Author Topic: California to Arizona? First time rider  (Read 5881 times)

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Offline David85

California to Arizona? First time rider
« on: August 09, 2009, 09:39:34 am »
Hey, I'm 24 and in Orange County, Ca and I wanted to plan my first bike ride.  I've been wanting to take a long ride for a while and I feel this is something I have to do.  Ideally I'd like to ride to Arizona.  I have about 8-10 days off and I was wondering if it was even possible to do it in that amount of time, and if so what route can I take or how can I find a route.  I'm also open to any suggestions to other routes that would fall in the same time frame.   I'm planning on leaving in about a week and will welcome any company.  Thanks a lot!

Offline tonythomson

Re: California to Arizona? First time rider
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2009, 12:29:01 pm »
Hi - follow the ACA route to Silver City - great ride and not too difficult, except just realised coming from UK I don't know where Orange Co is!!!
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline whittierider

Re: California to Arizona? First time rider
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2009, 04:15:41 pm »
Quote
except just realised coming from UK I don't know where Orange Co is!!!

Orange County is the first county down the coast (southeast) from Los Angeles County.  There's only one more county between there and the Mexican border, and that's San Diego County.

David85, if you really want to go through the Mojave (sp?) desert in August (map below)



you need to know it is extremely hot, and you need to carry many gallons of water-- not just a few-- to get through sections of 100 miles at a time of oven with nowhere to get water.  Imagine this



at 115 degrees with no water for 100 miles at a time.  I hope some who have done it will tell how they did it.  I've driven through it in August, but not ridden.  It's very impressive when you see there's a gas station coming up in the middle of nowhere, and there's a sign that says "Next services 100 miles" so you stop and get out of the air-conditioned car, and the heat is absolutely incredible-- just crushing.  You get your gas, and drive the next 100 miles on a road that's in excellent condition, but there is absolutely nothing out there.  It is so baren and dry.  It's almost inconceivable that anything could possibly live.

If you really plan to do that, I think you have a lot more than a week of preparation and research to do.  You'll have tail winds, but it does not seem like a good first ride at all.  May I suggest taking the train to Northern California and riding down the coast instead.  It's cool, beautiful, there are plenty of services, and again a tail wind.
.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2009, 04:26:17 pm by whittierider »

Offline valygrl

Re: California to Arizona? First time rider
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2009, 11:13:47 pm »
May I recommend fly/bus/train/rentalcar/hitch-hike to San Francisco, and ride home from there?

Great scenery, great weather, easy route-finding, use the ACA Pacific Coast map if you want, cheap camping at state hiker/biker campsites near the beach, lots of services, tailwind all the way.

A really excellent first tour, both in terms of level of challenge (plenty, but reasonable) and services - lots.

My $0.02, no worries if it doesn't interest you.

Edit to add:  one other great thing about the route is that it's popular, so chances are good you'll find some riding & camping companions along the way.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2009, 11:17:06 pm by valygrl »

Offline David85

Re: California to Arizona? First time rider
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2009, 11:19:14 pm »
Thanks.  All this info should help out a lot.

Offline MrBent

Re: California to Arizona? First time rider
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2009, 05:54:32 pm »
Hey, David:  Valygirl makes sense.  I've toured from Kern Co., CA. to Prescott, AZ.  I did it in January and had a blast.  Although it is certainly possible to ride the desert in summer, one would have to be into it for the suffering and not the fun.  As noted, it would be flat out brutal.  If you go in late fall/winter/early spring, you can have fun, camp out under the stars.  For the summer, ride the coast.   You will have SO MUCH fun.  I've toured from north of San Francisco to Santa Barbara a couple of times and will no doubt do it again--huge fun, cool in the summer, lots of other cyclists to hang out with.  Go do it!  A nice short version would be to ride from SF or Monterey south.  Get the ACA map and go as far north as you can in order to ride south in time.  I've not done the section south of Ventura, but the section north to SF is one of the great rides.  Save the ride to AZ for the winter.

Cheers and safe touring!

Scott

Offline mikedirectory2

Re: California to Arizona? First time rider
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2009, 05:55:01 pm »
May I recommend fly/bus/train/rentalcar/hitch-hike to San Francisco, and ride home from there?

Great scenery, great weather, easy route-finding, use the ACA Pacific Coast map if you want, cheap camping at state hiker/biker campsites near the beach, lots of services, tailwind all the way.

A really excellent first tour, both in terms of level of challenge (plenty, but reasonable) and services - lots.

My $0.02, no worries if it doesn't interest you.

Edit to add:  one other great thing about the route is that it's popular, so chances are good you'll find some riding & camping companions along the way.

That is a really great suggestions : )
May the skies be blue and the road be flat... Happy Riding.