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  1. #1
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    biking highway 1

    We are fairly new to tandeming and have bought our second one, a Santana with couplers. We want to go to Northern California and bike highway 1. we have driven from SF to Carmel and driven the 17 mile drive but want to know if anyone recommends any particular sections to ride and also anywhere to stay in terms of Bed and Breakfasts. Also we want to ride Napa and Sonoma and go from winery to winery and stay in the area.

  2. #2
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    Our favorite section of highway in California is Hwy 1 between Monterrey/Carmel and Big Sur. It is about 25 miles each way. There is a little Inn called Inn by the River. It is not a B&B but it has a very nice restaurant and it borders a small river/creek where you can literally sit on wooden chairs in the middle off the current and relax while dipping your feet in the water. The road is narrow and the terrain hilly but there is little traffic and most locals are used to cyclists and very friendly.... we try to avoid the weekends.... but the views are breath taking and for us a reminder of our marathon running days.

    For a more demanding ride, you can ride up Carmel Valley road and do the Cachagua loop....

  3. #3
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Tandemed parts of Hwy 1 'bout 25 years ago. Some stretches were not bad others really busy. Did also do that 17-Mile Drive, short but scenic.
    Weekdays may be your best option for less traffic and avoid rush hour!

  4. #4
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Several years ago, we rode our tandem from Monterey to Santa Monica via Highway 1 (~375 miles). If you saw the Tour of California this year, one of the stages followed Highway 1 along the coast. The ride from Monterey to Santa Monica is unbelievably beautiful, exciting, challenging and very technical. It is a great drive via car but spectacular via bike. There are stretches of ocean views and winds, beautiful redwood forests, epic climbs and fast descents, switchbacks, no guard rail sections and sheer cliffs. We went with a paid camping tour that carried our equipment and provided meals and support. Traffic was not a problem when we did it, but depending on the time of year and week, it can be. As for hotels and B&B, there are many along the way, but we have no recommendations. We liked the ride from Monterey to Big Sur but it is all fantastic. This is advanced tandeming and requires a good level of fitness and technical skills. I am sure that there are bike tours that could provide assistance via B&Bs or hotels.

    Napa and Sonoma are very easy to tandem cycle with a few technical areas. Crossing the ridge from Sonoma to Napa is a good climb but very doable with some curves and fast descents. The roads in Napa and Sonoma are generally smooth and good, may or may not have bike lanes and are usually rolling terrain with some climbing. Traffic is light during the week and heavier on the weekends. We stayed at the Geyserville Inn in Sonoma and rode various routes to wineries. One can do a similar thing in Napa. The Silverado Country Club (It is a private club but open to the public during certain times) has guest quarters and a 36 hole golf course such that you can stay there and cycle and golf. Silverado is first class accommodations and in the heart of Napa.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  5. #5
    K&M
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    The Big Sur coast (between Carmel & Cambria) is obviously the most spectacular section of Highway One. There are countless lodging options in Monterey/Carmel and the River Inn is a good place (though far from the only place) to stay in Big Sur. Further south along the Big Sur coast, rooms are available at Lucia and Gorda. Cambria is also packed with lodging options.

    Touring cyclists often dismiss the roads between Santa Cruz and the Monterey Peninsula as "boring," since they don't always hug the coast and pass through a lot of strawberry and artichoke fields. There are dozens of options for getting off the designated coastal bike route in this area, though, that can take you through small towns, redwood forests, along streams, etc. Local cyclists, in fact, do more of their riding and training on these roads than on Hwy. One north of Santa Cruz or south of Carmel.

    The highly popular ride up Carmel Valley, suggested by Cornucopia, will take you past many wineries, bakeries, B&Bs, etc. Doing the Cachagua loop (out of upper Carmel Valley) will challenge your climbing and descending skills. We were living on the Cachagua Rd. when we bought our tandem and learning to ride the tandem in that location was definitely a trial by fire.

  6. #6
    Senior Member LouD-Reno's Avatar
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    If I may suggest something a little different.... Try Hwy 1 from the intersection of 1 & 101 in Leggett (a couple hundred miles north of SF) heading southbound back to SF. Plan on spending nights in Ft. Bragg/Mendocino, Gualala, Bodega Bay, and West Marin... A spectacular 5 day ride. Traffic only marginally bothersome for a few miles south of Mendocino. You don't mention a time frame, but my favorite is the week after Labor day.... lots of fresh fruit, fewer tourists. Other than that, pretty much anytime between May and November has good cycling weather.

    Have Fun !!!

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    We leave soon for Northern Cal and thought we would explore the Russian River area. Anyone know how the cycling is around there? Are there trails around Lake Sonoma? Recommend any moderately-priced places to stay?

  8. #8
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mandd
    We leave soon for Northern Cal and thought we would explore the Russian River area. Anyone know how the cycling is around there? Are there trails around Lake Sonoma? Recommend any moderately-priced places to stay?
    Last year, we did the Santana tour of Sonoma. We stayed at the Geyserville Inn and did four rides organized by Santana. The routes were very good but I do not have them. Since you are a Santana customer, give Jan a call at Santana and she what assistance she can offer.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

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