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Hey West Coasters! Best route from LA to Santa Barbara?(3 posts)

Hey West Coasters! Best route from LA to Santa Barbara?NYCyclist
Aug 18, 2003 1:12 PM
Can anyone from the area give me some advice for the best route from LA to Santa Barbara? PCH? Is the PCH even rideable down by LA? Traffic? Seems to me that the prevailing winds from the N would make this a challenging ride. Any advice from those of you with experience here would be appreciated!

Mapquest gave the distance as 218 miles, so I plan on taking 2-3 days.

Thanks!
where in LA?mohair_chair
Aug 18, 2003 1:38 PM
LA is a pretty big place. You'll have to be a little more specific.

PCH is rideable, although it's best you get through the Santa Monica to Malibu section in the morning, before beach and tourist traffic kicks in. Definitely avoid it during the evening commute. It gets tight through the Big Rock section of Malibu, but otherwise it's not too bad.

You always have the option of going up and riding through the Santa Monica mountains on Mulholland. It's probably a lot more interesting than riding along the beach, and it should get you out of the wind as well. Take Mulholland all the way to the end and it drops you out at Leo Carrillo beach, almost at the Ventura county line. From there to Oxnard or so you won't see much traffic at all.

Here's a picture of Leo Carrillo. That's Mulholland coming down the hill.
http://www.californiacoastline.org/cgi-bin/image.cgi?image=3737&mode=sequential&flags=0
Best route would be Amtrak from Union Station...The Walrus
Aug 18, 2003 5:17 PM
...seriously. I don't know too many people who ride
i up
the coast, due to those prevailing winds. I've come down from Santa Barbara many times, but I head inland at Ventura or Oxnard. PCH is pretty grim (lots of traffic compounded by parked vehicles and pedestrians) until you're beyond Zuma or Point Dume; after that it's generally not bad.

Where are you starting from? There could be some much better alternative routes to get you out of the L.A. area.

Oh, and there is no way that it's 218 miles. It was about 90 miles from our home in the San Fernando Valley; add another 20 miles to put you around downtown L.A.