My father and i are planning a trip from San Fran to San Diego during march of next year.However, we live in Singapore which is quite far away ahha. Anyway are there any tips on how we can either transport or rent bikes. One problem we thought about was that if we rented bikes how would we return them back to san fran. Secondly, we would be taking roads by the coast and are wondering what kind of bikes we should use. This would be our first cycle of such a long distance and any tips at all would be appreciated. =)
1) You won't find anyone that will rent you one way bikes. Road bikes with low gearing are the preferred method. I assume you're talking about Credit Card Touring so you don't need a touring bike. Just a low gear. You'll still be carrying your clothing etc. Though you might forward the majority of your luggage to your destination and only carry one or two sets of civies and three changes of bike gear. That's still a couple of panniers full counting your toothbrush, razor and towels (Always know where your towel is.)
2) March is a VERY iffy month. It might be perfect conditions or it might rain every single day. It might be hot or it might be cold. Around here the March winds seem to have been coming in April or May (and this year it was JUNE!) but you could have March winds with are a real pain since they can come from several directions including out of the south. The last couple of years have had reasonably nice Marches but then it does run in cycles and could change next year.
3) Generally speaking unless the weather is absolutely attrocious the further south you ride the warmer it gets. There are some pretty nasty hills on Highway 1 - not too steep but very long - and you have to be ready to spend an hour (or more) climbing. Everyone that does the coast route starts out by talking about the hills but as time runs on they seem to lose that memory and it's replaced with the scenery and the activities.
You're chosing, in my opinion, the best part of the Pacific Coast Route for that time of year. I hope you hit perfect conditions.
I would highly recommend shipping your own bikes to California. However, here's a creative solution that most likely wouldn't be cost effective, but you could try - find a bike shop in San Diego who would ship bikes to San Francisco who would sell you the bikes for one price and agree to buy them back at a reduced price when you get to San Diego. This would work best if the bikes were used and not new. In the end it would be just like renting the bikes. (I worked at a motorcycle shop in Denver where we did this for a guy from Austria - he bought a used motorcycle and we agreed to buy it back for less once he got back to Denver. Worked out great for everyone - he got to ride all over the West for a few hundred bucks and the shop made a little bit of money since the bike's value didn't really depreciate very much by having a couple thousand more miles on it).
Another version of this is just to buy bikes in San Francisco and sell them in San Diego although it is definitely a gamble and would require extra time in San Diego.
Hey everyone, thanks for all the replies. anyway 2 more questions, should we decide to send our bikes over to california, which way would be best? shipping them or carrying em in bike cases? and is there an estimate of how long the trip would take?