Originally Posted by dbuzi123
This sounds like an interesting trip! I was originally avoiding going south because the ride through LA and Long Beach didn't sound so good. I've never been east of San Diego and it might be a good opportunity to check it out. I could easily take the train there and back. Thank you for the suggestion!
Don't let LA scare you off...hey, I live and bike there
Most likely, you already have the "Bicycling the Pacific Coast" book. There are only a few areas from SB to SD that need extra mentioning:
--Malibu to Santa Monica. A little stressful--no shoulder, fast traffic, off and on construction. No way around this. Get an early start.
--No campgrounds in the South Bay down to OC. You could stay at the Santa Monica hostel or look up a member of the warm showers list. (There's 3 of us in that area.
--PCH. Busy from Torrance to Long Beach. Don't follow the book's recommendation of using PCH all the way. Here's a discussion about getting through LA/Long Beach:
How to cycle out of Los Angeles?
Use Adventure Cycling's detour taking Anaheim St. As an alternative, you could catch the Green Line in Redondo Beach, transfer to the Blue Line and end up in downtown Long Beach. Easy and you avoid the congestion. Goes through some rough areas (South Central), but an interesting experience and I've never gotten hassled. No bikes allowed during rush hour, though.
--Long Beach. A little confusing because of the Harbor/Naples, but no biggie if you follow the book.
--Laguna Beach. Follow the books detour going through the cute historical neighborhood above and below PCH. Don't attempt to bicycle though the heart of Laguna. IMHO, it's suicide.
--San Clemente. Confusing residential streets. Don't go crazy by trying to follow the book. Just follow the well marked bike signs.
--San Diego. A little confusing because of the bay and bridges, but following the book will get you there.
I've only been through the Anza Borrego Desert once touring, but it was a great experience. IMO, It's such a stark contrast with a place like Big Sur, but I would rate it just as beautiful. Borrego Palm Canyon State Park has $3 hiker/biker sites too! You can pm me if you need help planning your route.