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Santa Barbara to San Diego

Old 02-02-10, 11:44 PM
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jwgreer01
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Santa Barbara to San Diego

Hi,

My girlfriend and I are amateur bike riders and plan to ride from Santa Barbara to San Diego, at a leisurely pace. I would appreciate any advice on what to avoid or where to ride - specifically through congested parts of Los Angeles. We'd like to follow the coast as much as possible, but if this isn't doable in some areas, we'd like to know where and why!

Thanks
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Old 02-03-10, 10:57 AM
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If you haven't already, you might consider getting a copy of Bicycling the Pacific Coast: A Complete Route Guide, Canada to Mexico (Spring and Kirkendall, 2005, ISBN 0-89886-954-4), which as its title implies, describes a route as close to the coast as possible, including the Santa Barbara-San Diego section of interest to you. It also gives other valuable advice, if you're new to bicycle touring.
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Old 02-03-10, 11:08 AM
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It's entirely doable, but it does get a little ugly in some spots, like Hwy 1 just before Santa Monica. (Unless someone can chime in here with an alternate route.) But you can always plan your trip so that you can pass that section early on a Sunday morning.
Hwy 1 cuts straight across the Palos Verdes Peninsula to Long Beach, but if you can stand the climbing, Palos Verdes Drive along the coast is a memorable (in a good way) ride.
But once you get to Seal Beach, it's going to be nothing but bliss. I've never done the whole trip in one sitting, but I've ridden every stretch at one point or another.
How many days are you taking?
Camping or hotelling?
Have you and your gf (kudos btw on finding an adventurous rider girl) finished a century or done any ride this long before? (Sometimes the things that sound like fun in cocktail party conversations don't end up quite like we expect.)
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Old 02-03-10, 10:35 PM
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My wife and I have done that SB-SD route several times. If convenient, you can take Amtrak to Santa Barbara. It's easy to take your bikes on the passsenger cars and hang them up on special hooks at the end of some of the cars. Also, Adventure Cycling (adventurecycling.org) has a map you can buy on line that will help with the route. In LA, starting around Santa Monica to Redondo Beach, you can take the bicycle trail along the beach. Lots of skateboarders, joggers, dogs, and kids, but much better than staying on the road. From Redondo Beach, the Adventury Cycling map takes you up and through Pales Verdes, much better than staying on Highway1. If you want more info, send me a message. Would be glad to help.
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Old 02-04-10, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by SanDiegoCyclist View Post
If you want more info, send me a message. Would be glad to help.
Why don't you post it in here? This thread has whet my appetite for a train ride north on a 3-day weekend and I'd like to hear more insights too. (Just because I've ridden those stretches doesn't mean I know ALL of the best routes.)
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Old 02-04-10, 11:29 AM
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Another place to consider an early morning passage is Laguna Beach. Only a couple miles of it are crowded, but you'll enjoy it a lot more if you pass through on a Saturday or Sunday morning between about 7 and 9.
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Old 02-26-10, 03:08 PM
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I agree that the worst spots are Malibu: loads of drunks after about 2 pm and very hostile locals coupled with narrow roadways; and Laguna Beach: in spite of having two lanes in either direction, there is always at least one spoiled kid in his mom's BMW who is going to amp out when you try to take the lane and will try to squeeze you into parked cars. Orangutan County is by far the worst for self-centered rude drivers.
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Old 02-26-10, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Ray R View Post
Orangutan County
FTW.
Thanks for enriching my word power today. [wipes projectile-booger from monitor]

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Old 03-04-10, 12:52 PM
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I got that zinger from Alfred E. Nash III up at the Encino Velodrome. He has an entire repertoire of amusing things to say when announcing track races.
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Old 08-03-10, 06:11 PM
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Hi,
We are planning to do the route from Santa Barbara to San Diego in 2 weeks.
Can you please send as detailed map as possible?
Thanks
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Old 08-03-10, 09:53 PM
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I've been working on a route around the Harbor area in Los Angeles. So far, I think I've got a good one. Basically, take Palos Verdes Drive North to Vermont Ave to Lomita Blvd to Wilmington Ave to Sepulveda Blvd (turns into Willow St) to the Los Angeles River Bike Trail, down to Long Beach. It bypasses the worst of the harbor district with roads that have decent shoulders and aren't six-lane boulevards with no shoulders. I'll be riding that route Saturday on my way from downtown Los Angeles to ... Well, I haven't figured out whether Irvine, Fullerton, San Juan Capistrano, or even Oceanside.

As to a map, try REI, they sell the Adventure Cycling maps which show good detail along the route.
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Old 08-09-10, 06:57 PM
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I rode the route: Palos Verdes Drive N - Vermont Ave - Lomita Blvd - Wilmington Ave - Sepulveda Blvd - Willow St - Los Angeles River Trail to be a very decent route. There was light traffic and plenty of shoulder space (some of which was posted no parking). So, to bypass the worst of the Harbor area, I'd recommend that route. Works both directions.
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Old 08-09-10, 08:23 PM
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i'm poor and find the aca maps to be quite expensive. i have bent over and bought their maps in the past, but i don't care to do it again. most of the information and routes is available online at sites such as http://tsteven4.qwestoffice.net/ <- this dude put in most/all the waypoints and information and whatnot of most/all of the aca routes in google earth. way cool.
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