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Cycling from Los Angeles to San Francisco in November

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Cycling from Los Angeles to San Francisco in November

Hi everyone!

Next November I will be taking a 7 days ride from Los Angeles to San Francisco, starting on the 6th and arriving in San Francisco on the 12th, where I am going to stay for 3 days then flying to Vancouver/CA. I will be following the Adventure Cycling association route map.

I read it would be better the other way, from San Francisco south to Los Angeles because of the wind, also the weather I think will not be pleasant, but the main reason for this trip is to visit family and friends in Vancouver, but I could just find flights using miles to Los Angeles at this time of the year. I was planning to take a plane from LA to Vancouver when I started thinking doing part of the trip by bicyccle and enjoy the Pacif Coast.

Bellow are my daily routes:

06/11/18 LOS ANGELES to VENTURA 113KM 70MI 7H

07/11/18 VENTURA to GAVIOTA 110KM 68MI 7H

08/11/18 GAVIOTA to PISMO BEACH 108KM 67MI 6H15M

09/11/18 PISMO BEACH to GORDA 131KM 81MI 8H30

10/11/18 GORDA TO MONTEREY 110KM 68MI 8H30




It will be my first bicycle trip.

I am going to ride a road bike with the minimal clothing needed for 2 days.

I would like to take some suggestions, since some friends think I should do part of the trip by train and enjoy more days riding in to the cities and parks. It will be my first time at this part of USA.

Also would really appreciate to arrange with those who can host me.




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WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真

Another reason people go North to South is the road: you are on the ocean side if traveling south and have ll the amazing views!

Just a note: I would switch Gaviota with Refugio State Beach.  The distance between them is low, but the campsite on Refugio is almost right on the beach.  The one at Gaviota tends to be miserably windy.

Will you be staying in Butano State Park in Pescadaro?  I love this campground.  It is in the redwood and worth the few miles you have to take inland.  Be aware of the steep climb into the park (about a half mile).

Have a great ride!

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Hi Ken!

Hi Ken!

Yes, I though about that as well, I wont get the best picture from that side of the road.

As I never had any experience camping, the idea is to find hosts on the places I am planning to sleep. But I will consider it and do a research.

Thank you for the reply and the tips!

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
South to North

I just did a test ride to see how it was going South to North, starting from LAX.  I was equiped to go to Vancover but after 3 days I was into Santa Barbara and realized it woud take much loner than I had to finish so I headed home. It was a good trip and I used some equipmet I had not used.

The view was fine from my side of the rode. The wind wasn't a big to do either, but it is going UPHILL and I was surprised how long it took going North. The second day I left McGrath St. Beach and after 5 hours was into Santa Barbara (I had taken about 30 minutes for breakfast) I figured out how long the trip would take and realized I didn't have that time so I turned around and got back to McGrath in 2.5 hours! 

IF I was going South to North again I woudl keep the milage woudl be about 50 miles a day, so if you really want to go SOuth to North go for it! I'll probaly go North to SOuth whenI do the route. 

Good Luck



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Hi Rob!

Hi Rob!

Thanks for your impressions. I am figuring out that the best thing is to jump on it!

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
The wind may be slightly less

The wind may be slightly less of a factor in November than in the summer. The onshore winds hit their peak as the inland valleys heat up in the afternoon. In general, early morning starts will help you get in some miles before the winds pick up in the afternoon. With cooler weather the effect is less extreme, but you also should factor in the possibility of storms in which case the rotation of the storm dictates the wind direction (typically onshore but could be northerly or southerly). Some of your daily mileages are pretty ambitious for short winter days, but only you know your load, speed and endurance. Why not research the train and requirements for bikes on train (boxed or carry on?) to give yourself a bail out option. San Luis Obispo has a station convenient to the coast route or maybe Salinas if you don't want to miss the Big Sur Coast. The likeliness of storms also increases as you go north. Best of luck and enjoy the coast.

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Yes, I  am planning to start the rides early in the morning and also am aware of the wet weather as I go north, that's one of the reasons I am finishing the ride in San Francisco (the plan was to ride untill Vancouver :)

I am used to ride 130km and I will carry just really basic clothing, good waterproof clothes and gear to save on weight.

Thank you Kimberly and Carl. I really appreciate the tips because it will be my first ever small bike trip. Even in Brazil I never did something like this.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Bike Trip up the coast

Hi Adriano,

Because of the fires going on in the area that you will be riding in, a lot of the Los Angeles Hwy 1 route that is listed can not be done due to road closures. Also not to mention the air quality. As others have said you may want to think about dropping your distances down a bit, especially heading into BIg Sur.  You should stay in Refugo State Beach instead of Gaviota.  I have done that route many times and it is a lot harder going south to north.  North to south is easier due to winds and hills.  Good luck to you and safe travels.



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Hi Steve! I am glad I made it

Hi Steve! I am glad I made it before the fires. I arrived in San Francisco on the 12nd. When I was in the Camp Creek Campground the fires started with Paradise city. 

I felt it was really hard doing south north. I didntd feel much of winds, maybe I was lucky.

One positive thing I noticed going south to north at the time of the year, is that the sun is always behind me, so it iluminates the view.

You are right, it was too many miles a day. I was just riding all the time, 7, 8 hours per day. If I had more days of vacation I would do it longer, specially in the Big Sur area.

I did :

Los angeles - Santa Harbara

Santa Barbara - Lompok

Lompok - Morro Bay

MorroBay - Kirk Creek Campground Big Sur

Kirk Creek - Monterey

Monterey - Pescadero

Pescadero - San Francisco


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