Author Topic: [California] SF to SD Biking Trip  (Read 4252 times)

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Offline Ali Elazhary

[California] SF to SD Biking Trip
« on: July 20, 2014, 04:09:56 pm »
Hey All!

Si I am currently planning a biking trip between the days Aug17th till Aug 30th between SF to SD and have the following questions;

How challenging is it? I am a casual biker, I live in the city and I do not bike often. I do exercise though but not heavily. and I am 22, can I go through it?**thats my main concern now

What are the best ways to plan my trip? I came across the book "Bicycling The Pacific Coast" and seems helpful, an other advice?

Any links to previous threads covering the same topic would be really helpful

Any other advice or heads up would be great

Thank you so much  :D :D :D
« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 04:23:07 pm by Ali Elazhary »

Offline JDFlood

Re: [California] SF to SD Biking Trip
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2014, 03:37:37 pm »
Let's see that is about 110 miles a day. I think I did that once, on the flats in North Dakota with a tail wind after touring for six weeks, because I didn't have a choice. Now if you are young and inexperienced, you could do it... but it would not be fun. Maybe that is what you are going for. My rule of thumb is if you are comfortable riding 50 miles a day, divide by two to find the reasonable number of touring miles. I typically start touring at 40 miles a day, and work up to 50 or 60 depending on the terrain. Seventy or eighty is not unreasonable if you like to push... although not over mountain passes. I recommend, picking a place about 40 miles away and do a credit card tour to there on the weekend. That should help calibrate, what is enjoyable for you.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: [California] SF to SD Biking Trip
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2014, 12:52:28 pm »
Let's see that is about 110 miles a day.

I don't understand your math here. Using bike directions on google maps, the distance from San Francisco to San Diego is about 620 miles. It'll probably be slightly longer, so it might be more safe to say 700 miles. And the OP has 14 days (two weeks) to do it. Doing the math, I get 50 miles a day, which is pretty manageable for many people touring.

Offline JDFlood

Re: [California] SF to SD Biking Trip
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2014, 04:34:15 pm »
Yes, but South Dakota is 1,600. Maybe not as bad.

Offline John Nelson

Re: [California] SF to SD Biking Trip
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2014, 11:48:58 am »
I don't think I'm going out on a limb too far by assuming that SD is San Diego rather than South Dakota.

The ACA Pacific Coast route shows 607 miles from SF to SD. Of course, that could vary a lot depending on where in SF and where in SD. Assuming you have the full 14 days available, that's about 43 miles a day.

San Fransisco to Santa Barbara is gong to be hilly. And this is at the beginning of your trip. These two factors will make it challenging. Santa Barbara to San Diego will not be as hilly and you'll be in a little better shape by then (if the first half of the trip didn't kill you).

For an avid cyclist, this would be a piece of cake. For a 65-year-old "casual biker", this would probably be a big stretch. But for a 22-year-old casual biker, my judgement is that this will be challenging but doable. Have fun and try to ride as much as you can between now and August 17. Start this afternoon! Assemble your gear, keep it as light as feasible, and take some of your rides with all your gear.

As far as planning, I'd buy the ACA Pacific Coast maps for section 4 and 5. Then just do what it says.

For further advice, please provide further details. What kind of bike do you have? What other outdoor activities do you do? Are you overweight? How tight is the budget? Are you planning to camp? Cook? Do you have camping experience? Are you known for your perseverance? (Actually, only the last question is important, and the answer must be "yes".)

Offline kyleder

Re: [California] SF to SD Biking Trip
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2014, 07:32:57 pm »
Hey Ali,

I'm going to be doing this ride at about the same time as you (Aug 23 - 30th), but ending up in Carlsbad, CA which is just north of SD.

To plan the route I've been using the book you mentioned and the ACA maps. The ACA maps seem a lot more up to date than the book (which was published in 2005). If you're interested I can share the spreadsheet that I've been using to plan the ride with you, though there isn't much else there regarding the route that isn't available in either of those two sources.

I can't really speak to the practicality of doing the ride given your skill level. I've ridden the section from SF to Santa Cruz and it's entirely doable if you start early and conserve your energy. There is a dodgy bit climbing out of Pacifica for about half a mile so be ready for that. I'm most worried about what will be my 3rd day which is Big Sur -> San Simeon which will only be 60 miles but about 5500 ft of climbing. It's also going to be along a section of the 1 that doesn't have (much of) a shoulder.

Hopefully I'll see you along the way. If you see a tall fella on a black Long Haul Trucker then that's probably me.

Have a great ride!