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3 Day Calif Tour?

Old 11-10-14, 10:02 PM
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3 Day Calif Tour?

I'm trying to set up a short 3-4 day tour with a friend of mine here in California. It can be anywhere from Sacramento to San Diego, and the Coast to the east side of the Sierras. Camping or motels. May have our wives for SAG.

What's your best suggestion for a couple of new tourists?
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Old 11-10-14, 10:15 PM
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I'd probably pick a section of the coast - especially if the SAG support lets you do it as a one-way trip conveniently (always go north to south along the west coast). Either starting around Eureka or in Monterey and going south as far as desired. There are both hike&bike sites in state parks/beaches and motel options in either area.
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Old 11-10-14, 11:46 PM
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Yeah, the coast would definitely be north to south. I have no desire to go against prevailing winds! Thanks!
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Old 11-10-14, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann
I'd probably pick a section of the coast - especially if the SAG support lets you do it as a one-way trip conveniently (always go north to south along the west coast). Either starting around Eureka or in Monterey and going south as far as desired. There are both hike&bike sites in state parks/beaches and motel options in either area.
ya, this time of year i'd say Monterey to San Luis Obispo. or Ft. Bragg to Pt. Reyes?
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Old 11-11-14, 03:45 AM
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How much climbing do you want to do?
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Old 11-11-14, 05:07 AM
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One of my favorite three day rides was San Jose to San Luis Obispo - via Monterrey. I did this numerous times when living in the Bay Area, and then took Amtrak back to San Jose for the return.
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Old 11-11-14, 08:41 AM
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Since you have SAG support, I'd suggest a non-contiguous tour.

Day 1 - Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz

Day 2/3 - Carmel to San Luis Obispo

Finding a place to sleep on the Big Sur coast on night 2 might be a challenge, unless you want to camp.


If you are willing to drive north on Day 1 and south between days 2 and 3, an even better 3 days would be

Day 1/2 - Fort Bragg to Gualala (article about this ride)

Day 3 - Carmel to Ragged Point
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Old 11-11-14, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by TallTravel
How much climbing do you want to do?
Generally not an issue - unless you're talking about multiple continuous miles of 15%! My preference would be for all downhill (!!!), but I've got a good low end on my touring bike.
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Old 11-11-14, 10:01 AM
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I think one question that people have failed to ask is: when? The coastal routes being suggested are great... unless you're planning to do them in the middle of winter. Conditions haven't been too bad lately, but rain and dense fog are increasingly likely at this time of year!
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Old 11-11-14, 10:29 AM
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Death Valley begins to Cool Off this time of Year. so there is the east side of the Sierras.

High Desert tends to Cool off at night significantly.. Sag with a rented Motorhome will offer a warm place to sleep at Night.
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Old 11-11-14, 02:13 PM
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Last year with the drought in California, touring would have been fine all winter along the coast and most inland locations that were not at high altitude.
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Old 11-11-14, 02:28 PM
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Around the Salton Sea is within your options and time frame. Yeah, it's different, but fun with the right attitude. If you appreciate the weird, do the short side trip to Salvation Mountain and Slab City. The entire route is pretty flat.
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Old 11-11-14, 04:16 PM
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Time would be during the summer - maybe not the best for Death Valley or the Salton Sea. Interesting suggestion for a winter ride though...
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Old 11-14-14, 02:02 PM
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Start in Calistoga, ride to Healdsburg, then to Guerneville on day 1. Take the back roads along the Russian River between Healdsburg and Guerneville.
Day two go to Cazadero, then to the coast on Fort Ross road, then down to Bodega Bay or Point Reyes Station.
Day three follow coast and over to Mill Valley.
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Old 11-14-14, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Shifty
Start in Calistoga, ride to Healdsburg, then to Guerneville on day 1. Take the back roads along the Russian River between Healdsburg and Guerneville.
Day two go to Cazadero, then to the coast on Fort Ross road, then down to Bodega Bay or Point Reyes Station.
Day three follow coast and over to Mill Valley.
Be aware there is a big hill between Jenner (the town at the coast west of Cazadero) and Fort Ross (old Russian Fort on the coast). You will have a serious climb going both ways as the top is between the two places.

Frankly, I'd let the SAG drivers visit Fort Ross while you head south at Jenner.
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Old 11-14-14, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by raybo
Be aware there is a big hill between Jenner (the town at the coast west of Cazadero) and Fort Ross (old Russian Fort on the coast). You will have a serious climb going both ways as the top is between the two places.

Frankly, I'd let the SAG drivers visit Fort Ross while you head south at Jenner.
An option on Fort Ross Road is to make the left turn on Meyers Grade Road down to coast highway. Dropping down to Fort Ross is a steep descent. Fort Ross Road is nice, especially since the cargo will be in a SAG.
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Old 11-15-14, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by raybo
Be aware there is a big hill between Jenner (the town at the coast west of Cazadero) and Fort Ross (old Russian Fort on the coast). You will have a serious climb going both ways as the top is between the two places.

Frankly, I'd let the SAG drivers visit Fort Ross while you head south at Jenner.
Since my wife hates dealing with traffic issues, we rode over that hill at about 3:00 AM last May. The only other living thing we saw before we got to Guerneville was a bobcat. While looking down over the edge of the road at the moonlit surf hundreds of feet below, my wife agreed that that was a wonderful time to ride a tandem in that place.
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Old 11-15-14, 01:24 AM
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If you feel like some hills in a slightly different locale, I would recommend the Lost Coast. Access either from Ferndale (take the steepest hill out of town and you're on the right track) or from the Avenue of the Giants (into Honeydew). You can mix it up with a bit of unpaved road, or you can stay on pavement until Shelter Cove, where you will have to either come back out to hwy101 or take the 24-miles of unpaved Usul Rd to Hwy 1. (Very pretty option in a desolate sort of way; one side of the track is owned by a private hunting club and the other is a wilderness area) Day one could be Ferndale to camp A.W. Way just outside of Honeydew (short day). Day two could be from there to camp Usul (six miles from hwy 1) and the third day could be to Ft. Bragg or some point south of there. You won't have any traffic until you get within ten miles of Ft. Bragg, but you will have a few hills.
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