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  1. #1
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    Ideas for Ride from Gilroy to San Luis Obisbo

    (I also posted this in the Northern California forum, so I'll watch both).

    My wife and I do yearly 2 or 3 week touring rides, with camping gear. We are not speedsters, going 30-50 mile days with days off here and there.

    Since we live in San Francisco, this year we are thinking of taking Caltrain to Gilroy and then doing a loop which goes inland to San Luis Obisbo, and then up the coast back to Gilroy to catch the train back to SF (or just ride back to SF). We like it because no cars are involved and we ride out from our house.

    The coast route has plenty of information, and there pretty much is only one road for most of it, so no questions there.

    But the inland route is more intriquing. I think we would like to avoid 101 as much as possible, just for the peace and quiet. But we don't want to get so far off the beaten track that we have to go 70 miles to find food or camping (or hotels).

    We'll probably start by riding from Gilroy to Pinnacles for the first day, and camp there. But I wondered about anyone having advice for good routes down to San Luis Obisbo that would be interesting.

    Any takers?

  2. #2
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    Neato! That should be a memorable trip!
    I'll take Big Sur in the off-season on a weekday for 100, Alex.


    I'd take Big Sur south, so you can be on the ocean side of the road, and minimize the head/cross winds.

    Hwy 25 running North to Hollister (clicky) is a neat option, but there are lonnng stretches without civilization on this road, so hopefully you're carrying plenty of food & water. Unfortunately, Mr. Hearst and the Air Force have ensured there are scant few towns on this stretch.

    If you need frequent water stops and restaurants, you're probably going to have to take frontage and parallel roads to the 101 like so (clicky). Most of the towns in that stretch are gas stops along the 101.

    I've ridden both routes on motorcycle many times, and both are lovely. I've always dreamed about bicycling Big Sur, and my neighbor used to agonize me with a story about riding it early one Spring many years ago. The highway was closed due to a landslide, but they simple walked a few hundred yards around the landslide and had the whole Big Sur Highway all to themselves! A post-Ebola fantasyland.
    Last edited by calamarichris; 12-12-14 at 12:50 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by EvilWeasel View Post
    Well, if you are gonna carry a snapped frame all the way home. It might as well be light weight carbon fiber.

  3. #3
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    Also, please, please take a day and ride on Adelaide Road through the wine country west of Paso Robles. Some terrific scenery and wineries there. And some great restaurants in downtown Paso too.




    Quote Originally Posted by EvilWeasel View Post
    Well, if you are gonna carry a snapped frame all the way home. It might as well be light weight carbon fiber.

  4. #4
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    And if you can be in SLO on Thursday night, there is a great community farmers market, with a BUNCH of food trucks. Had some really excellent eats in SLO--which is a neat bicycling town.
    And there are some lovely (albeit steep) roads that go from SLO out to the Coast and Morro Bay.

    Prefumo and See Canyon Roads.





    The Bob Jones Memorial Bike Path from SLO to Avila Beach is a lovely ride. (clicky)
    Quote Originally Posted by EvilWeasel View Post
    Well, if you are gonna carry a snapped frame all the way home. It might as well be light weight carbon fiber.

  5. #5
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    The route our club uses for the inland route to Paso Robles (for the Great Western rally) uses Hwy. 25 south from Hollister and then King City Rd. into town for an overnight stop. The next day we take Lonoak Rd. back up to Hwy. 25 which becomes Peachtree Rd. after crossing Hwy. 198 and then changes name again to Indian Valley to head into Paso Robles. The folks running the Great Western might have some suggestions on the best route from there to SLO.

    I'd suggest doing your proposed route in the opposite direction. The winds along the coast are generally stronger and more consistently from the NW so it'd be better going south along the coast and north when inland. You also get much better views along the coast when on the ocean side of the road where you can look right down on the surf crashing into the rocks below.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    The route our club uses for the inland route to Paso Robles (for the Great Western rally) uses Hwy. 25 south from Hollister and then King City Rd. into town for an overnight stop. The next day we take Lonoak Rd. back up to Hwy. 25 which becomes Peachtree Rd. after crossing Hwy. 198 and then changes name again to Indian Valley to head into Paso Robles. The folks running the Great Western might have some suggestions on the best route from there to SLO.

    I'd suggest doing your proposed route in the opposite direction. The winds along the coast are generally stronger and more consistently from the NW so it'd be better going south along the coast and north when inland. You also get much better views along the coast when on the ocean side of the road where you can look right down on the surf crashing into the rocks below.
    I think I'm getting convinced that the reverse direction would be better. Someone else mentioned that as well.

    I really like the route you suggest by Peach Tree Road. It looks like about 60 miles from King City to San Miguel (where there is a hotel). And looking at street view along the route shows that it is very pretty as well. My only concern is that it looks like there are absolutely no places to get water, food, or to camp along that route. Is that the case?

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the nice pictures. I think this will be lovely country to ride through.

    What is the best route from SLO to the coast?

    (later) Oops, I see that calamarichris has already answered this question. I think I was dazzled by the pretty pictures and missed the suggestions for the route from SLO to the coast. Thanks.
    Last edited by xenomera; 12-13-14 at 08:25 PM.

  8. #8
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    Also, unless I'm missing something, it looks like you have to take 101 from around Santa Margarita to San Luis Obisbo. Is this true, and is 101 OK for bikes?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenomera View Post
    Also, unless I'm missing something, it looks like you have to take 101 from around Santa Margarita to San Luis Obisbo. Is this true, and is 101 OK for bikes?
    Many sections of Hwy. 101 are legal for bicyclists to use the shoulder and I've found these to have good pavement for safe and comfortable riding. The CalTrans guide shows exactly which sections are bike legal and the connecting roads to use when riding on the freeway is not allowed:
    http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist05/bike_pe.../bikeguide.pdf

    And you are correct that the route I suggested between King City and Paso Robles is lacking in services. You'd need to stock up on any necessary supplies before leaving King City.

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