Author Topic: PCH. Advice sought...  (Read 1963 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline PeterFranz

PCH. Advice sought...
« on: June 27, 2017, 09:40:18 pm »
Hello everybody.
I'm brand new to this forum so here's a little bit of intro. Been a mad keen cyclist for 40 yrs. Belong to a couple of UK clubs, done God knows how many eye-popping training runs etc. Never particularly enjoyed racing and time-trials even less. Love the continental sportive randonee scene and have done things like Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Flanders, Brevet Randonee des Alpes etc. Live in London, UK.

As a birthday treat to myself I'm planning on doing the Pacific Coast Highway from Victoria (where my sister lives) to the Mex border (where I don't have any relatives at all). I have a few questions with regard to the route which I hope some of you can help me with...

I have a copy of the Spring/Kirkendall guide book (4th ed.) which, I have no doubt, is hopelessly out of date. I keep seeing mentions of ACA maps. Should I have these maps and are there downloadable, off-line usage, versions?

What is the state of play with regard to the hiker-biker sites? Though not particularly paranoid are the bike security levels good? I'll be using a lightweight bivvy and sleeping bag combo. Do I need to chain the bike to my own body parts or will a tree (or something) suffice?

Not being particularly keen on setting up in a camp site in the teeming rain (and waking to the same delights) when it does rain (and it will) I'd rather wimp out and head for somewhere dry. I'd rather not habituate myself to potentially expensive Motels and have often found Hostels to be an unpleasant experience. Presumably there are B&B and/or bike-friendly sofa-surfing options. Does anyone have any experience of such things?

The above tends to apply to the Wash/Oregon section of the ride rather more than the Cal section where (I fondly imagine) the weather will be more favourable. But... here is the $64,000 question...

I have given serious thought to ignoring the insistent demands of borders and maps and so on and turning east at the end of Big Sur and looping
back to San Fran through Death Valley (I know it will be hot, really I do) and Yosemite, places which I am mad keen to visit and this is something I'm likely to do whether I go to the border or not. So, what is the quality of the experience on the Pacific Coast H. after Big Sur? Is it an increasingly unpleasant decent into urban blight or am I being rather too negative? What will I be missing and will I regret missing it? (I suppose I should add that I have been to San Diego - which I thought well enough of. But, having been there then is not quite the point; getting there now (or not) is).

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/advice/info offered



ps I'll be doing this trip late August/September.

Offline CMajernik

Re: PCH. Advice sought...
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2017, 10:18:19 am »
Due to a bridge out north of Big Sur and a massive slide south of Big Sur a long section of the Pacific Coast Highway is closed, probably until 2018. Please go to this post and read - there is a detour posted that takes you inland. The detour leaves and returns to our Pacific Coast Route maps.

« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 11:29:37 am by CMajernik »
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes


  • Guest
Re: PCH. Advice sought...
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2017, 04:48:42 pm »
Hey check out the Pacific Coast Route group on Facebook

Offline joeyajames

Re: PCH. Advice sought...
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2017, 04:48:55 pm »
I have biked the PCH 3 times from SF Bay Area to LAX. The nicest sections are from Monterey down to Cambria (100ish miles of Big Sur coastline), Goleta to Carpinteria (the Santa Barbara stretch), and Point Mugu down to Topanga (the Malibu stretch). The mountains SE of Lompoc are also fun, though tough. Also, my favorite towns are Carmel, Arrollo Grande, Santa Barbara, Big Sur, Ventura, and SLO in that order. Solvang and Paso Robles are also fun, but I don't usually go through those. Least favorite town is Santa Maria.
So if you have to detour around Big Sur due to the road being wiped out around Gorda, I would still try to cut back over and follow hwy 1 from Lompoc on down.