California - Border to Border
I'm looking to do an ultralight tour of California from Oregon to Mexico this summer right after final exams. The plan is for me and my friend to take amtrak up to the border and start riding. We were hoping to do the trip in as little time as possible. The trip along the coast is very well documented and seems great, but we were hoping to try a more interior route (around 101) to possibly save time. Does anyone have experince with this type of trip? Would we be saving as much time as we expected? As you can see, we are in the very early stages of planning, so we are pretty much flexible....
Could you further describe your idea of "ultralight?" Does this mean no camping and no cooking?
I have much of the coast from Mendicino down to Laguna Beach. Personally, I wouldn't stray much from Hwy 1. The coast is just fabulous and the wind is generally going toward the south. While you can take a more inland route, but you will surely encounter more cars and less scenery. This is not a tour to do quickly. It is one to savor.
I'd be happy to give more details when I know more about your plans.
I once did a L.A. > Canadian border > L.A. loop...inland going north and coastal going south.
I would agree with raybo that following the coast north to south is your best bet for a first timer. This is the tried and true route.The winds will push you along which will save some time. You'll meet many fellow tourists along the way to share in the good times. The route-finding will be easy. There are lots of cheap hiker/biker sites if you're ultralight camping.
If you zig-zag from coastal to inland to coastal, you'll have to climb over the coastal range which will end up taking longer. During the summer, it gets plenty hot on the other side of those mountains.
And I think raybo will agree with me on this...when you reach Big Sur (or Marin Headlands or Monterey or Santa Barbara...) after a long day, with the perfect sunset as a backdrop, you'll know you made the right choice.
We are planning on riding around 80/100 miles per day with no camping. Are there any stretches where we might not be able to find a cheapo motel? It sounds like the coast is the way to go... I haven't been able to find an exact mileage. Anyone know off the top of their head?
RE Mileage between motels....
Big Sur area.... if you go Monterey to San Simeon its 93 hard miles. If you leave from the town of Big Sur its 65 miles. There are only a couple spots in between to stop...Ragged Point is about 18 miles north of San Simeon so shortens things up...downside is that rooms are $125 plus.... only other lodging I know of is in either Lucia http://www.lucialodge.com/mall/c121/...mmodations.htm or Gorda http://www.bigsurgordasprings.com/....
I'd think about having some reservations... Beyond San Simeon you won't have any problems...
I took a quick look at the Amtrak routes in California and none of them got to the Oregon border. Better see what Greyhound is up to. The Amtrak feeder route following the 101 is in a bus anyway since the NWP tracks are not active. When you say inland I remembered the record ride from Seattle to San Diego (under 4 days ) went parallel to or ON I-15 most of the way. Check with Mike Shermer for details. When you hit wine country (Mendocino/Sonoma/Napa) PM me and I'll try to ride with you a ways.