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  1. #1
    now accepting donations povertyonwheels's Avatar
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    lookin for good california touring books/maps

    hi, i want to do a solo trip in two weeks for my 30th, and i was thinking of biking from SF to Death Valley, but i'm not exactly sure if this is the best trip idea. some people seem to think it is, others don't.

    anyway, i figured if i had a good book with routes and topography information i might be able to plan better and decide if i really should aim for DV or modify my plan.

    thanks!

    jess

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    I remember reading Jeff Kruys Journal on CGOAB, he did just that. Check out his journal, it looks like a pretty good route he took. I've driven most of Hwy 58 and it seemed like it would have been a good ride.

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?..._id=1419&v=4um

    He's pretty detailed about road conditions/routing.

  3. #3
    now accepting donations povertyonwheels's Avatar
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    awesome!

    thank you so much! i'm new to bike touring - just started last fall with some 2-3 day tours. so i'm still learning the ropes. much appreciated!

  4. #4
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    As best I can determine, the most direct route is via Yosemite. My best guess is that it's at least 400 miles from SF to Death Valley. At 60-65 miles a day (which is pretty good for touring), that's 7 days.

    As to the "wisdom," I think that depends strictly on your abilities and comfort level in the desert. If you feel good about it, and you have the legs to get there, then it seems wise enough to me.

    How about hanging out in Yosemite for a bit?

  5. #5
    Savor the journey
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    As best I can determine, the most direct route is via Yosemite. My best guess is that it's at least 400 miles from SF to Death Valley. At 60-65 miles a day (which is pretty good for touring), that's 7 days.

    As to the "wisdom," I think that depends strictly on your abilities and comfort level in the desert. If you feel good about it, and you have the legs to get there, then it seems wise enough to me.

    How about hanging out in Yosemite for a bit?
    The most direct route from SF to Death Valley IS via Yosemite and the Tioga Pass Road. That is a beautiful climb through the Sierra. There is just one wrench in the cogs--the passes over the Sierra (in that area) aren't open in April. That would make an awesome loop, with a return route perhaps via Hwy 58. But it won't work this time of year.

    You could create a loop by going down the coast hwy to Morro Bay and turn east on 41 to 101 south (for just a few miles) and pick up hwy 58 east all the way to Mojave. (Alternate: if Hwy 178 out of Bakersfield is open around Lake Isabella, and I suspect that it is, it's a beautiful road over to 395--some traffic on weekends).

    For diversion on the return to SF, you might try 33 north (pick it up west of Bakersfield and I-5), then to 198 west to 25 north (you'll cycle past the Pinnacles Nat. Mon.--stop in, the hiking is great!) up to Hollister. This return route is really nice in the spring. From Hollister you can select the best way back to SF for you.

    Just some thoughts.

    Safe journey,
    Ted
    Veg Cyclist

  6. #6
    now accepting donations povertyonwheels's Avatar
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    thanks again for the invaluable info. it's amazing how difficult it is to find information on touring routes.

  7. #7
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by povertyonwheels View Post
    it's amazing how difficult it is to find information on touring routes.
    There are lots of established routes readily available.

    A few sources preplanned routes are:
    1. Adventure Cycling maps. http://www.adv-cycling.org/
    2. People's journals either on the crazy guy site or elsewhere on the web. http://www.crazyguyonabike.com
    3. Books.

    If you are looking for a new route or a one off tour, it is reasonable to expect to have to do some planning from scratch. Google Maps directions with the "avoid highways" checked is a good start. You can drag the route to where you want it to go or to avoid places you don't. I have successfully used it to plan some short trips, but some reality checking is probably desirable.

  8. #8
    Bike touring webrarian
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    This link provides a route from SF to Yosemite.

    Ray
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

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