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Old 09-12-17, 11:22 PM   #1
BikerDude661
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Santa Monica to San Francisco

Hello , I was curious if it's possible to tour from Santa Monica ( PCH ) to the Bay Area on a mountain bike? This is a tour I would love to do next year.
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Old 09-14-17, 09:13 AM   #2
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This has been discussed many, many times. First off you are going in the wrong direction. Unless you do this during the winter, you are going to have significant headwinds most of the way. In winter, the wind should be with you but you will likely have lots of rain. Also going south you will have better views of the shoreline. Shoulder seem to be more prevalent on the south bound side.

The PCH is currently blocked by a massive landslide. Last I heard there is no target date when it will be open again.

While you can tour on just about anything, I think I would rather pull out my finger nails than cover that kind of distance on a mountain bike. It is going to be an awfully uncomfortable experience.
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Old 09-14-17, 09:36 AM   #3
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Yea, Amtrack to Emeryville - Oakland, BART under the bay , to SF, then keep the ocean on your right, all the way south.

slick tires on a MTB will be fine.. a 1.5~1.75" wide tire will be sufficiently wide for road riding..

enjoy the scenery, you on the right lane,will be able to pull over without crossing oncoming traffic, unlike if you were northbound.


Trekking /butterfly handle bars are a popular choice of European Touring cyclists .. and they take all the controls off straight bars ,

and offer multiple hand locations ..

I have 2 bikes thus equipped.. One a Koga world tour Trekking bike with 26" wheels..










....

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Old 09-14-17, 04:00 PM   #4
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No prob, just put on street tires and ride. Did it in '73 on a Nishiki Cresta.
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Old 09-14-17, 04:10 PM   #5
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A lot of people will tell you that you can only tour on this or that "approved" bike and gear. Yet there are people that tour across the country on three speed mixte frames (or single speeds) with handlebar baskets and backpacks and completely enjoy the experience seeing the country and meeting people. They don't know they are doing it "all wrong". That being said, yes you can tour from Santa Monica to S.F. along the coast. Though as others have noted, I would do it the other way (north to south), unless of course you are using it as transportation to get to S.F.

As noted by others, I would use some narrower slicks (knobbies could get uncomfortable after miles on paved roads). As to closed roads in Big Sur, there is a completely rideable inland route. My wife and I did a loop ride last fall (before the closure), and enjoyed the inland portion just as much as the coast. Different scenery but beautiful, and most of it was on less traveled roads than US 1.
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Old 09-14-17, 04:25 PM   #6
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A lot of people will tell you that you can only tour on this or that "approved" bike and gear. Yet there are people that tour across the country on three speed mixte frames (or single speeds) with handlebar baskets and backpacks and completely enjoy the experience seeing the country and meeting people. They don't know they are doing it "all wrong". That being said, yes you can tour from Santa Monica to S.F. along the coast. Though as others have noted, I would do it the other way (north to south), unless of course you are using it as transportation to get to S.F.

As noted by others, I would use some narrower slicks (knobbies could get uncomfortable after miles on paved roads). As to closed roads in Big Sur, there is a completely rideable inland route. My wife and I did a loop ride last fall (before the closure), and enjoyed the inland portion just as much as the coast. Different scenery but beautiful, and most of it was on less traveled roads than US 1.
"A lot of people"? Really? It is my experience most people will say to tour on whatever suits you. Of course everyone will have their own opinion on what they think is best. Nothing at all wrong with that. And far from "will tell you that you can only tour on this or that "approved" bike".
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Old 09-14-17, 04:47 PM   #7
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"A lot of people"? Really? It is my experience most people will say to tour on whatever suits you. Of course everyone will have their own opinion on what they think is best. Nothing at all wrong with that. And far from "will tell you that you can only tour on this or that "approved" bike".
You are correct. I should have said "some people will be adamant about what you need, but more will say tour on what you have". Thanks for correcting me.
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