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Fresno to Santa Barbara, how to find the best route?

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Fresno to Santa Barbara, how to find the best route?

Old 07-01-12, 02:02 PM
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DwarvenChef
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Fresno to Santa Barbara, how to find the best route?

I'm ready for a longer tour and figured I'd ride down to SB, family and posable job site visit. I'm not crazy about some of the highways but understand I will have to experience it to get used to it. Funny because as a teen I never had a problem scateboarding around Hwys lol

I'll be fully loaded but have not decided if I'll be using the paniers or the BoB, my bike (trek 7100) doesn't like both, to much wabble. I'm 48 and want to get some good rides in before my busted up body gives out LOL so I am getting up and running as much as posable

Any advice on this trip would be greatly accepted
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Old 07-01-12, 08:10 PM
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Last September, I rode over Highway 166 from Maricopa to San Luis Obispo. (How you get to Maricopa? I took web of county roads through the valley.)

I found 4' shoulders most of the way on 166. Traffic can be fast but it wasn't too bad.
I would not go that way on weekends as that route get a lot of "Bakersfield Navy" weekend warriors on their way to Pismo Beach (and return). From 166, take Bull Canyon road (as you get near Santa Maria) to Foxen Cyn to Solvang to Alisal road to 101 to SB ( I left out some connectors - check Google maps). 101 can be a drag but 8' shoulder and great ocean scenery. If you are adventurous, consider Highway 33 to Ojai then 150 to SB. It's remote, some big climbs South of 166 and not much for services. Have fun!
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Old 07-01-12, 09:05 PM
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I have toured several times coming out of Yosemite NP to Fresno on my way home to Santa Barbara. The time of year for the tour also makes a big difference in comfort level particularly temperature and bugs in high Summer.
If you have limited time the shortest routes are traffic laden and not a particularly enjoyable ride at various points with heat, dust and limited services. I am thinking of highways 41 and 33 particularly North of Bakersfield. Water sources are sometimes a problem too.
With more time I prefer bumping along a variety of backroads of the Sierra Nevada foothills West of Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP and Sequoia NF to the Kern River at Johnsondale then to Lake Isabella and on to Bodfish to take the Caliente-Bodfish Road to Hwy 225 to Arvin on the way to Taft to pickup Hwy #33. Follow 33 over Pine Mtn. Summit 5000 ft all the way almost to Ojai and proceed South on the Ventura-Ojai Bikeway paralleling Hwy 33 to the 150 turnoff. Then Follow 150 West to Carpinteria then North to Santa Barbara.

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Old 07-02-12, 12:22 AM
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Thanks for the routes, I'll look into them and see what looks fun, still a couple of places I have not been between here and there. I lived in SB for 18 years, till I escaped in '85/'86.
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Old 07-05-12, 08:15 PM
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@Arctos Agreed there's a lot of great roads, some of them are pretty hilly like 245 or balch park road. I am definitely checking out your route suggestion, living in the area myself!

I live near Visalia, and I drove 198 all the way to King City on 101 on a trip this year. Once you get out of the valley near Coalinga, it's really nice, but has lots of climbing. You can take 145S to coalinga and take the route from there.

A route that crosses 198 is 25, and it goes NS from hollister to paso robles. Lots of motorcyclists enjoy this road and it's very quiet. I saw the "no services for next 51 miles" at the 198/25 intersection and made a mental note to travel the road some day.
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Old 07-05-12, 10:31 PM
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198 sounds interesting indeed
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Old 07-06-12, 04:38 PM
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Hwy 25 from Hollister South all the way to Paso Robles is a lovely ride. You pass Pinnacles N. Monument with good camping if not full. Water sources after that are limited at times. It is a narrow two lane road with tall brush often on each side. Road surface maintenance has been neglected in places and farm/ranch machinery takes its toll on the pavement. Traffic is limited except for ranch vehicles and motorcyclists at times.

The first time I rode Hwy. 25 heading South the tailwind was about 35 MPH. Instead of camping at Pinnacles I arrived in Paso Robles by noon covering some 80 miles in 3 hours. It was just too much fun to stop with that tailwind.

There are many other routes in Monterrey and San Benito Counties in the area that cross Hwy 25. My old AAA map of the two counties is excellent. I do not know if they still offer this map to members. Starting at Hwy 46/41 at Cholame, The Cholame Valley Rd. to Parkfield and then the Parkfield Coalinga Rd to the Parkfield Grade to Hwy 198 is beautiful in the Spring all green with wildflowers but heats up and dries out fast in the summer.
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