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Elevation and hill sizes - San Fran to San Diego(10 posts)

Elevation and hill sizes - San Fran to San DiegoUncleMoe
Jul 18, 2001 9:20 AM
In October I am doing a charity bike ride from San Fran to San Diego over a 9 day period. I am pretty comfortable with the elevation expectations from LA to San Diego (mainly flat with small rolling hills). However, about 9 years ago I drove the San Fran to LA along the coast and recall some hills, but my memory is foggy.

My question is, for those of you familiar with the Central CA coast, what should I expect for climbs and descents between San Fran and LA? I just want to know what to train for.

Does anyone know of a link that shows the elevations along that route?
I think it gets brutal around Solvang ...Humma Hah
Jul 18, 2001 9:41 AM
... a little North of Santa Barbara. There are a lot of cycling events in the vicinity of Solvang ... you might see if they have something.

If I knew your exact route, I could possibly run it thru Topo USA and get some decent numbers.
Route InfoUncleMoe
Jul 18, 2001 9:46 AM
It is pretty much the "1" all the way down the coast. I think in some spots the "1" and the "101" are the same, but in central CA they are aprat most of the way. It is more in the southern CA area that they are the same.
My map shows ...Humma Hah
Jul 18, 2001 10:02 AM
101 and 1 split a little north of Salinis. 101 goes inland down a valley that is fairly flat. 1 goes over to the coast and hugs cliffs This is a long split that goes down to something like San Luis Obispo.

Further down the coast, they split again in the vicinity of Lompoc and Solvang. I've ridden in this area. There are some pretty good mountains, but the roads themselves (including the sections of 1 and 101 I traversed) I'd classify as "having some pretty good hills in places", which were passable on my singlespeed cruiser. If you were to come north into that area, where 101/1 leaves the coast and cuts inland, you'd encounter a steep uphill climb of around a thousand feet. The way you're going, you'll get an exhilerating downhill with a sharp left at the bottom -- keep your brakes in good shape!
I think it gets brutal around Solvang ...mr_spin
Jul 18, 2001 10:27 AM
The hills aren't really brutal, but the wind can be. You will be going downwind, so it shouldn't be a problem.
Lots of hills, none really big.Zignzag
Jul 18, 2001 9:50 AM
The biggest hill I can think of is just south of Big Sur, about 1,000 ft. (you MUST check out the Nepenthe on the way down). There's a big hill between Monterey and Carmel that you can avoid if you take the 17 mile drive. Lots of hills less that 500 ft, especially between Carmel and San Simeon. None of them are terribly steep. If you want an elevation map, check out Bicycling the Pacific Coast by Kirdendal and Spring, available in the bicycling section of your local huge-ass bookstore. It's a beautiful ride. Have fun!
Elevation and hill sizesMiklos
Jul 18, 2001 10:13 AM
Here is a link that Doug Sloan posted last year that allows you to view nice topo maps online. It helps to have a T1 connection though. In the finest resolution it shows 20 ft changes.

http://www.topozone.com

Miklos
if you stick to Highway 1...Dog
Jul 18, 2001 10:42 AM
Highway 1 isn't that bad for hills. I've ridden all over between SF and LA, and the biggest hills are not on 1; however, if you ride from 1 over into a valley, you will have some giant hills in places. Basically, there is a mountain range that runs right along the coast. If you stay on the ocean side, you're ok; if you cross the mountains, be prepared with some low gears.

The worst part of this ride will be the traffic. Parts of 1 are pretty narrow, and there are tons of motorhomes, trucks, site seers, construction, land slides, etc. You can get lot of morning fog, and a lot of wind. The wind usually comes from the northwest, though. Take rain and cool weather clothes.

You'll want to stop and take pictures about every 1/2 mile, so take lots of film.

Don't know of a ready made site that shows elevations. It's worth purchasing Topo USA from DeLorme, though.

Doug
re: Elevation and hill sizes - San Fran to San Diegoaathavan
Jul 18, 2001 12:00 PM
Hi
you can write to Terri_Leaf@dot.ca.gov . She is the bicycle coprdinator for the central coastal districts. She will give you a bicycle map with the elevations involved on different routes.

aathavan
Thanks Everyone for the info! NMUncleMoe
Jul 19, 2001 7:31 AM