I am looking to go from SF Bay area down to Santa Monica this summer. Just wondering how much time would be reasonable to alot for an enjoyable yet not too lengthy trip down the coast. I will be in the Reno area before then also, and I'm wondering if anyone has had experience biking around there and if going from Reno to the Bay Area would be scenic or not.
Give yourself a week - you'd basically be following the AIDS Lifecycle route which starts in San Francisco and ends in L.A. Here's some details on the 2005 route. Adventure cycling also sells a detailed map of a rotue from San Francisco to Santa Barbara.
There are some great rides in the Sierra's in the summer. Markleeville, Truckee, Gold Lake among others. I typically drive 1/2 to 1.5 hours to the best of the best. You gotta like climbing.... they ain't called mountains for nuthin'
P.S. Darn it... tested positive for IPA... AGAIN !!!
I tour on a Waterford Adventurecycle. It is a fabulous touring bike.
I rode from Carson City to San Francisco this last year and thought it was one of the best rides I've done.
Since Carson City is not too far (a day's ride?) from Reno, you could ride down to Carson City and then follow the Adventure Cycling Assoc.'s Western Express map that goes from Carson City to San Francisco. I did that in four days, adding one in for Reno to Carson City, that would be 5. I did about 60 miles a day.
The main obstacle is Carson Pass, at 8574 ft. However, Carson City is about 5000 ft, so the climb, while it will burn your legs is not like coming the other way, where you start at sea level. I cleared Carson Pass about noon of day 2. There is one more significant valley with a long downhill and then a long uphill. After that, it is pretty much downhill the rest of the way. Here is my journal of that trip: http://www.myfacilitate.net/ray/SF2CarsonCity/index.htm
Once in San Francisco, you are about 9 days (doing 60 mile days) from Los Angeles. For what it is worth, the really grand riding goes from San Francisco south to San Luis Obispo (3 days north of LA). You can go all the way to LA, if you want, but stopping in SLO is a good way to save time without losing much experience. My first trip to LA is described here: http://www.myfacilitate.net/ray/sf2l...rip/index.html
From Reno to LA is a great ride. Have a great time.
Check out riding from Reno to Sierra Valley. Find the best route from Reno to Sierraville (Hwy 49 has less traffic than along the northern end and Hwy 70). Great hotsprings there, near Sierraville. Continue on 49 over Yuba Pass. Very beautiful country. Take 49 past Camptonville and turn off on Marysville Road, near the ranger station, and continue on to Marysville. See maps for best routes from there to the coast. One route is along the western side of the river, then to Knights Landing and onto Pole Line Road to Davis (great bike shops in Davis), then backroads and bike paths from Davis to Vacaville, Fairfield, and Vallejo. In Vallejo catch the ferry to San Francisco (beautiful ride and views of SF and the Bay Area), and head out the Embarcadero and down the coast.
(You might want to check some other postings for the best routes between SF and Half Moon Bay or Gazos Creek -- there are several different options.)