Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

West Coast Tour Planning Chaos

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

West Coast Tour Planning Chaos

Old 02-24-21, 07:13 AM
  #1  
SoFloGirl68
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: South Florida
Posts: 30

Bikes: 2013 Surly Disc Trucker and a 1990s Bridgestone MB-3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
West Coast Tour Planning Chaos

My daughter is doing an internship in South California starting mid-May and she wants to do a bike tour with me of around 2 weeks. She wanted to go to Washington and Oregon originally but we were advised it would be cold and rainy so we switched to California. A lot of the ones I see published will probably be too much elevation as we are from Florida but I don't know what we can handle or not. Then I thought maybe we can rent a car with bike racks and just drive around and do daily rides in places or not, if we get tired. However, I'm not sure that the rental places have a bike rack option. In short, I'm sort of all over the place with no real plan or even an idea of how to start. She has never toured and I've only done two overnighters. She wants to do hotels but I'd like to camp occasionally so there's that also. We have traveled a lot together (not on bicycles); we are flexible and adventurous. Any advice?
SoFloGirl68 is offline  
Old 02-24-21, 07:23 AM
  #2  
mev
bicycle tourist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,896

Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 291 Post(s)
Liked 87 Times in 66 Posts
> However, I'm not sure that the rental places have a bike rack option.
A basic trunk mounted bike rack may not be too difficult or expensive to find. I've occasionally done this when the price of a larger rental that held my bike inside was enough higher than a basic sedan. I then ended up donating or leaving behind the rack after the trip. For example, I've bought a rack in Fairbanks at Walmart, left one behind in Abilene at Hertz and another in Loveland, CO with friends. So if this is what you want to do, this could give you some flexibility on where you go.
mev is offline  
Likes For mev:
Old 02-24-21, 08:23 AM
  #3  
jamawani 
Hooked on Touring
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,694
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 234 Post(s)
Liked 61 Times in 44 Posts
SFG -

Not entirely clear about some things.
I'm guessing that if your daughter starts in mid May, you'd ride in late April/early May.
Also, the "68" in your username is probably not your preference for '68 car models.
Guessing from your bikes that you are experienced. Camping, motels??
Also, the Coast Highway south of Monterey is closed.

Given those pieces, plus your Florida elevation ...
The Sierra foothills are gorgeous in late April/early May.
You could start at the Golden Gate Bridge - -
Ride along the Bay Trail in San Fran - -
Then take the ferry to Vallejo - -
Ride the Carquinez Strait Trail (some hills) - -
Hop Amtrak to get out of the Metro - -
(Roll-on, roll-off service)
Then from Pittsburg take the high bridge to the Delta - -
Ride Florida-flat Delta roads - -
Cut over thru wine & almond orchards via Lodi - -
Hit the Sierra foothills - -
Ride down to Fresno or Bakersfield on quiet county roads.
Or a portion of the above.

<<<>>>

Or you can ride from the Golden Gate Bridge along the coast -
Down past Santa Cruz (much busier traffic, but shoulders) -
Then cut inland to San Juan Bautista and Pinnacles National Park -
Coming out at San Luis Obispo & Morro Bay.
This would be a hillier ride.

jamawani is offline  
Likes For jamawani:
Old 02-24-21, 09:03 AM
  #4  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 6,929

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1613 Post(s)
Liked 839 Times in 521 Posts
If you're going to do a combination car/bike tour, you could still get in the Big Sur portion of the PCH. Camp at Pfeiffer and do a couple out-and-back trips, one down to the landslide and back, another up to Carmel and back. Drive around the washout (spend half a day in Monterrey on the way), find a B&B or motel near Cambria. Next day a down and back to Morro Bay (stop for lunch!), and the next day up and back to the washout. The weather should be just about perfect in early May, and with luck, you'll beat the summer kids-out-of-school traffic.
pdlamb is offline  
Likes For pdlamb:
Old 02-24-21, 10:34 AM
  #5  
SoFloGirl68
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: South Florida
Posts: 30

Bikes: 2013 Surly Disc Trucker and a 1990s Bridgestone MB-3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
That sounds lovely - thanks for the ideas!! To clear up your questions, we would be traveling the first two weeks of May. The '68 is my birth year.
SoFloGirl68 is offline  
Old 02-24-21, 11:28 AM
  #6  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 8,448

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2337 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 582 Times in 478 Posts
Some but not all state parks in Oregon and California have hiker biker sites, instead of renting a full campsite they charge per person. This is limited to non-motorized travel, so with a car you could not use them. The state park websites would list which have hiker biker sites. When I did Paciifc Coast, we tried to always stay in state park hiker biker sites. There were none in Eureka area, there we stayed in a motel 6 one night in Eureka.

My trip was in 2014, so my information on that is quite dated, but if you want to see some of my comments, they are at this link:
https://www.bikeforums.net/16933424-post61.html

They have changed the software for this forum a few times since I wrote that, some of the graphics that I refer to have disappeared.

It is best to go towards the south, tailwinds.

If you could figure out how to take Amtrak towards the north to a point where you could then ride south, that may be ideal. When I was there, we rode a shuttle bus from Fishermans Whart to an Amtrak station in Emeryville. It was an Amtrak shuttle.

Many hills were 8 percent grade, whomever designed the highways appeared to have used that as the default value for the steepness on the steeper ones.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 02-24-21, 01:17 PM
  #7  
SoFloGirl68
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: South Florida
Posts: 30

Bikes: 2013 Surly Disc Trucker and a 1990s Bridgestone MB-3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thank you Tourist in MSN! I was just talking to her this morning and we hatched a new plan. She was planning to purchase a car in California as she will continue on with this company. So the plan is to purchase the vehicle at the beginning of the trip and add a bicycle rack and then drive / cycle down the coast depending on where we can find nice routes that won't kill us (like that 8 percent grade you mentioned).
SoFloGirl68 is offline  
Old 02-25-21, 06:03 AM
  #8  
jpjuggler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 92
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
SFG -

Not entirely clear about some things.
I'm guessing that if your daughter starts in mid May, you'd ride in late April/early May.
Also, the "68" in your username is probably not your preference for '68 car models.
Guessing from your bikes that you are experienced. Camping, motels??
Also, the Coast Highway south of Monterey is closed.

Given those pieces, plus your Florida elevation ...
The Sierra foothills are gorgeous in late April/early May.
You could start at the Golden Gate Bridge - -
Ride along the Bay Trail in San Fran - -
Then take the ferry to Vallejo - -
Ride the Carquinez Strait Trail (some hills) - -
Hop Amtrak to get out of the Metro - -
(Roll-on, roll-off service)
Then from Pittsburg take the high bridge to the Delta - -
Ride Florida-flat Delta roads - -
Cut over thru wine & almond orchards via Lodi - -
Hit the Sierra foothills - -
Ride down to Fresno or Bakersfield on quiet county roads.
Or a portion of the above.

<<<>>>

Or you can ride from the Golden Gate Bridge along the coast -
Down past Santa Cruz (much busier traffic, but shoulders) -
Then cut inland to San Juan Bautista and Pinnacles National Park -
Coming out at San Luis Obispo & Morro Bay.
This would be a hillier ride.

Wow, great Suggestions! I'll be trying some of these myself. . I'll add for a much shorter loop. Park the car in Tiburon, take the tiburon Ferry to SF . Ride to and across the Golden Gate Bridge. Lunch in Sauasalito, or Mill Valley, and then back to tiburon. to extend, do a loop around Paradise Drive in Tiburon.
jpjuggler is offline  
Old 02-25-21, 08:20 AM
  #9  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 11,686
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2127 Post(s)
Liked 534 Times in 456 Posts
Re the golden gate bridge, I have to say that even though I did the west coast trip well over 25 years ago, one of my coolest memories is when we rode across the bridge arriving to SF. Being Canadian and never being to California before, going over this iconic bridge seen only in movies and tv shows was pretty darn neat.

the giant redwood area is not something to miss. Really really cool to ride through.
good luck sorting out things
djb is offline  
Old 02-25-21, 08:32 AM
  #10  
Fuji1986
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Vermont
Posts: 19

Bikes: 1989 Miyata 618GT, 1986 Fuji Sagres, 1986 Fuji Touring Series III

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 14 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by SoFloGirl68 View Post
My daughter is doing an internship in South California starting mid-May and she wants to do a bike tour with me of around 2 weeks. She wanted to go to Washington and Oregon originally but we were advised it would be cold and rainy so we switched to California. A lot of the ones I see published will probably be too much elevation as we are from Florida but I don't know what we can handle or not. Then I thought maybe we can rent a car with bike racks and just drive around and do daily rides in places or not, if we get tired. However, I'm not sure that the rental places have a bike rack option. In short, I'm sort of all over the place with no real plan or even an idea of how to start. She has never toured and I've only done two overnighters. She wants to do hotels but I'd like to camp occasionally so there's that also. We have traveled a lot together (not on bicycles); we are flexible and adventurous. Any advice?
I would put aside elevation and camping questions for the moment and do some hard research into what services will actually be open. Last I heard, CA was turning into a basketcase due to pandemic shutdowns--they are trying to recall the governor there for that reason.
Fuji1986 is offline  
Old 02-26-21, 09:10 AM
  #11  
Classtime 
Senior Member
 
Classtime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 2,832

Bikes: 81 Medici, 2011 Richard Sachs, 2011 Milwaukee Road

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1070 Post(s)
Liked 478 Times in 323 Posts
Don't let the fear of heights cause you to miss some of the beauty out here. You have a couple of months: do some causeway repeats a couple times a week😇
__________________
I don't do: disks, tubeless, e-shifting, or bead head nymphs.
Classtime is offline  
Old 02-27-21, 12:02 PM
  #12  
timdow
Pie Smuggler
 
timdow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 475

Bikes: 2010 LHT (Blue), 2005ish Fuji Club LE, 1998 Schwinn Moab (converted for commuting).

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 30 Posts
Originally Posted by SoFloGirl68 View Post
My daughter is doing an internship in South California starting mid-May and she wants to do a bike tour with me of around 2 weeks. She wanted to go to Washington and Oregon originally but we were advised it would be cold and rainy so we switched to California. A lot of the ones I see published will probably be too much elevation as we are from Florida but I don't know what we can handle or not. Then I thought maybe we can rent a car with bike racks and just drive around and do daily rides in places or not, if we get tired. However, I'm not sure that the rental places have a bike rack option. In short, I'm sort of all over the place with no real plan or even an idea of how to start. She has never toured and I've only done two overnighters. She wants to do hotels but I'd like to camp occasionally so there's that also. We have traveled a lot together (not on bicycles); we are flexible and adventurous. Any advice?
CA coast does have a lot of elevation gain. What many consider to be the best part (Monterey to Big Sur) is very hilly. Ah, and should probably mention that there was just another landslide at Big Sur, which has a long stretch of HWY 1 closed. You will want to take that into account if you are intending to visit there.

During my tour of Colorado on the Great Divide route, we had to get from Pueblo to Albuquerque to catch the train. We ended up renting a mini-van, which was a lot less that renting a pickup. Bonus: You could lock the bikes up outside and sleep in the van in a campground.


Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Some but not all state parks in Oregon and California have hiker biker sites, instead of renting a full campsite they charge per person. This is limited to non-motorized travel, so with a car you could not use them. The state park websites would list which have hiker biker sites. When I did Paciifc Coast, we tried to always stay in state park hiker biker sites. T
I cancelled my Pacific Coast tour last year and have watching for services to reopen. From what I have seen, I do not think that there are many if any hiker/biker sites open now. Even if campground's are open, CA has closed all of the "group" sites, including hiker/biker. Hopefully they will reopen by May, but who knows.
timdow is offline  
Old 02-27-21, 01:37 PM
  #13  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 8,448

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2337 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 582 Times in 478 Posts
Originally Posted by timdow View Post
...
I cancelled my Pacific Coast tour last year and have watching for services to reopen. From what I have seen, I do not think that there are many if any hiker/biker sites open now. Even if campground's are open, CA has closed all of the "group" sites, including hiker/biker. Hopefully they will reopen by May, but who knows.
Yeah, best to check the website to see what is open and what is not.

When I did Pacific Coast, we used a guidebook and to make sure that we were up to date, I check the websites to make sure we knew which parks had hiker biker sites that were open. I put all of their locations along our route as way points in my tablet on the Maps.Me app, that way we could check the map on my tablet every night to plan out our next few days of destinations.

California has had some homeless problems in some of their parks, best to keep a watch out.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 02-27-21, 02:14 PM
  #14  
timdow
Pie Smuggler
 
timdow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 475

Bikes: 2010 LHT (Blue), 2005ish Fuji Club LE, 1998 Schwinn Moab (converted for commuting).

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 30 Posts
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Yeah, best to check the website to see what is open and what is not.

When I did Pacific Coast, we used a guidebook and to make sure that we were up to date, I check the websites to make sure we knew which parks had hiker biker sites that were open. I put all of their locations along our route as way points in my tablet on the Maps.Me app, that way we could check the map on my tablet every night to plan out our next few days of destinations.

California has had some homeless problems in some of their parks, best to keep a watch out.
Yea before COVID, I stayed at a couple of pretty sketchy hike/bike sites around Ventura. At mcGrath SB, the camp host said he had a bike stolen! I locked my bike to the picnic table, then put half of it under my rain fly.

On another note, I have found that the CA State Parks website before COVID was at times is not always up to date and accurate. During COVID, even more so! The CG's phone number is listed on their website. Maybe best to call.
timdow is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.