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  1. #1
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    SF to LA route question

    hi everyone,

    posted this in socal forum already but figured i'd try here too.

    east coaster here (born in CA though!). might be spending a week out on the west coast at the end of the summer and might be able to bring my bike. thinking about riding from SF to LA over the course of a week or so, with the benefit of a support car driven by family.

    anyone done this before or have suggestions for the route? good roads to take - or, maybe more important, to avoid?

    thanks!

  2. #2
    I'm Carbon Curious 531phile's Avatar
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    Route 101, if you never did it before is there really any other route worth considering???

    There's a well known book for this it is called cycling the Pacific Coast or something like that. I still have yet to do this. You chose wisely, going North to South is much better than going the opposite direction because of headwind.

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 531phile View Post
    Route 101, if you never did it before is there really any other route worth considering???

    There's a well known book for this it is called cycling the Pacific Coast or something like that. I still have yet to do this. You chose wisely, going North to South is much better than going the opposite direction because of headwind.
    101 is rideable? that looked like the obvious driving choice, but i couldn't tell on the map if it would be bike-friendly or if it was more of a highway.

    i actually chose north to south because we have to be in san diego for a wedding at the end. but i guess i lucked out!

  4. #4
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 531phile View Post
    Route 101, if you never did it before is there really any other route worth considering???
    Are you sure you don't mean Hwy 1 (PCH)?
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    You could always get the route from AIDS/Lifecycle.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  6. #6
    I'm Carbon Curious 531phile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveE View Post
    Are you sure you don't mean Hwy 1 (PCH)?
    Opps. I did. The old Hwy 1.

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

  7. #7
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    We rode our tandem from SF- Santa Barbara 10/09. Much of it was on Hwy 1; got routed onto county roads occasionally but still hugged the coast. We bought maps -- I can't recall the name of the place we got them but they were bike-specific. I can't recommend this route enough. It's truly epic.
    When my feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh, *****, she's awake!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dchiefransom View Post
    You could always get the route from AIDS/Lifecycle.
    thanks. wasn't familiar with it before you posted that, but good idea.

    i was sort of under the impression (mostly given by someone who has driven out there) that riding on highway 1 would be suicidal. since some of you seem to have done it, i guess that means there's enough room on the road to ride safely?

  9. #9
    I'm Carbon Curious 531phile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by climber7 View Post
    thanks. wasn't familiar with it before you posted that, but good idea.

    i was sort of under the impression (mostly given by someone who has driven out there) that riding on highway 1 would be suicidal. since some of you seem to have done it, i guess that means there's enough room on the road to ride safely?
    I read portions of that book I recommended and it hazily remember that it said that there's part of it that is sorta sketchy around Santa Cruz to Monterey there are steep cliffs and very little shoulder, but most of it is OK.

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

  10. #10
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Highway 1 is THE choice - most of the time. Big problem this year, though: there was a big rock slide in the Big Sur area (south of Carmel) a few months ago and the road is still closed. Use this link http://www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi to check for updates - just plug in "1" for the route number. As of this post, it says the road is closed 3.2 miles south of Gorda. Assuming the slide is not cleared up before your trip (and that is a very real possibility - it sounds like it was a big one and clean ups on that stretch of road can take months, and occasionally years), that means that you would have to turn inland. There are two basic options. (1) turn inland at Carmel on Carmel Valley Road, cross over to the Salinas Valley, and pick your way on or near US 101 to close to San Luis Obispo and rejoin Hwy1. (2) Ride down Hwy 1 to the Naciemento-Ferguson Road, turn inland there, climb like nobody's business, go through Fort Hunter-Liggett, head south on Jolon Road, and pick your way on or near US 101 to the San Luis Obispo area. Option (2) would be much harder and much more remote, and every so often, the Army closes access to Hunter-Liggett to do whatever it is they do there, but has the advantage of letting you see at least some of Big Sur, which is stunningly gorgeous.. Either way would be scenic and hot in the summer.

    Yes, parts of 101 are bike-legal - in some places, there is no other reasonable alternative. Also, i would expect the Hwy 1 closure to add at least one day, and perhaps two, to your ride.

    I'm on vacation right now, so I don't have access to maps to describe this in detail. Get one of the books on doing the Pacific Coast by bike (at least one good one has been mentioned above) and keep checking with CalTrans on the status of Highway 1 through Big Sur.

    Hope this helps, and hope the ride works out.
    "I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
    (2) Ride down Hwy 1 to the Naciemento-Ferguson Road, turn inland there, climb like nobody's business, go through Fort Hunter-Liggett, head south on Jolon Road, and pick your way on or near US 101 to the San Luis Obispo area.
    that sounds like my kind of route. thanks for all the info...i'll check all that stuff out.

  12. #12
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    They shrunk closed area inside the base and put wire fence around it. Old check-point is unmanned now at N-F road entrance to Hunter-Liggett. We went freely through entire area last August.
    I'd prefer this route. The climb up N-F road from HWY1 is fun!


    Quote Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
    (2) Ride down Hwy 1 to the Naciemento-Ferguson Road, turn inland there, climb like nobody's business, go through Fort Hunter-Liggett, head south on Jolon Road, and pick your way on or near US 101 to the San Luis Obispo area. Option (2) would be much harder and much more remote, and every so often, the Army closes access to Hunter-Liggett to do whatever it is they do there, but has the advantage of letting you see at least some of Big Sur, which is stunningly gorgeous.. Either way would be scenic and hot in the summer.

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