Friday, May 11, 2012

Finding happy trails...

Total miles: 1,759 (approximate). Riding days: 22

Some people live by numbers; they log every mile ridden, every foot of elevation climbed. They store the data on a computer to show themselves and their friends, after the fact. Quantifying a ride enhances the ride experience for them. They quibble endlessly about deviations. I am not one of those people!

The Pre-Ride

At some point you might be looking for a bike route south. You can buy a book and follow the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route, yes. This route is similar, with optimizations for scenery and simplicity. If you are a numbers person, beware... the first 5 riding days were sans computer. These are estimates.

Here's a sketch of how it went on the way to Santa Monica:

4/9 Mountain View to Monterey (~93 miles)
Foothill Expwy to Cupertino. Cupertino to downtown Campbell to Los Gatos Creek Trail. Push the bike up the steepest part of the unpaved trail - it is possible to ride with smaller panniers. Alma Bridge, Aldercroft Heights, Old Santa Cruz Hwy to Summit Road. South to Corralitos. Into Watsonville, left on Lincoln, right on Riverside Dr., Left on Main south toward Elkhorn Slough. Right on Elkhorn, Right on Castroville, left on Castroville. Left on 156 for one exit over bridge. After exiting go left on overpass, then immediately right on Haro St. in Castroville. Becomes bike path to Monterey (follow signs).

Monterey Hostel

4/10 Monterey to Cambria (105 miles)
Lighthouse Ave, Pacific, Highway 1!

Bridge Street Inn (hostel)

4/11 Cambria to Buellton (117 miles)
Highway 1 to Morro Bay. Through downtown and the State Park to Turri Road. Los Osos Valley Road to Higuera to Tank Farm to 227. Corbett Canyon, Arroyo Grande (follow signs through town). Halcyon Road to Los Berros to Johnson Road. East on 166 for 3 miles, then Bull Canyon to Main Street out to Foxen Canyon. Important: two left turns are required to stay on Foxen Canyon Road. Phil sez do NOT go on the levee and do not attempt to traverse the dump! Ballard Canyon into Buellton.

Tom Bodette Hostel

4/12 Buellton to Santa Monica (136 miles)
246 east to Solvang. South on Alisal. Left on Old Coast Highway. With care, hop barriers to get on 101 South at the top of Gaviota Pass. In dry weather, consider Refugio instead (3.3 miles of rocky dirt climb). Hwy 101 to Hollister Ave. Cathedral Oaks to North Goleta bike route via N. Los Carneros Rd and Covington. State Street to pier. Left on E. Cabrillo Blvd, follow Pacific Coast Bicycle Route signs along surface streets. At Rincon Rd, get on Ventura Fwy. Exit at Pacific Coast Highway. Look for bike path signs in State Park, curve left to park entrance. Right on W Main Street. Right on S Olive, Left on Garden, Left on Harbor Blvd. In Oxnard, curve left onto Channel Islands Blvd. Right on Ventura Rd. Left on E. Port Hueneme Rd. Right on Naval Air Rd. At La Posas Rd, get on Pacific Coast Highway. At Will Rogers State Beach after Temescal Canyon, get on bike path along beach.

Santa Monica Hostel


The last day is not simple at all. It's impossible to memorize and I was worried about wrong turns! Key turns to remember: in Goleta, N. Los Carneros Rd., then Covington. In Oxnard, Channel Islands Blvd, Ventura Rd, Port Hueneme Rd. Other turns were signed.

Route 66

1SunApr. 15Santa Monica, CARialto, CA77
2MonApr. 16San Bernardino, CABarstow, CA81
3TueApr. 17Barstow, CALudlow, CA52
4WedApr. 18Ludlow, CANeedles, CA109
5ThurApr. 19Needles, CAKingman, AZ71
6FriApr. 20Kingman, AZSeligman, AZ89
7SatApr. 21Seligman, AZWilliams, AZ45
8SunApr. 22Ride bike to the Grand Canyon
Ride steam train back
9MonApr. 23WilliamsWinslow, AZ96
10TuesApr. 24WinslowHolbrook, AZ35
11WedApr. 25Holbrook, AZGallup, NM102
12ThurApr. 26Gallup, NMGrants, NM63
13FriApr. 27Grants, NMAlbuquerque, NM82
14SatApr. 28Albuquerque, NMMoriarty, NM45
15SunApr. 29Moriarty, NMSanta Rosa, NM82
16MonApr. 30Santa Rosa, NMTucumcari, NM61
17TueMay 1Tucumcari, NMVega, TX78
18WedMay 2Vega, TXAmarillo, TX35

Detailed Route 66 cycling cue sheets were provided by PAC Tour. If there's enough interest they will offer an Eastern Half tour (Chicago to Amarillo) next year. A complete Route 66 map set is available here. You can also pick up an excellent guidebook at Dan Rice's shop on the Santa Monica pier.

Happy trails!

1 comment :

  1. I know what you mean! My boyfriend is ALL about the metrics. He's got this incredible gizmo connected to a heart monitor that can display 8 things at a time. He logs every single trip into his RideWithGPS account. I also know a guy that logs every ride and then graphs things to analyze his performance. Too much work!

    I guess I shouldn't really complain. I track distances, so I can ramp up training, and sometimes check on my average speed. I've tracked elevation on big rides in the last few months because I want to be sure I'm ready for the Sequoia century... but once June 3 is over I'm not sure how much I'll monitor.

    Thanks for posting route details - the first day certainly sounds do-able. For the rest I remain amazed that you logged so many miles over so few days and still have legs left! :)