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Old 08-08-10, 07:02 PM   #1
PAlt
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CA riders...some insight please

Just returned from a family vacation in Yosemite and around the San Francisco area this past week. Several impressions and questions as a cyclist struck me over the time we wandered around both.
In the Yosemite region, I saw VERY few road cyclists, and literally no one on the road except for those on "cruiser" bikes in and around the valley. We drove in on CA120 on the previous Sunday, and I saw drool-able climbs out of the valley at Manteca to the park, through the Stanislaus National Forest, and in the park proper. I recognize that the park roads are currently under considerable repair, but NO roadies? We did see a few on the south end of 140 outside the park in and around Merced, but nothing like I expected. Have any of those from around that area ever ridden on the roads and done any of those climbs? Any organized rides ever out that way? Also asked one of the Park rangers about mountain biking in the area, which was not met with much enthusiasm, almost open hostility. I know there is no mountain bike riding in Yosemite itself, but at least I saw a fair number of mountain bikes on vehicles around the area.
In the S.F. region, we took a ride up through Sonoma, Napa, and up Highway 1 to Stimson Beach, again I only saw one road cyclist climbing Hwy 1 north past Muir Woods. Lots of riders in town in 'Frisco. Looks like many like to use bikes for local transportation (though often without helmets).
Just looking for a little insight, I guess, into the "culture" out that way. I fell in love with Yosemite, and would like to try to find a way to spend some time out that way doing some of those routes, perhaps with local clubs, or members here who know the rides and the area. Educate me!
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Old 08-08-10, 07:32 PM   #2
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In the first half of July I spent two weeks in Santa Barbara and I was shocked at how few roadies I saw. There were tons of people on cruisers (yes, largely without helmets) by the university, but the obvious bike routes were, by my standards, almost empty. Compared to the Twin Cities area, I'd say the population of people on serious bicycles was a factor of 10 lower in Santa Barbara. From my point of view, the place should be a cyclist's paradise. I figured that my sampling must not have been representative. Otherwise, I don't get it.
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Old 08-08-10, 07:52 PM   #3
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I just spent the last week in the Mendocino area...about 150 miles north of Frisco on the coast and the roadies were everywhere! It was cool to cold (50-56) and foggy and I didn't prepare enough for those temps so I only got in 60 miles or so for the week. My dad lives on 140 between Merced and Yosomite and I've tried to ride the area and was a little intimidated by the traffic. As far as San Fran goes...the culture is hippie, plain and simple. Laid back, smoke em' if you got em' and the women don't own razors...and that seems to be prevalent all the way north of there.
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Old 08-08-10, 07:58 PM   #4
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Check with the Northern CA regional sub forum
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Old 08-08-10, 08:01 PM   #5
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San Francisco please. Hwy 1 sometimes, not often. Most in vehicles are ******** if you know what I mean.
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Old 08-08-10, 08:05 PM   #6
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All I can talk about is Southern California and from that perspective roadies are plentiful. From Ventura down to San Diego they are well represented. But it seems that in our national parks flat bar bikes rule. It was the same for me when I visited New Mexico and Colorado last month. Flat bars bikes were well represented but not than many roadies. Hit the coast highway from Ventura to LA any weekend and you will see lots of road bikes. Long Beach to Orange County it gets thicker. Orange County to San Diego and you are in constant view of a group of roadies all day long. Just go to the regional discussions and pick and area and someone will let you know when and where to group rides will be.
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Old 08-08-10, 09:19 PM   #7
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Lots of roadies out in this area. With the economy, they might be sticking closer to home for their rides. It would cost to do Yosemite or the Sierras. A ride over the Coastal Range to Pescadero for some shrimp at Duarte's is much cheaper.
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Old 08-08-10, 10:01 PM   #8
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You guys are looking in the wrong places. Pretty places to ride don't necessarily mean ppl are willing to drive out there and just ride around, economically and financially speaking.

You can come over to the south SFBA and there are plenty of cyclists around here.


PAlt, you should come back out in early summer and do Climb to Kaiser sometime.

http://www.climbtokaiser.com/climb-to-kaiser-route.htm

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Old 08-08-10, 10:07 PM   #9
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It does seem like you saw an unusually low number of road cyclists, but another factor is that the prime summer tourist season sees quite a bit of car and RV traffic on those roads. Many of us would rather avoid that and pick less traveled routes during this time, preferring to visit Yosemite and Hwy. 1 either before or after the main travel season. E.g. our club does an annual trip to Yosemite Park from the East Bay Area, but we do it in April. Here are some pictures from one of those trips:
http://sports.webshots.com/slideshow/549866853itMpfR

We also do an annual tour down the coast on Hwy. 1, but that's done in May, just before the tourist season. Here's the route and pictures from one of those:
http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=220688

And another tour down Hwy. 1, this time in early October - again avoiding the summer traffic:
http://sports.webshots.com/slideshow/549966386pBYPea
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Old 08-08-10, 10:23 PM   #10
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So, you THOUGHT you saw some beautiful places to ride, but the reality is there are even better ones... and that's where we were.
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Old 08-08-10, 10:28 PM   #11
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So, you THOUGHT you saw some beautiful places to ride, but the reality is there are even better ones... and that's where we were.
Yes, I did see a lot of California riders up in Mt. Rainier National Park the other day....
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Old 08-08-10, 10:33 PM   #12
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I believe when you were in SF, I was riding my bike around Angel Island. After a night in Oakland, I got on the train and only rode it halfway home to Davis, choosing to ride the last 40 miles on nearly deserted farming roads.

So from your car, you would not have seen me.
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Old 08-08-10, 10:50 PM   #13
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So, you THOUGHT you saw some beautiful places to ride, but the reality is there are even better ones... and that's where we were.
Yep. You didn't get the secret locals only memo. You just saw our basic tourist rides. In reality, California is so stunningly wonderful we just offer what you saw as bait.
I'd tell you more, but then I'd have to.. well... you know the rest.

Here are a few simple photos, just from the 25,000 shot over the past year.

We are California. We ride bikes. Every day.


Mtn, but still


















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Old 08-08-10, 10:50 PM   #14
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Wait, more you say?



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Old 08-08-10, 10:53 PM   #15
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I ride in Yosemite every year--I've gone down there with the same group of friends every October since the early '80s, before we had kids, and now the oldest kids are pushing 30. we've done Tioga Pass in both directions (I was young and strong once) and all the main roads into the park, plus every paved road in the valley.
Main reason you don't see more bikes around the area, I think, is that many of the roads have no shoulder and at least in summer, the car traffic is heavy, impatient and rude. Plus it can be really hot on the west side, from the Central Valley up into the park, but it's the lack of shoulders that stops me.
If you get a chance to go back, try it in the fall. The crowds drop by two-thirds after Labor day, and the weather's usually good until late October or early November. I live in Reno, and the last weekend in Oct. is a Nevada state holiday. Most things are still open, but there are no people to speak of.
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Old 08-08-10, 10:59 PM   #16
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I lived in the Ridgecrest Area when I'm home and there are lots of roadies.

Ridgecrest has/had the highs "ride to work" ratio in the USA.

The climbs are very long and the down hills are very short.
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Old 08-09-10, 12:16 AM   #17
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We ride in Solano County, into Yolo, sometimes Napa county, regularly. Next time give us a heads-up and we'll give you some routes to ride if you want to see roadies. Rarely do we ride these roads without seeing others. So many routes, so little time. You seem to have had a great time, even though you didn't see others.
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Old 08-09-10, 12:21 AM   #18
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If you drive around at 1pm on a Tuesday there aren't a lot of riders. The at 6pm or on the weekends there's an explosion of riders. Even in the middle of San Jose during a week day there is a fraction of the riders out compared to Saturday morning.
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Old 08-09-10, 01:29 AM   #19
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And I thought this thread would be about Canada.
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Old 08-09-10, 05:28 AM   #20
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And I thought this thread would be about Canada.
I thought this was going to discuss something about the Livestrong Project.
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Old 08-09-10, 06:46 AM   #21
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I wouldn't mind living out there. It sounds like you had a great time.
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Old 08-09-10, 07:38 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
I ride in Yosemite every year--I've gone down there with the same group of friends every October...Main reason you don't see more bikes around the area, I think, is that many of the roads have no shoulder and at least in summer, the car traffic is heavy, impatient and rude.
My memories of a summer time visit to Sequoia and Yosemite are breath-taking, inspirational scenery, narrow roads and heavy traffic of amateurs piloting whale-sized RVs.

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Old 08-09-10, 07:50 AM   #23
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My memories of a summer time visit to Sequoia and Yosemite are breath-taking, inspirational scenery, narrow roads and heavy traffic of amateurs piloting whale-sized RVs.

tcs
Exactly.
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Old 08-09-10, 08:08 AM   #24
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Brings back memories!!

As a kid - from ages about 7 - 14 my family spent summers in Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park, where my dad was sometimes the superintendent of BRC Camps - places where colege students worked the vast country side removing gooseberry plants which were the host plants for "Blister Rust" - a killer of white pine trees. SOmetimes he was a summer forest ranger.

We lived in Sequoia at Hospital Rock (near the entrance) and then at Red Fir, often living the summer in "tent houses." If we had a 2 seater outhouse with a real seat - that was luxury. In Yosemite, we lived near the San Francisco Recreation Camp - Camp Mather - where my family was able to take advantage of their recreational facitlities - pool, lake, boats, etc. My older sister worked at Evergreen Lodge near Mather. For showers (not very frequent) we fired up the boiler in the wash house. We lived one summer at the "Cuneo House" - an old ranch where we found the water well was polluted which accoumted for our illnesses during the summer.

Anyway, quite a life for a young kid in the summertime.

When I first got married, we spent one summer in Frog Meadows in Sequoia National Forest, where I was a forest ranger and the wife was slowly going insane as we were at about 7,000 feet and 20 some miles from the nearest town by dirt road. Our "neighbors" were the lookout and his wife on Tobias Peak - required a 4 wheel drive truck to get there, and Baker Point, where one had to hike in. Nora, being a very social person, with an 18 month old toddler wanting to rush off into the never-ending forest, was not quite so happy about our choice of living in a mouse-infested cabin with no electricity, and me going off to fight fires.


Incidentally, one can rent the Frog Meadow cabin now!



http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia/recr...og_meadow.html




Well, that was life a LONG time ago.

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Old 08-09-10, 10:12 AM   #25
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Wow, let the generalizations fly!

Down here on the central coast, there are roadies everywhere. If you go to the mountain bike trails, you'll see lots of mountain bikers. A lot of people ride here. That's my generalization.

One statement I'll make is provable: we have weather here that's conducive to riding 12 months out of the year. A really cold day is in the 50's. A really cold night might get down close to freezing. Frozen pipes? Why would pipes freeze? Hey northerner, what's that stuff wrapped around your outside spigot?
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