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Route help please - central valley to San Luis Obispo

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Route help please - central valley to San Luis Obispo

Old 02-15-10, 05:00 PM
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Route help please - central valley to San Luis Obispo

I am trying to start a tour in the central valley near Porterville. I would like to go over to San Luis Obispo to follow the coast to So Cal before going east on the ACA Southern Tier. I am having trouble finding a road with wide shoulders or minimal traffic (and not up and down hills). I see CA 41 and 46 as my only real choices and both seem to have traffic and stretches of no shoulders, plus trucks. Thoughts? thanks.
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Old 02-16-10, 12:37 AM
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One way or another, you'll have to go over some grades getting to the coast. The Coast Ranges aren't too bad though. There aren't too many options west of SR-33 though. SR-46 offers the lowest and easiest pass but has a lot of traffic. The only option that has low traffic, but narrow to no shoulders and lots of hills/steep grades, is SR-58. I would suggest contacting Caltrans District 5 for their bike map. It shows the gradient and shoulder width along all the State highways from Santa Cruz County to Santa Barbara County.

https://www.dot.ca.gov/dist05/bike_ped/index.htm
Caltrans D5 bike info

East of San Luis Obispo County you will be within Caltrans District 6. When you contact Caltrans, ask them about any construction projects. Those will have impacts on your route as well.

I'd also suggest checking out the crazyguyonabike.com website. There are some people that have gone over that mountain range and may have insight as to a good way.
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Old 02-16-10, 12:59 AM
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I would work my way down to Buttonwillow and take Hwy 58 to the coast. I've ridden it to the coast and there isn't much traffic. Hwy 41 & 46 are both filled with high speed crazy drivers. You will have some hills, but they're not bad. The big thing out there is finding water. You can get water in Buttonwillow and McKittrick, but the next water would be the school or Cal Trans/County yard in Simmler on the Carissa Plains. After that you go to Creston or Santa Margarita. Once you reach Hwy 101 and 58 you can ride 101 over the Cuesta Grade to SLO.
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Old 02-19-10, 12:36 PM
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Thanks for the help. I discovered that the 2009 Tour of California went from Visalia to Paso Robles on stage 5 and used a back road from Kettleman City on Hwy 41 over to Hwy 46 and then up 46 over the pass there and then down. This bypasses the very bad stuff on 41 and the no shoulder parts of hwy 46 closer to Bakersfield. I drove it in a car and it will work. The grades are much less than Hwy 41 and the shoulders are better on this part of 46 as well. It does add about 20 miles to the ride as opposed to either 41 or 46 by themselves, but the roads are nice. There is also a dirt road option I am considering that will take about 5 of those miles off. I will take Hwy 46 into Paso Robles, but there is some significant construction that hopefully I can ride on the lanes that are closed to cars.

Thanks again.
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