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Old 08-07-09, 10:25 PM   #1
Ferrino
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San Francisco to San Diego

So a few of us have been thinking of riding from SF to SD for some time and we have an opportunity to possibly do this ride in late February 2010. I was therefore hoping to do some research on routes and get as much advice as possible. Are there any good websites dedicated to this ride? Or books even? Has anyone here done it?

We are basically thinking of doing it over 6 or 7 days, staying in cheap hotels, with minimal luggage on our road bikes.

Thanks!
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Old 08-07-09, 10:48 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ferrino View Post
So a few of us have been thinking of riding from SF to SD for some time and we have an opportunity to possibly do this ride in late February 2010. I was therefore hoping to do some research on routes and get as much advice as possible. Are there any good websites dedicated to this ride? Or books even? Has anyone here done it?

We are basically thinking of doing it over 6 or 7 days, staying in cheap hotels, with minimal luggage on our road bikes.

Thanks!
Do a google search for "aids ride sf la". It's a big annual ride. They might have a map ontheir site.
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Old 08-07-09, 10:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ferrino View Post
So a few of us have been thinking of riding from SF to SD for some time and we have an opportunity to possibly do this ride in late February 2010. I was therefore hoping to do some research on routes and get as much advice as possible. Are there any good websites dedicated to this ride? Or books even? Has anyone here done it?

We are basically thinking of doing it over 6 or 7 days, staying in cheap hotels, with minimal luggage on our road bikes.

Thanks!
My brother and some buddies, some years ago, did Washington to Los Angeles. My brother popped his knee out of place or something and stopped at San Francisco but I believe they found it easy to just camp along the way. They had no trailers and carried everything on the bikes.

Geeze, good story, didn't help you though oops.
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Old 08-07-09, 11:01 PM   #4
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"Bicycling the Pacific Coast" by Vicky Spring and Tom Kirkendall 4th ed. pages 193 thru 257 provides a day by day route. You can find it at Amazon, any major bookstore, or REI. Some of the info regarding travel through the Marine base at Oceanside may not be current, but there are several posts here that provide current status and requirements.

I suspect that if you go to the Touring section of the forum, you may find a number of people that have ridden it that can provide you with some incite.
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Old 08-09-09, 01:52 PM   #5
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I have ridden from S.F. to L.A. 4 times, always following the Adventure Cycles Pacific coast map:
http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/pacificcoast.cfm

I have also ridden from L.A. to San Diego on the continuation of that route- on a separate occasion- in a day

We did the S.F. to L.A. section as you described- traveling light and staying in motels. We did about 125 miles a day for the first 3 days and about 100 on the last. (total of 4 days)

There could be a few problems with lodging if you don't do bigger millage days- there are some gaps with no hotels. We discovered this the first year, when we set out with no plan of where to stay or how many days it would take. Our millage on day 2 was low (very hilly day) and as we studied the map we realized that there is nothing between Lompoc and Santa Barbara... we were in Cambria, and ended up opting for the 160 mile day to get us to S.B....

Since that first year we have always ridden:
1) S.F. to Monterey 125 miles
2) Mont. to Moro Bay 125 miles
3) M.B. to Santa Barbara 135 miles
4) S.B. to L.A 90 miles (to santa monica)

If I could make a few suggestions- Your travel time is not optimum. The first time I did this trip was in Nov. and all following years we rode it over Labor Day weekend- The short days are a real bummer and they require that you carry more garments due to more time riding in cold/dark... also there is a much higher chance of rain over the winter..

make reservations at hotels with washer/dryers so you can travel lighter with only one set of cycling clothes...

figure out nutrition based on what's available en route.. two days worth of fancy drink mix will feel like a lead weight in your pack!

PM me if you want any more info!

Good Luck!

oh and on years 3 and 4 we opted for a "SAG" car! for sure an upgrade in comfort and convenience!
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Old 08-09-09, 09:10 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies!

Regarding the date of late February, this is out of our control as we are financially constrained and happen to be converging on SF for a conference... Temperature is not a problem for us (probably optimal for me actually) but yes the probability of rain and short daylight hours could be frustrating, but no biggy!

Where can I find the latest info on riding through Camp Pendleton, please?
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Old 08-09-09, 09:14 PM   #7
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For fun I just looked and this may not answer your full Pendleton question, it's got great suggestions for routes through San Diego County down the coast, including how to go through Pendleton.

http://www.efgh.com/bike/old101.htm
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Old 08-09-09, 09:16 PM   #8
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AND VOILA! http://www.pendleton.usmc.mil/scout/...vise/cycle.asp
straight from the base's site
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Old 08-09-09, 09:32 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies!

Regarding the date of late February, this is out of our control as we are financially constrained and happen to be converging on SF for a conference... Temperature is not a problem for us (probably optimal for me actually) but yes the probability of rain and short daylight hours could be frustrating, but no biggy!

Where can I find the latest info on riding through Camp Pendleton, please?
Your departure date will be an asset in respect to your budget! You should be able to get better rates at hotels!
riding through Pendleton is a non issue IIRC.... they just check your Drivers License
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Old 08-12-09, 10:47 PM   #10
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Sf 2 SD

I have done Santa Barbara to Carlsbad and will be going again in Oct. I used a Adventure Cycling map and had no problems. I have been through Pendleton many times as I live close by. Like a previous poster said, make sure you have your driver license and you will have no problems. The roads through CP are great.

http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...24944769681524

Last edited by rosscraft; 08-12-09 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 08-13-09, 02:44 PM   #11
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You've probably found this out in your research, but when going through San Clemente, make sure you get OFF 101 and take the bike route through the neighborhood streets. 101 in San Clemente is a death trap.
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Old 08-13-09, 06:25 PM   #12
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The book JustMe recommends, Bicycling the Pacific Coast is available free of charge at the San Diego Public Library, and they will send it to your local branch, so you can pick it up on your bicycle.
dc
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Old 08-20-09, 10:45 PM   #13
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I did it twice, although it's been about 25 years. I used the excellent Bikecentennial maps, (now called Adventure Cycling). California State Beaches have a "bike n' hike" area for late arrivals on bicycle or foot. No reservation is needed.

Have fun. They are still some of the best vacations that I ever had.
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Old 10-27-09, 09:49 PM   #14
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Thanks all. Have now got the Adventure Cycling maps and the ride is definitely on! I'm sure I'll have loads of questions as the date approaches.

The only parts I am contemplating changing for the trip are the tires - I currently run Conti Ultra Gatorskins in 23c and I'm considering getting the same tire in 28c for better comfort. What do you think?

I also need to figure out the best way to get the bike up to SF from SD. I'm inclined to pack it up and send it by mail to my hotel, as I'm not too keen on it being beaten up by airline baggage handlers (had bad experience in the past). How much can I expect to pay with, say Fedex?
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Old 10-27-09, 10:50 PM   #15
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go with the bigger tire. conti 28s aren't that big. i have one on the front of my tandem, a michelin 25 pro race 2 is larger and the michelin is a good fast tire. i've also been happy with the spec 28 armadillo that's on the back of the tandem, it seems to roll okay although other have said that it does not. the armadillo is very large for a 28 so i don't know if it will fit on your bike (i'm assuming your riding a std road bike). i would try some of specialized 25 tires.

i rode from la to mammoth this summer on vittoria open cx in the 23 size, which are very light pure racing tire and had no problems we were probably carrying about 10 pounds of gear. i was going to use a 25 michelin pro race 2 on the back but it got a little cut in the casing and didn't want to risk it
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Old 10-28-09, 09:53 AM   #16
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Check with the hotel if you plan to ship your bike. If you can make arrangements, I know that UPS often has a lower rate if the package is shipped to a commercial, vs residential address, but you may have to be there to receive it. Any shop should be able to pack it well enough for you.
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Old 10-28-09, 06:54 PM   #17
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Re. tires: yep it's a standard road bike, but I have a steel fork, so I should be good for clearance on 28s. What I might end up doing is going to 25s and then use those for non-touring too, when the 23s are dead...

Re. shipping bike: I was thinking of trying to blag a box from a LBS and packing her up myself. Might see if the folks at Bikebling will help me out - they seemed quite friendly...
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Old 10-28-09, 08:18 PM   #18
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If you're carrying packs on your bike I'd go with at least a 32mm width. I used to run a 35mm tire. JMHO.
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Old 10-28-09, 09:32 PM   #19
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Nothing wrong with wider tires, like 32mm, but there's also no problem using 23mm ones on this route. That's what I've had the last few times when riding with full camping gear. The road surface is generally pretty good so use whatever tire width you usually find comfortable for a long ride.

In addition to a driver's license or similar ID, Pendleton generally also requires use of a helmet. And they do sometimes close the base to cyclists (right now through the weekend is one example). The shoulder of I-5 is always an available alternate - but going through the base is nicer.
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Old 10-29-09, 10:47 AM   #20
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Re. tires: yep it's a standard road bike, but I have a steel fork, so I should be good for clearance on 28s. What I might end up doing is going to 25s and then use those for non-touring too, when the 23s are dead...

Re. shipping bike: I was thinking of trying to blag a box from a LBS and packing her up myself. Might see if the folks at Bikebling will help me out - they seemed quite friendly...
I have a pair of 28mm Gatorskins that have maybe 200 miles on them. They are just hanging in my garage and I don't know if I'll ever use them again, so they're yours if you want.
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Old 10-29-09, 02:32 PM   #21
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I have a pair of 28mm Gatorskins that have maybe 200 miles on them. They are just hanging in my garage and I don't know if I'll ever use them again, so they're yours if you want.
Hi Robert - I'd definitely like to take you up on that offer please! I'll PM you to see if we can meet up... Cheers, Tony.
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Old 10-29-09, 04:48 PM   #22
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From a recent experience, don't worry too much about tires. You're not going to be anywhere that demands treads or significant amounts of rubber. I recently ordered a pair of 28mm Conti 4 Seasons' for my Madone in anticipation of a tour from Seattle up through British Columbia, and down Vancouver Island back to Seattle, a little over 600 miles. They didn't arrive prior to departing, so I did the ride on the 700 23c Conti 4000GPs that had about 1200 miles on them already, but took a new backup just in case. Had 2 flats in the whole trip over a lot of roads where every intersecting street and driveway was gravel that spilled out onto the paved road way, and some of those roads, even though paved, were like riding rumble strips for miles. Not saying a fresh pair of tires isn't a good idea, just wouldn't worry too much about going to anything over 25 or 28mm wide which should fit a standard road bike brake configuration.
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Old 10-30-09, 11:27 AM   #23
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Since you are traveling on a budget you also might want to look into www.couchsurfing.org
In my opinion it is the best way to travel and meet new people. Huge community all over the world.
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Old 10-30-09, 10:32 PM   #24
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At the risk of pointing out the obvious, the benefit of a wider tire isn't so much that you might have less flats. The benefit of a wider tire is that you'll have less chance of busting a spoke. Adding 30-50 lbs of packs on a bike can definitely put extra strain on your wheels, especially in the rear. You want to cushion the shock from potholes and other bumps, which can be more significant is the wheel is already stressed from extra weight. No one wants a busted spoke out in the middle of nowhere. Been there, done that! :-)

Again, just my humble opinion.
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Old 10-31-09, 03:56 PM   #25
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Your point isn't a matter of opinion Rip, it's well taken. On the flip side, there aren't many people that cover 500+ miles in 6 or 7 days that carry 30 to 50 lbs. and enjoy it. I carried 22 lbs using a Bontrager Race Lite wheelset with 20-24 spoke count. But I was covering 90+ miles on some days. Frankly, I don't understand the need to carry 30+ pounds when there are so many ultra light options available from mountaineering resources which reduces the effort significantly, as well as the chance of a mishap, and contributes substantially to the enjoyment part.
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