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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 03-17-07, 10:27 AM   #1
BigBlueToe
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Tour route in CA - Impossible Task?

I'm stuck with finding a tour route for a group of 12-14 year olds at the end of June. We had more grandious plans, but circumstances have conspired to limit what we can do. (If I can't find something suitable we may have to scratch the idea entirely.) We're going to have to limit our trip to a week or so (maybe I can get 9 days out of 'em.) We live by San Luis Obispo. I'd like to find something within a day's drive, or maybe a day and a half (drive 2-3 hours in the morning of the second day then go for a short first day's ride.) We don't want to be too close to home - it will be more exciting for the kids to go somewhere new.

The fact that they're kids limits my options. I don't want to take them on busy roads with no shoulder (so the Big Sur coast is out.) I don't want to take them over any gnarly passes. A long, gradual climb might be okay on the 3rd or 4th day, but not for the first couple. I want to limit our miles for the first couple of days - probably no more than 20 miles. The furthest any of them have ridden in a day was 20 miles, unloaded, and that was a challenge. I do plan on taking them on as many training rides as I can between now and June so they'll be a bit tougher, but the first couple of days on a tour are always tough for me too, so I usually limit my own miles to around 30 if I can.

We'll be self-supported and we'll be camping, although a night or two in a motel won't break anyone's heart. We don't want too much heat.

Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 03-17-07, 11:03 AM   #2
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Klamath Falls area?

You could camp at Mt. Shasta on the way up and then Mt. Lassen on the way back.I figure you are planning to have the trip sag-wagon supported so the route doesn't have to be contiguous.

There are lots of very good rides.
#1 - The Oregon, California & Eastern rail trail. Great scenery. Starts out paved - then hard-pack.
http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_230.php
#2 - Sprague River Road from Chiloquin to Beatty - light traffic - little towns with corner stores.
#3 - Lava Beds National Monument - light traffic, hillier, volcanic landscape
#4 - Highway 140 from Lakeview to Adel - very light traffic - killer downhill usually with tailwind
(Hwy 140 from Beatty to Lakeview doesn't have much traffic, but enough and is narrow)
#5 - County Road 310 from Adel to Plush in the Warner Valley - great wildlife and lush riparian zone
(steep dirt road to Hart Mountain - but there are hot srpings there and camping)
#6 - Surprise Valley from Fort Bidwell to Eagleville - practically no traffic, little stores along the way
(plus they could do just a bit of riding in Nevada and make it THREE states!)
#? - Crater Lake Road - much more difficult, narrow, still may have snow - probably not

It's 75 miles from SLO to Kettleman City; then 430 miles to Mount Shasta on I-5.
If you left early enough, there would be time to play in the evening at the campground.
Reservations highly suggested for Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen in the summer.
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Old 03-17-07, 08:28 PM   #3
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Nice info Jamawani; this is right in my backyard and I don't even know about these routes.
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Old 03-19-07, 05:37 PM   #4
Niles H.
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How about quiet back roads in the sierras? Combine some good loops? Out-and-backs? Others? All of the above? Hit several different choice areas (several shorter tours, instead of one long one)? Drive high, have someone shuttle if possible....

Getting to the snow was always a treat when I was growing up -- it was great to get into the high sierras -- the snow, the air, the light, the waterfalls, the meadows, the mountains, lakes and rivers -- all very different from the Bay Area and Southern California. It always felt liberating and fresh.

Maybe see some giant sequoias?

Waterfalls should be going strong in June.
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Old 03-19-07, 05:43 PM   #5
Niles H.
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How about quiet back roads in the sierras? Combine some good loops? Out-and-backs? Others? All of the above? Hit several different choice areas (several shorter tours, instead of one long one)? Drive high, have someone shuttle if possible....

Getting to the snow was always a treat when I was growing up -- it was great to get into the high sierras -- the snow, the air, the light, the waterfalls, the meadows, the mountains, lakes and rivers -- all very different from the Bay Area and Southern California. It always felt liberating and fresh.

Maybe see some giant sequoias?

Waterfalls should be going strong in June.
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Old 03-19-07, 06:09 PM   #6
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Maybe Bay Area?
Monterrey - Watsonville - Gilroy - San Jose - San Francisco - Half Moon May - Santa Cruz - Monterrey
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