There are a couple of nuggets of information to be found in answer to your questions on our Frequently Asked Questions page: http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/faq.cfm
. (See the 3rd, 7th and final questions in particular.)
Basically, in the summer the winds on the Pacific Coast tend to be out of the north so riding north to south is advantageous, I'm not sure if it is reversed in the winter. Also, when you are actually riding southbound along the coastline, you'll get a better view because you're on the ocean side of the road. When traveling northbound, you'll see everything over the highway and have to cross the highway to take advantage of the scenic view points. Also, there can be mudslides at the time of year you are planning to ride, so stay in touch with CalTrans for road closures. We post them as well when we can.
As for safety, cyclists are generally common on this route though less so in November I'd guess, so car drivers tend to be courteous and aware of your presence. On the plus side, traffic should be reasonable since it is an out of season time.