Cycling the California coast - which parts are missable?
August 8, 2015 11:52 AM   Subscribe

A friend and I are cycling the California coast, going south from Crescent City to LA starting today. Based on the amount of time we have, we will need to bus a few sections, maybe 200-250 miles or so. Cyclists who have done this route - which sections are missable? Which ones should we NOT miss? What bus/train options do you recommend?

We've actually been on the road since Portland (me) and Vancouver (friend) so we have a good idea of pacing. A typical day for us is 40-60 miles, but we've found it difficult to go much more than 60 miles, so just increasing mileage is unlikely to be a solution.

Advice for specific bus/train companies very welcome.
posted by danceswithlight to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I think you have two obvious options, based on my experience on the route:

1) Cut out the last 200 miles from Morro Bay to LA. It's mostly inland from Morro Bay to Santa Barbara, hot, quite hilly and steep in spots, and not particularly pleasant. Much of the route from Santa Barbara to LA is on the side of the busy highway. I'd imagine busing from SLO might be more feasible than from Morro Bay.

2) Cut out the inland section from Eureka to Rockport (bussing Eureka to Leggett is probably more realistic though and the ride from Leggett back to the coast is a grunt, but quite pleasant). This section is far inland, often on the side of the highway and really hot and hilly. This was the least pleasant part of the ride for me by far. It is kind of nice scenery, but just not that nice to bike in. There are redwoods, but there are plenty further north.

In general, I think you'll find travel a little slower through CA than through WA and OR. It is hillier, there is more traffic, and the route is more complicated. That said, most of the route is very beautiful. Definitely do not miss the section from Crescent City to McKinleyville (even though there are hills), Mendecino to SF, or Monteray to Cambria.
posted by ssg at 12:16 PM on August 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

And you can take the train from San Luis Obispo to LA! The train is much more pleasant than a bus and a lot less hassle with a bike (they have bike racks and you don't have to pay anything extra).
posted by ssg at 12:22 PM on August 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Seconding the train. That's a really pleasant ride from SLO to LA.
posted by u2604ab at 1:57 PM on August 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

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