustained climbs up
    to about 600'. After lunch in Lompoc we continued up a longer climb to just over 1000' before
    dropping down to Hwy. 101 just north of Gaviota and rode the shoulder to the state park where we
    camped. Mileage for the day was 71. The next day was on the shoulder of 101 and near the ocean until
    nearing Goleta where we used some city streets until reaching the bike path through the UCSB campus
    and continuing into Santa Barbara (don't miss the unmarked natural bridge at the west end of Goleta
    Beach just after rolling down the hill from the campus). Riding distance from Gaviota to the pier in
    SB was 38 miles - almost all flat and with a tailwind.

    The winds along and near the coast are an incentive for one-way trips. Prevailing direction is from
    the northwest so north to south trips are generally preferable.
     
  3. Rick Warner

    Rick Warner Guest

    [email protected] (cl6120) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I may be in California mid March and if I do go, I am thinking about spending a few days riding
    > Pacific Coast Highway.
    >
    > I read somewhere there is a Century b/w SB and SLO where the group takes Amtrak from one place to
    > the other (forget which direction) in the morning and ride back to the original point.

    Actually, there are at least two rides like that. One of the SB area clubs does one (may be more)
    and then SLOBC does one. Both travel N->S. The SB folks ride north on the train, then cycle back to
    SB. The SLO folks cycle south to SB then take the train back.

    > I am interested in doing something like that, comeback in one day or ride one way one day and ride
    > back the next day.

    It is a healthy ride for a day. Around 100 miles, or a bit more, depending on the exact route.

    > Can anyone share what the road.traffic condition is like on the Pacific Coast Highway b/w the two
    > place. Any ride experience/advise/general impressions, etc. etc would be appreciated.

    As others have said, there is no coastal route for most of that distance. Sand dunes, then
    Vandenburg AFB. This is one of the most popular touring cyclists 'routes' but there are many
    alternatives. The general route starts down 1 through Guadelupe and around til it merges with 135
    near the Orcutt grade. You then have a lot of options from there; the most common is either 1 or the
    Harris Grade to Lompoc, then continue on 1 until it merges with 101 just north of Gaviota pass; over
    Gaviota you catch the ocean and can ride 101 and beach trails to Goleta and then surface streets
    into SB. But other alternatives will keep you inland until SB, like going over San Marcos pass.

    - rick
     
  4. Kirby James

    Kirby James Guest

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