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Supported tours - SF to LA

Old 07-22-17, 09:10 AM
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Supported tours - SF to LA

Next year I'm turning 70, and on my bucket list is taking one of those supported bike tours from SF to LA. I'm wondering though, how tough is this? I ride 3 times a week, for a total of around 100 to 125 miles per week. I'm a heavier guy, so although I can get up the hills, it's not an easy task for me. Is this something someone my age and fitness level would be able to do? Also, any info on reliable companies who organize the tour would be much appreciated. Finally, would like to hear about personal experiences as well. Thanks!

ps. this is for next summer, so I'm hoping Big Sur will be in good shape by then.
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Old 07-22-17, 02:24 PM
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If you search the web for 'san Francisco to Los Angeles bicycle tours' or similar, you should find a lot of companies that do supported tours. I'm planning to do it next spring as a solo 'credit card' tour, probably use the Salinas Valley route along hwy 101 rather than the coast route along Hwy 1 (I doubt Hwy 1 will be reopened by then).

IF you want to get a look at the terrain go onto Google Maps, choose the bicycle icon to get bicycle routing, and it'll give you directions and elevation profiles between different points along the way (such as Golden Gate Bridge to Half Moon Bay, etc). Its a lot of planning, but I want to do it myself rather than rely on a company and support vehicles.

Gauging your cycling fitness level: Since you live in Encinitas why not try taking Amtrak's Surfliner commuter train north and cycle back to Encinitas over a few days, maybe planning on 40-50 miles/day, and see how it works out. MAybe go up to Santa Barbara on the train then cycle back on a 'credit card' tour where you stay at hotels overnight. The 'surfliner will let you take bicycles onboard (reserve a space when you buy a ticket), and it you make it a credit card trip that'll minimize the baggage you will be taking. .
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Old 07-23-17, 10:00 PM
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Charity ride

Have you considered hooking up with one of the charity rides that does this route. Like AIDS/Lifecycle. They take good care of the riders, carry your stuff, feed you, and give you a tent to sleep in. You have to sign up some donors of course. Seven days and not difficult. Next one is in June 2018. There are others too.
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Old 07-27-17, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Bikerider
Have you considered hooking up with one of the charity rides that does this route. Like AIDS/Lifecycle. They take good care of the riders, carry your stuff, feed you, and give you a tent to sleep in. You have to sign up some donors of course. Seven days and not difficult. Next one is in June 2018. There are others too.


There's an arthritis one in September. This is my long term cycling goal, hopefully next year.
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Old 08-01-17, 02:18 PM
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Similar situation to OP. Bucket list Vancouver BC to Tijuana. Posting now to follow thread. Sixty one y.o. 220 lbs.
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Old 08-01-17, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by CommuteCommando
Similar situation to OP. Bucket list Vancouver BC to Tijuana. Posting now to follow thread. Sixty one y.o. 220 lbs.
I've done part of the coast (Sfo-Santa Monica) and all I can say is that it was my best experience on the bike so far. I went with a bunch of friends, packed light, rode a lot.
I am not aware of any company that tours from Vancouver to San Diego. If I were you, I'll start by looking at people's routes and experiences on crazzyguyonabike.com and then try to convince a couple of friends to join me. Good luck. The hardest part is finding TIME, with time, I could ride around world
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Old 08-02-17, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Antartico
I've done part of the coast (Sfo-Santa Monica) and all I can say is that it was my best experience on the bike so far. I went with a bunch of friends, packed light, rode a lot.
I am not aware of any company that tours from Vancouver to San Diego. If I were you, I'll start by looking at people's routes and experiences on crazzyguyonabike.com and then try to convince a couple of friends to join me. Good luck. The hardest part is finding TIME, with time, I could ride around world
I was planning self supported solo. Combo camping and motels, averaging 50-60 mi/day. Friends and family, Vancouver WA, and several once I get to SF and below. I have a couple of years to plan the logistics. I am very good at packing light. Will need a good touring bike, as right now I just have a road bike and a fixie. I am very familiar with the coast from Long Beach to the border.
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Old 08-02-17, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Chaco
ps. this is for next summer, so I'm hoping Big Sur will be in good shape by then.
I doubt that PCH will be fully open by then.
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Old 08-03-17, 01:49 AM
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not only does the state need to start/finish all the obvious repairs on hillsides, road and bridges in the big sur
area; they also hafta do geological and structural assessments of all the potential problems spots and then
make the necessary repairs/protective placements. i'm thinking 2020 at the earliest and that's without
any more incidents or major failures. we're not talking about a five mile stretch here.
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Old 08-03-17, 03:25 AM
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Caltrans aims to rebuild Highway 1 on top of massive landslide near Big Sur - LA Times
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Old 08-03-17, 10:55 AM
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C'mon, this is California, land of the highest taxes and worst infrastructure. That road won't be open by 2030!
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Old 08-03-17, 09:32 PM
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Check out adventurecycling.org. They offer a variety of tour type from maps and guides for self supported up to fully supported. It looks like they offer a van supported tour from Sausalito to San Diego.

I've done one tour with them - a van supported week in Death Valley, and have a fully supported tour on the Oregon Coast coming up.
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Old 08-04-17, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by bitingduck
Check out adventurecycling.org. They offer a variety of tour type from maps and guides for self supported up to fully supported. It looks like they offer a van supported tour from Sausalito to San Diego.

I've done one tour with them - a van supported week in Death Valley, and have a fully supported tour on the Oregon Coast coming up.



both areas are underrated and absolutely gorgeous.
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Old 08-06-17, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by HBCruiser1
C'mon, this is California, land of the highest taxes and worst infrastructure. That road won't be open by 2030!
C'mon, worst infrastructure? I came here from Tennessee. Now, that's some bad infrastructure!
I've lived in about 12 different states, and I'd have to say CA is better than any of them, infrastructure-wise.
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Old 08-11-17, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Chaco
I've lived in about 12 different states, and I'd have to say CA is better than any of them, infrastructure-wise.

Quoted for truth. "Worst infrastructure" sounds like someone who hasn't resided outside of California. We don't have Japan-like road maintenance, but as someone who grew up in the Great Lakes region and rode the winter-ravaged roads of Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania... I've never had it so good.
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Old 08-16-17, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder
If you search the web for 'san Francisco to Los Angeles bicycle tours' or similar, you should find a lot of companies that do supported tours. I'm planning to do it next spring as a solo 'credit card' tour, probably use the Salinas Valley route along hwy 101 rather than the coast route along Hwy 1 (I doubt Hwy 1 will be reopened by then).
.

Skidder - Do you have a route map (or a link to one) of the route you plan on taking? I am interested in doing the same, i.e. SF to LA, and am not waiting for Big Sur area to re-open.

Thank you.
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Old 08-16-17, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Flounce
Skidder - Do you have a route map (or a link to one) of the route you plan on taking? I am interested in doing the same, i.e. SF to LA, and am not waiting for Big Sur area to re-open.

Thank you.
No route map. I thought it might be something interesting/different vs the normal Hwy 1 route (which I've driven oodles of times both ways). I just started with looking at traditional routes (Adventure Cycling's maps, etc), websites (crazyguyonabike.com), and looking at AAA maps for alternate routes that might be interesting. The only real problem I could find with the Salinas Valley is the last section, about 60 miles from King City down to Paso Robles, which doesn't seem to have any good sideroads around the 101 when you look at it on Google maps. The Salinas Valley is a pretty hard-core agricultural area, so not a lot of services in the small towns in it along the 101.

FWIW: I mentioned above I might do it in spring 2018, that'll probably be delayed to spring 2019. Like others mentioned above, I doubt Hwy 1 will be open even by 2019; the bridge that collapsed can be repaired, but that landslide area is going to need a lot of geologic evaluation before they redo the road, and I bet it'll need some serious engineering to compensate for the soil conditions.

Heck, next year I might just take a bike up to SFO and knock off a few 'bucket list' items: ride across the Golden Gate briade, Mt. Diablo, Mt. Hamilton, Mt. Tamalpais, maybe Lombard Street . . . just a week of fun stuff!
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Old 08-17-17, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by skidder
No route map. I thought it might be something interesting/different vs the normal Hwy 1 route (which I've driven oodles of times both ways). I just started with looking at traditional routes (Adventure Cycling's maps, etc), websites (crazyguyonabike.com), and looking at AAA maps for alternate routes that might be interesting. The only real problem I could find with the Salinas Valley is the last section, about 60 miles from King City down to Paso Robles, which doesn't seem to have any good sideroads around the 101 when you look at it on Google maps. The Salinas Valley is a pretty hard-core agricultural area, so not a lot of services in the small towns in it along the 101.

FWIW: I mentioned above I might do it in spring 2018, that'll probably be delayed to spring 2019. Like others mentioned above, I doubt Hwy 1 will be open even by 2019; the bridge that collapsed can be repaired, but that landslide area is going to need a lot of geologic evaluation before they redo the road, and I bet it'll need some serious engineering to compensate for the soil conditions.

Heck, next year I might just take a bike up to SFO and knock off a few 'bucket list' items: ride across the Golden Gate briade, Mt. Diablo, Mt. Hamilton, Mt. Tamalpais, maybe Lombard Street . . . just a week of fun stuff!
you could easily knock off two solid weeks between the downtown sf area, santa cruz mtns area, mounts diablo and hamilton, the berkeley hills, mt. tam + environs and point reyes national seashore. a different ride every day would still leave you wanting more. so much diversity up there. the only constant is beauty.
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Old 08-17-17, 03:32 AM
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Originally Posted by skidder
No route map. I thought it might be something interesting/different vs the normal Hwy 1 route (which I've driven oodles of times both ways). I just started with looking at traditional routes (Adventure Cycling's maps, etc), websites (crazyguyonabike.com), and looking at AAA maps for alternate routes that might be interesting. The only real problem I could find with the Salinas Valley is the last section, about 60 miles from King City down to Paso Robles, which doesn't seem to have any good sideroads around the 101 when you look at it on Google maps. The Salinas Valley is a pretty hard-core agricultural area, so not a lot of services in the small towns in it along the 101.

FWIW: I mentioned above I might do it in spring 2018, that'll probably be delayed to spring 2019. Like others mentioned above, I doubt Hwy 1 will be open even by 2019; the bridge that collapsed can be repaired, but that landslide area is going to need a lot of geologic evaluation before they redo the road, and I bet it'll need some serious engineering to compensate for the soil conditions.

Heck, next year I might just take a bike up to SFO and knock off a few 'bucket list' items: ride across the Golden Gate briade, Mt. Diablo, Mt. Hamilton, Mt. Tamalpais, maybe Lombard Street . . . just a week of fun stuff!
it's a long stretch and not many services but if you hydrate and eat right + buying a few power bars or the like for the jersey pocket(s), you'll be fine. spring is best with all the greenery. makes the miles more pleasurable. winds can get pretty fierce in the area so stop when a store presents itself (bring some cash just in case-boonie stores occasionally won't take credit/debit cards) and get a snickers bar and gatorade or water to get you another 20 miles down the road. you'll be skirting the 101 and then get diverted into desolation. plan accordingly.
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