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Suggestions for Central CA Coast cycling?(9 posts)

Suggestions for Central CA Coast cycling?mike mcmahon
Jun 19, 2001 11:26 AM
I have promised my wife a long weekend or maybe longer on the central California coast. I'd like to find a spot with nice scenery for her and nice riding for me in the a.m. when she's sleeping in. I've been up and down the coast numerous times but hate to admit that I've never done any riding between Pismo Beach and Monterey, the region we are targeting. Does anyone have suggestions for spots on the coast that will keep a cyclist and non-cyclist happy for at least a few days?

Thanks, Mike
Jun 19, 2001 11:34 AM
If you can swing it, start in Carmel and ride down Highway 1 to Cambria, where she can meet you. I think it is about 100 miles, pretty much downhill and downwind. It will take you through Big Sur, some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Cambria is bascially where Hearst Castle is.

I have friends who've done this ride, and they said it was an amazing experience.
ooooh yeah!sugarloaf
Jun 19, 2001 3:26 PM
my buddy and I did that - jeez - about 20 years ago - two guys from New Jersey on their first trip off of the east coast (hey, what's a burrito?) - that stretch was just paradise - clear May day, green hills to the left, ocean to the right and WAY down, incredible!! Lime Kiln was really cool - it was like a mini-forest tucked into a canyon. Seemed like the highway folks had their hands full just keeping the road from crashing into the ocean.
re: Suggestions for Central CA Coast cycling?GregJ
Jun 19, 2001 2:01 PM
Mike, I have done some riding in Cambria. There are some great routes there, along the ocean as well as in the mountains. Unfortunately it has been a few years since I have been up there and I have forgotten some of the road names.(Santa Rosa Creek Road,bring your climbing legs and head toward Paso Robles.) Another good Central Coast ride is the Carmel Valley Highway and Arroyo-Seco Roads. This area is a little inland(very hot in summer) but great climbing and riding. Every year my cycling friends go up there and camp at Arroyo-Seco campground (toward the ocean from Greenfield off 101) and do a 70 mile semi-loop with a ton of moderate climbing. Santa Cruz has great rides but maybe a little far. Last but not least, Santa Barbara (my town) would be an easy weekend for you. We have a lot for non-riders to do here as well as some great routes, including a 4000 foot climb in the mountains behind town. I would be happy to meet up with you and show you around on the bike if you ever wanted to do a weekend here. Have fun.
re: Suggestions for Central CA Coast cycling?bsacks
Jun 19, 2001 2:46 PM
I used to live up there and there are some great places to ride. If you are going as far as Cambria you may want to consider going further. Like San Simion or Ragged point. It's a lot of highway riding, but the views are unreal. especially if you can go north of Ragged Point and aren't afraid on the narrow highway to Big Sur. Anyway, any ride up there beats LA
re: Suggestions for Central CA Coast cycling?MeDotOrg
Jun 19, 2001 3:01 PM
Highway One is pretty gorgeous from Pismo up through north of Morro Bay. This time of year there can be a 15 degree temperature swing from inland valleys over the coastal range to the ocean. Two weeks ago it was near 100 inland and 80 along the coast. Be careful where you plan your route...

Highway 46 is a long grade, but it affords a spectacular view of Morro Bay.

You might check with the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club -
...they might be able to steer you to some good rides...

re: Suggestions for Central CA Coast cycling?Gecko
Jun 19, 2001 3:24 PM
This ride is much shorter than others that have been suggested, but it's perfect for part of the day.

If you park at the Baker's Square restaurant that is located at the intersection of Highway One and Rio Road, you may ride South past Monastery Beach, Garrapata Beach, and into Big Sur. The views are fantastic and there are a few restaurants that you can visit to fuel your trip back North. In any case, be sure to stop at Nepenthe's during your ride to stand on the balcony and stare across the ocean. If you're lucky, you might see one of the juvenile Calif. Condors drifting on thermals above Ventana Wilderness. I haven't yet...

Enjoy your ride!
re: Suggestions for Central CA Coast cycling?bsacks
Jun 19, 2001 4:15 PM
Nepenthe, Wow, what a place. If you can, follow Geckos advice. You can get there from the south as well. It depends on how far you want to ride. You could park at Lucia or Kirk creek camp ground (I used to work for the forest service at pacific valley). Or even further up. I forget the exact distances, but it's got to be 40-50 miles from Lucia to Nepenthe.
A delayed thanks to allmike mcmahon
Aug 10, 2001 5:09 AM
Thanks to all who provided information about Central Coast riding. We'll be heading to Cambria on Aug. 22. I will check with the SLO club and check out your other suggestions. And Greg, I will take you up some day on that offer to ride in S.B.