Old 03-26-08, 03:38 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Hollister, CA
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Bikes: Bianchi San Jose, Mercian King of Mercia

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You can ride BART across the bay. The only restriction on bikes is that they not be taken onto the train during peak commute hours. Info at BART stations. I'd vote for the coast. CC touring is easily enough done, but be warned that Big Sur accommodations may seem steep (because they are) and food stops can be a long ways apart, esp. in southern Big Sur From SF, a good first stop might be the hostel at Pigeon Point Lighthouse. Santa Cruz and the neighboring towns are an easy second day. Monterey Peninsula is another easy shot. Big Sur is less a town than a stretch of coast. Lots of options (they fill up) in the center of Big Sur. The one run by a parks concessionaire -- Big Sur Lodge -- is a little more reasonable IIRC. The two posh resort hotels, Post Ranch and Ventana, will set you back many hundreds of dollars a night. If you want to press on, selection is limited but nice. One of our favorites is Lucia Lodge, with cabins located on a south facing bluff overlooking miles and miles of coastline

Cambria is very touristy, but it's got another nice little hostel and lots of places to eat. It's a good stop, because there are few routes linking the coast to the interior. Nacimiento-Ferguson Grade is one, and it's a truly memorable climb. But from Cambria you can ride a nicely graded road to Paso Robles. The Paso Robles Inn is across the street from a downtown park. It's perched on a hotspring, and hot mineral water is delivered to jacuzzis outside many of the rooms. I think you can catch Amtrak's Coast Starlight there still. You'll need to go to a local bike shop for boxes, because that train accepts bikes only as checked baggage.

If Paso does not still have Amtrak service, you might continue to ride Hwy. 1 past Cambria to Morro Bay, taking 1 inland into San Luis Obispo. Lots of bike shops and definitely Amtrak service there.
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