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Thread: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

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    Default California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    I'm working out the logistics of riding the Cali central coast, staying in hostels mostly between SF and LA. Do any of you cats have suggestions as far as direction, what the route is like, best time of year etc?

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    Jonathan, start a bit further north (Crescent City) to ride through the redwoods and stay at the Requa Inn. Not a hostel, but worth the slight detour off 1.

    Also, go in September after Labor Day. Great tailwinds...
    Start slow, then taper off.

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    The winds tend to favor north to south travel. The route is hwy 1. Just remember to keep the ocean on your right. Pigeon Point hostel will be on route, not sure about others. Check HI's link here Hostelling International - Northern California Hostels - Welcome to Northern California Hostels

    I'll be riding from the Golden Gate Bridge to Santa Barbara next weekend, staying at hotels in Seaside and Morro Bay along the way. We've rented a minivan for the return, but I've also done the train in the past. There is typically no fog in January and this year we should be seeing mid 60's during the day. Odd.

    This stretch is an easy 3 day ride. Figure 5 to go all the way to San Diego, and probably another 3 if starting in Crescent City. 9 or 10 would allow some time for ambling along the way. It's a beautiful ride--have fun!
     

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    There's a hostel in Santa Barbara, also there is a campground in Carpinteria Island Brewery: very convinient!
     

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    In the summer there's something called the zephyr wind but it should be a crosswind... There are some prevailing winds at different times that someone w/ more specific knowledge cn address. Riding hwy 1 is awesome. For the scenery, that is. You'll also have plenty of rubbernecking traffic. You could look at riding the coast enough to get it out of your system and then find some deserted roads in the central valley among the date trees and pistachio groves and love life riding the Sierra Nevada foothills and munching the best fruit and nuts around. If you stray inland enough to get to high mountains, high summer is the worst possible time due to PM storms.

    On the coast, Carmel and San Luis O. are great towns to visit. Also see if you can't take a ferry to the channel islands. Don't think they have roads but should be worth a look.
     

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    I meant Carmel by the Sea. There are both.
     

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    I'd consider camping but I think the new gear would cost what Hostels do and I can spend the night in a hostel every night between SF and San Louis Obisbo with nore more than a 100 mile day one day. I like Hosteling for solo cycling. It's a great way to have a bed, warm shower, breakfast and usually covered bike parking all for about $30/night on average. I'm thinking September-October would be best with September my choice as the days are still pretty long.

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    I'd also recommend the 1, riding south, and especially riding in sept/oct if possible. Some of the spots on the 1 have very little shoulder and it's much nicer to ride after summer when the RVs and traffic isn't quite as plentiful. Sept/October is our best weather on the central/northern coast too.
     

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    some of the old style motels along and just off the coast road offer rooms in the $30-40 range too. These deals are often advertised in pulp comic book sized booklets stocked in restaurants and gas stations along the way. They have the ads conveniently organized by location from north to south so it's pretty easy to plan your stops. The cool part about old style motels is you can park your motorcycle right by your room or bring your bicycle in with you easily. No elevators or corridors to deal with.

    I also have been having great success getting auto rentals and hotel rooms through Priceline's Name-Your-Own-Price program. MB-C300 for $17 a day, 3.5-4 star hotels for $50-75 a night.
     

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    Jonathan- I will be on the road in that area in Sept and Oct. When the time is closer PM. i will give my cell number just in case you need any road support. - houston

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    Two things: consider doing the California AIDS ride in June. Lots of fun for homos and heteros alike.

    If you are the solitary type, maybe the Lost Coast: https://clevercycles.com/blog/2010/1...t-by-brompton/
    Back when a moto trip there fell through. Probably a good thing.
    "Old and standing in the way of progress"

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    Pigeon Point Lighthouse is a great hostel w/ a hot tub overlooking the ocean
    Andrew Molera State Beach in Big Sur is God's country
    Costanoa tent cabins
    Big Sur has lots of cabin/ yurt places
    Esalen Institute
     

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    Hostels are easy, just about everywhere but your night between Cambria and Santa Barbara. Plenty of cheap hotels in Santa Maria, Buelleton, or Solvang.

    Day 1: Fly to SFO, assemble bike, ride ~30mi to Pigeon Point Light House Hostel
    Day 2: Pigeon Point > Carmel (~100 miles)
    Day 3: Carmel > Cambria (~110 miles)
    Day 4: Cambria > Buellton (~100 miles)
    Day 5: Buellton > Santa Barbara (~50 miles over the big hill, or ~65 miles via the coast)
    Day 6: Santa Barbara > LA (~100 miles)
    Day 7: Pack bike, fly home.

    Probably the best week of your life. Go in Sept/Oct for the best chance of clear days on the coast. Try to avoid riding the Carmel>Cambria day on a weekend, can be lots of tour buses.
     

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    There's a hostel here in Monterey. I don't believe there is one in Carmel-not really their style.

    You'll want to avoid the highway one here in the Monterey Peninsula, until you pass Carmel, at least. It's a divided highway from Marina to Carmel, so it's probably not even legal. It's fairly easy to jump off south of Santa Cruz and take some back roads down to Marina. From there there is a bike path that will take you through the peninsula to Pacific Grove. From there you can take Asilomar to Pebble Beach and come out in Carmel. Then, it's a easy drop onto the highway 1 again.

    I do most of my riding in Pebble Beach as it's super convenient to my house, beautiful, and low traffic, so I'm not up on all the back roads north of town. I can ask some of my friends for suggestions on a route to take from Santa Cruz to Marina.

    Happy to have you stop by for a nice meal if it works for you. Just finished a wood fired pizza oven, so am turning out some amazingly tasty pizzas. Just PM me and let me know if there's anything I can help with. Depending on schedule, I would be happy to ride through a bit with you as well.

    Jon
     

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    Also, are you familiar with warmshowers.org? Could be a solution for a day between hostels if you want to invest your budget on richer food and drink.
     

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    Thanks for all of the suggestions. I'll note them in my planning. The local suggestions and experiences are appreciated.

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    Just another plug to start further north, ensuring rides through redwood forests. Even if you're only on the north bay of San Fran - I rode around from Mill Valley and loved it. But that's coming from an east coast guy.
     

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    I always stop for an Ambrosia burger at Nepenthe in Big Sur.
     

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    Quote Originally Posted by Look585 View Post
    Hostels are easy, just about everywhere but your night between Cambria and Santa Barbara. Plenty of cheap hotels in Santa Maria, Buelleton, or Solvang.

    Day 1: Fly to SFO, assemble bike, ride ~30mi to Pigeon Point Light House Hostel
    Day 2: Pigeon Point > Carmel (~100 miles)
    Day 3: Carmel > Cambria (~110 miles)
    Day 4: Cambria > Buellton (~100 miles)
    Day 5: Buellton > Santa Barbara (~50 miles over the big hill, or ~65 miles via the coast)
    Day 6: Santa Barbara > LA (~100 miles)
    Day 7: Pack bike, fly home.

    Probably the best week of your life. Go in Sept/Oct for the best chance of clear days on the coast. Try to avoid riding the Carmel>Cambria day on a weekend, can be lots of tour buses.
    This is the ideal route especially for the first time. It's so beautiful and a sort of physical/mental pilgramage that I've done this portion several times and last time extended it from Portland to Mexico.

    Good luck and have fun!
     

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    Default Re: California Dreaming-planning a coastal tour.

    no tips but the coast of california is stunning...
    marin and the peninsula offer some great riding...
    hard to beat really.
     

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