Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 28
  1. #1
    NSJ
    NSJ is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    80
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Touring Highway 1 in Dec on Bike Friday

    Hello,
    I'm planning a weeklong trip to Caliornia, 2nd week of December. My plan is to bike and camp along Hiway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway.

    1. Should I go from LA to SF or from SF to LA? Is there a radical difference in prevailing winds in the area in December?

    2. Will there be places along the coast to wildcamp?

    3. What will the weather be like in that area?

    4. I'm planning to pack my Bike Friday and get a trailer to hitch it along the back. I'm hoping it will be big enough to hold a sleeping bag, tent, camping gear (stove, pots pan), food etc. Anything else useful to bring?

    has anyone else done this trip? any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    7,213
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've lived in California all my life, from San Diego to SF.

    1. direction doesn't matter so much this time of year, as the wind direction will depend on whether there is a storm. Expect heavy rainfall and high winds during storms.

    2. Not really, but there are lots of state parks with hiker/biker sites ($4/night). These may be closed, however, which would mean they might be free but the water and bathrooms might be off. Check with the state park system, I don't know if they close for the winter.

    3. Cold and wet. It's going to be an El Nino year, which means it will be warmer and wetter than average.

    Here's a records/averages site for Santa Cruz.
    http://www.weather.com/outlook/recre...omnav_outdoors

    Here's one for long beach
    http://www.weather.com/outlook/recre...omnav_outdoors

    4. bring rain gear and warm clothes.

    Have you toured before? I am debating whether to do that same trip in 2 weeks, because the weather could be bad and the days are so very short. In December it just doesn't sound like that much fun to me - too much tent-time, not enough daylight, too high a probability of getting slammed by a storm. Just because it's california does not mean the weather is always warm and sunny - it's winter here too.

    Good luck!
    Anna
    ...

  3. #3
    Hooked on Touring
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,100
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The website is acting funky today.
    It just ate my post.
    However - -
    I said exactly what Valygrl said.

    I've biked it in warmer months and car-camped in Nov and in Jan.
    As a cyclist - I was glad to have a car in the winter.

    Most campgrounds are closed - some permit winter dry camping - others don't.
    Don't try to stealth camp on refuges or on private land.
    Refuge managers and wealthy people don't like it and will have you arrested.

    It might be O.K. to motel/hostel the route in Dec. Plus you should have flexibility to catch a "window" - Although the weather is pretty rainy in the winter - there are short sunny periods.

    Best - J

    PS - Wind >> winter >> during stormy periods - SSW; sunny spells - WNW to NW

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    sf to la puts you on the ocean side of pch. something to think about. a little nicer in my opinion.

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    37,962
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    When I first saw this thread, I thought you meant Hwy 1 in Canada!

    Cycling Hwy 1 in Canada is generally not the best idea, but cycling Hwy 1 in Canada in December would NOT be a good idea ...... you've got a pretty good chance that some sections of it would be closed because of the weather (i.e. blizzards)!!

  6. #6
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    My Bikes
    2005 Fuji Professional, 2002 Lemond Zurich, Folders - Strida, Merc, Dahon, Downtube, Recumbent folder
    Posts
    3,843
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I live right off Hwy 1 in Half Moon Bay (20mi south of SF). I echo the comments about rain, cold and short days in Dec. Do you have the option of doing it at another time? Rainy season starts mid Nov and ends early March.

  7. #7
    Hooked on Touring
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,100
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey Sesame -

    I've started four trips from Half Moon Bay.
    I send my bike to the bike shop, fly into SFO, take SamTrans over the hill, and voila!
    I ALWAYS spend the first night at Pigeon Point -
    It's an amazing place - so much open coastline!
    I've got a few diaries over at Crazyguy:
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=18674&v=uf
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...id=26284&v=1ay

    Best - J

  8. #8
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    3,332
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I know you said camp, but what I started doing when touring the CA coast in winter is using motels. The beach motels are crazy cheap during winter. I do prefer spring, summer, fall camping though. But if I had to go in December, I would use motels.

    Also, regardless of wind direction, I prefer travelling south as the scenery is better on the ocean side of the street.

  9. #9
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    My Bikes
    2005 Fuji Professional, 2002 Lemond Zurich, Folders - Strida, Merc, Dahon, Downtube, Recumbent folder
    Posts
    3,843
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani
    Hey Sesame -

    I've started four trips from Half Moon Bay.
    I send my bike to the bike shop, fly into SFO, take SamTrans over the hill, and voila!
    I ALWAYS spend the first night at Pigeon Point -
    It's an amazing place - so much open coastline!
    I've got a few diaries over at Crazyguy:
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=18674&v=uf
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...id=26284&v=1ay

    Best - J
    Good choice. The youth hostel there is unique, isn't it? I love riding up and down Hwy 1.
    Next time you're here, I'll offer a hot meal and hot shower!

  10. #10
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Central Coast, CA
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT, Specialized Rockhopper, Nashbar Touring (old), Specialized Stumpjumper (older), Nishiki Tourer (model unknown)
    Posts
    3,388
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I just got back from a weekend at San Simeon State Park. The hiker/biker fee was $2.00. I had a great day but not such a great night. It got dark really early (7:00 p.m.?) I went to bed. I was tired from the day's ride. I fell asleep soon after. The problem was that, having gone to sleep so early, I had my 8 hours by 3:00 a.m. I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. I waited until about 6:00 a.m. and got up. I sat in the dark freezing and drinking coffee until the sun finally came up. (7:00 a.m.?)

    The campground wasn't full and it was a Friday night. I'm thinking you'll be able to find campsites in State Parks all the way down.

    Good luck!

  11. #11
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,470
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just a side note from someone who has only visited the area a few times. Take this for what it is worth.

    People from that part of the world have no idea what winter is. I have visited S.F. in the winter a few times and the weather was lovely although sometimes wet. A lot of the locals were bundled up like they were on a polar expedition and complaining like crazy. We were in shorts and tee shirts much of the time and loving life. A long sleved tee shirt and a windbreaker was the most I needed.

    Bear in mind that I am not from a particularly cold area (Baltimore, Md).

    Even if it is exceptionally cold for the area the temps will still be nice. There may be rain though.

  12. #12
    1 trick pony dogpound's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    on my bike
    Posts
    1,018
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I live in Big Sur right on HWY1.
    I would not cycle there in dec.
    Not only does it rain, there are frequent slides on the highway and rocks that could easily take you out.
    Plus, the visability can be terrible.
    I'd wait til spring.
    road-Independent Fabrication custom campy record carbon
    tri-Independent Fabrication custom Ultegra
    fixie-converted nishiki
    3rensho track
    BF IRO fixie

  13. #13
    This user is a pipebomb brotherdan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    My Bikes
    Bianchi Volpe 2001, GT ZR3000 2001, Raleigh One Way 2007
    Posts
    401
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What a fantastic idea. A transcontinental bike tour across Canada in the winter! Going to have to put that one on my list of future tours. I've been hoping to cross Canada on the Transcanada highway for some time, but it's been done so many times by others already. An unsupported winter crossing would be something unique.
    Bikes belong in the motor city

  14. #14
    nm+
    nm+ is offline
    Ultra-clydesdale
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sacramento, CA or St Paul, MN
    My Bikes
    Titus Racer-X AL/Trek 520(RIP)/Trek 930
    Posts
    572
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sf in the winter is better than SF in the summer
    That said. You need to keep and eye on the weather and expect HWY 1 to close. Expect to need to fine indoor accomidation. Expect the weather to be too bad to ride due to high wind and/or no visiblity.
    I'm actually planning on possibly doing a week on the coast this winter because I'll be getting by frame back from warranty and any coastal CA weather beats Minnesota in Dec/Jan.
    Breaking bike parts for more than 20 years
    Titus Racer-X AL/Trek 520 (Cracked)/Trek 930

  15. #15
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    My Bikes
    2005 Fuji Professional, 2002 Lemond Zurich, Folders - Strida, Merc, Dahon, Downtube, Recumbent folder
    Posts
    3,843
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by nm+
    Sf in the winter is better than SF in the summer
    This statement might apply if you were a tourist in a T-shirt in Chinatown, but not appropo to a touring cyclist. It's in the 70s and dry along the coast during the summer. It rainy and windy in the winter months and is in the 40s and 50s. You point this out in your own post. I know which one I prefer.

  16. #16
    cyclotourist
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    calgary, canada
    Posts
    560
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've cycled San Francisco to San Diego between Christmas and New Years.

    I wouldn't do it again at that time of year, the nights were long and chilly.

    Daytime temps were fine for riding, but when it rained it didn't get warm enough for long enough to dry out.

    Some of the campgrounds were closed and we camped in them anyway, but they were full of homeless people, migrant workers and gypsies. Really. They didn't bother us, but it was a bit weird.

    If it is the only time you can do it, go ahead it will be a great trip. If you are flexible, I would hold out for warmer weather and longer days.

  17. #17
    NSJ
    NSJ is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    80
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Welll, I have 2 weeks vacation to use or lose by the end of the year, so I figured, bike ride, why not? I was originally thinking going from Seattle to SF, but I'd imagine the weather in OR is much worse than the route from SF to LA

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    7,213
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thread Hijack Alert:

    The forecast is good for next week, so I'm riding from SF to Santa Barbara starting this Saturday morning, hope I see some other tourists out there...


    Anna
    ...

  19. #19
    Hooked on Touring
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,100
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Have fun, VG - send me some pix.

  20. #20
    haploid no tengo coche's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    honk hong
    My Bikes
    mandaric track bike, surly cross-check, no-name white frankenbike, some other frames
    Posts
    79
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Valygrl, glad to hear about the good weather, cuz I'm planning on day tripping it down to santa cruz on saturday. You gonna be taking the 1 all the way down?

    I think what skookum said is best. It will be an awesome trip, but a little different than -normal- touring, as far as weather and daylight conditions. Personaly Id go for it, so long as you're prepared for what you might be getting into.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    7,213
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yo, No Tengo, yeah, I'm taking the Pacific Coast Route, following the signs & Spring & Kirkendall's book. It's Hwy 1 much of the way.

    See you on the road! I'll be the one with a whole lot of junk strapped to my bike, wave as you pass me!
    Anna
    ...

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    My Bikes
    IRO Model 19, Surly Crosscheck, 1989 Arnie Nashbar
    Posts
    1,084
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We were just out there 2 weeks ago, driving from S.F. to San Diego along the PCH--absolutely beautiful. All of the cyclists that we saw were riding from north to south. I don't think prevailing winds were the issue, rather you get to ride on the coast side of the road-not on the mountain side (you're probably more visible to cars that way too-although they seemed to be tolerant and careful of cyclists). It was cold at night, especially along Big Sur, evidently it will get colder/wetter. We spoke with one woman who said that the campsites are $4 and will not send you away, you may, however, have to share a site. California's winters can be rainy and the weather along the coast changes frequently, from what I know I'd advise doing this in the Spring or Fall, the vistas should be better too. I'm thinking of doing this too so let us know what you decide. Good luck!
    die trying

    everyone likes my shirt

  23. #23
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    My Bikes
    2005 Fuji Professional, 2002 Lemond Zurich, Folders - Strida, Merc, Dahon, Downtube, Recumbent folder
    Posts
    3,843
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by no tengo coche
    Valygrl, glad to hear about the good weather, cuz I'm planning on day tripping it down to santa cruz on saturday. You gonna be taking the 1 all the way down?
    I'm planning the same thing next Thursday or Friday. The weather has been superb lately.

    Valygrl: Have a great ride! Share some pictures with us.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    7,213
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks.... I think I'm done packing... guess I'll find out tomorrow!
    ...

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    7,213
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Stupid thread bump:
    I'm in Santa Barbara. Sun and tailwinds. Happiness.
    ...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •