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  1. #1
    poopship destroyer b00gnish's Avatar
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    routes: San Fran > Palm Springs

    Hi everyone,

    I'll be taking an impromptu bike tour, solo, from San Francisco to Palm Springs, at the end of october for a Festival at the Polo Grounds in Palm Springs. I've never embarked on such an ambitious journey, although i have conquered streets as a bike messenger for quite a while, the longest i've ever ridden has been about 90 miles in one day. I figure i'll try for at least 80 miles per day, and it should take about 7 days to get there.

    I'm figuring i'll take (or parallel) the 1 all the way down to San Luis Obispo. At that point i'm wondering if i should continue south thru Santa Barbara and cut east from there just south of the Los Padres Forest? Or, should i go around the north side of the Los Padres?

    Also, what kind of temps/climate will i be lookat at once i cut east from the coast? Will i be burning up in the desert?

    Thanks for any and all advice and suggestions.
    Last edited by b00gnish; 09-26-09 at 04:26 PM.
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    I can't comment on the route, but would like to mention that at that time of year the days are very short. 80/day is pretty high mileage for a loaded tour even with long summer days. You're going to need to be pedalling at first light and not stop much.

    I did a tour around Halloween from SF to SB and had to be pretty on it to make about 65/day.

    I'm not trying to be negative or say don't do it, just a heads-up.
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  3. #3
    just pokin' along desertdork's Avatar
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    Phish Festival, right?

    It's really nice in the desert by the end of October. Plan on it hitting the mid-80s midday, but don't be surprised if it only makes it to 75...or creeps past 90. That may still be warm for someone from the bay area, but...around here...that's pleasant. In case you're camping on-site, it'll get cool at night...upper 40s to low-50s.

    Sorry I'm no help with the route. BTW, it's 105-110 this weekend.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Looking at the map, I'd cut east at Nipomo and head for Barstow and then south to Palm Springs, avoiding the major population centers. Most or all of that route probably has good shoulders, tho services might be a little sparse in the eastern sections.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    I can't comment on the route, but would like to mention that at that time of year the days are very short. 80/day is pretty high mileage for a loaded tour even with long summer days. You're going to need to be pedalling at first light and not stop much.
    Agree with this. I just got back from a credit-card tour from the SF Bay Area to L.A. I packed relatively light. 90 miles was a pretty long day, 65-70 more reasonable especially if there were hills (e.g. Big Sur). It took me seven days of pedaling to get from the mid-peninsula to Los Angeles, though I had 2-3 easy days. Probably could have done it in six days without too much trouble. Add another day if you're starting in SF proper and 1-2 to get to Palm Springs. So maybe 8-9 days total?

    I saw quite a few people on fully-loaded bikes who were moving a lot slower than I was. 55-60 miles/day is probably more reasonable if you're carrying camping gear, need to allow time for setting up camp, etc. If you want to stop any see anything along the way, even that might be optimistic...

    TWC says that the average temp for Palm Springs in September is 101. In October, it's 91. Given temps like that, I'd be tempted to hug the coast for as long as possible... maybe even all the way to outskirts of L.A.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    Looking at the map, I'd cut east at Nipomo and head for Barstow and then south to Palm Springs, avoiding the major population centers. Most or all of that route probably has good shoulders, tho services might be a little sparse in the eastern sections.
    I've spent time in Buttonwillow, Bakersfield, Barstow, Lancaster, Mojave, and Rosamond. If hot, windy, and dusty is what you're looking for, that's definitely the way to go! If it were my trip, I'd avoid that area as much as possible.

    If time isn't an issue, I'd be tempted to follow the coast all the way to San Juan Capistrano, then head northeast through Lake Elsinore and Hemet on the way to Palm Springs. I have no idea what the roads are like, but I do know some folks in Lake Elsinore and Temecula that I'd hit up for advice if it were my trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    Looking at the map, I'd cut east at Nipomo and head for Barstow and then south to Palm Springs, avoiding the major population centers. Most or all of that route probably has good shoulders, tho services might be a little sparse in the eastern sections.
    What you suggest involves some 4000 ft passes from essentially sea level. Should I make some TX routes for you?

    You'd have a few choices from leaving the coastal into the greater LA area and heading east. Lots of uban riding and I'm pretty sure you have to ride on I-10 for a bit between Morongo and PS. The polo grounds are actually SE of PS proper; it might be better to avoid 111.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpled View Post
    What you suggest involves some 4000 ft passes from essentially sea level. Should I make some TX routes for you?
    I'll take passes and desert solitude any day over urban sprawl. And I have ridden across central CA so am familiar with the terrain.

    If I need help on a routing in Texas, I'll post it here and you can respond.
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  9. #9
    Used to be fast surfjimc's Avatar
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    I have traveled most of the Southern CA area and was thinking about your ride. Being a former messenger, traffic doesn't bother me, but each has his own level of overload. This seems to me the most direct route that skirts urban hell. There are other less busy routes that miss it all together, but I like this as a compromise of traffic and milage. You can take the coast route to Ventura. From there take Telegraph Rd to Santa Paula. It becomes Telegraph Rd/126. Busy section for about 40 miles through the river valley to Santa Clarita. However the road has been much improved over the years and is in good shape. It is a pretty section, but very heavy traffic. 126 becomes Newhall Ranch Road. You are now is Suburbia for 20 miles. Right on Bouquet Canyon Rd for a short distance, then left on Valencia Blvd. Follow this as it becomes Soledad Canyon road to Sierra Highway. Left on Sierra Highway (light traffic, rolling hills that climb a small pass) and you are headed out of suburbia. Follow to Pearblossom highway (can be very busy depending on time of day, but the wind should be at our back) and take PBH (18) all the way through Victorville (more suburbia, but not as bad) to Lucerne Valley where you pick up 247 into Palm Springs. You can find it from there.
    Last edited by surfjimc; 09-27-09 at 03:32 PM. Reason: grammar

  10. #10
    just pokin' along desertdork's Avatar
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    Investigate this route and see what you like/dislike.

    http://www.mapquest.com/maps?1c=Vent...:::::f:EN:M:/e

    I can't give details on the highway from Ventura to Palmdale...pretty familiar with the rest, though. No urban centers to navigate, enough solitude without being in the middle of nowhere, and no need to travel on freeways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum
    Looking at the map, I'd cut east at Nipomo and head for Barstow and then south to Palm Springs, avoiding the major population centers. Most or all of that route probably has good shoulders, tho services might be a little sparse in the eastern sections.
    If this is a suggestion to take I-15, I'd skip it. It's a busy freeway, and you'll end up exiting in Fontana and having to ride through some of the crappiest (crime + ugly factor) cities in California as you make your way to the desert.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by desertdork View Post
    If this is a suggestion to take I-15, I'd skip it. It's a busy freeway, and you'll end up exiting in Fontana and having to ride through some of the crappiest (crime + ugly factor) cities in California as you make your way to the desert.
    It was a suggestion to take 247 from Barstow to Yucca Valley and then 62 to Palm Springs.

    OTOH, since he's a bike messenger and use to urban sprawl, he might prefer a route that would take him through a 1000 intersections and a couple of hundred traffic lights.

    Ain't this a hoot! LOL. He'll figure it out for himself I'm sure.
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  12. #12
    Used to be fast surfjimc's Avatar
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    I can't imagine any reason to go all the way out to Barstow on this ride. Really I can't imagine many reasons to go to Barstow.

  13. #13
    40 yrs bike touring
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    An alternative from Ventura is the Ventura River Bikeway to Ojai which is separate from hwy 33. In Ojai follow hwy 150 east to Santa Paula and joining hwy 126 and the rest of the route as described by surfjimc.
    This avoids riding of a major portion of busy 126 but adds some climbing and better scenery and services in the Ojai area.

  14. #14
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by b00gnish View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I'll be taking an impromptu bike tour, solo, from San Francisco to Palm Springs, at the end of october for a Festival at the Polo Grounds in Palm Springs. I've never embarked on such an ambitious journey, although i have conquered streets as a bike messenger for quite a while, the longest i've ever ridden has been about 90 miles in one day. I figure i'll try for at least 80 miles per day, and it should take about 7 days to get there.

    I'm figuring i'll take (or parallel) the 1 all the way down to San Luis Obispo. At that point i'm wondering if i should continue south thru Santa Barbara and cut east from there just south of the Los Padres Forest? Or, should i go around the north side of the Los Padres?

    Also, what kind of temps/climate will i be lookat at once i cut east from the coast? Will i be burning up in the desert?

    Thanks for any and all advice and suggestions.
    It depends a lot on your conditioning, the weight you will be carrying (heavy loads make it much slower and more difficult when climbing long grades and high passes), and your personal tastes and preferences.

    If you want to see some great country, 33 up out of Ojai is beautiful, especially the area around the summit.

    But it is a long climb.

    It can be very useful to check maps or online resources for elevation gains.

    The bike trail from Ventura to Ojai is a nice ride, and you can continue a bit past downtown Ojai before returning to riding on the road. Aside from 33, you can also head toward Santa Paula. It is a small climb to Upper Ojai, and not a bad ride into Santa Paula.

    It also depends on how you are with riding alongside traffic that is moving fast.

    Some routes are relatively flat, but not as scenic and have more traffic.

    Others are scenic and relatively quiet but involve a lot of climbing.

  15. #15
    Member spons23's Avatar
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    My friend and I are bike touring to Festival 8 as well. We are leaving from San Diego either on Wednesday or Thursday. It is 160 miles. Mostly flat after you get to Julian, CA (60 miles in). We should meet up for a beer at the festy.

    What bike are you taking?

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