Bike tour/March 2016

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The suggested ride would follow the coast from San Francisco South to San Luis Obispo and likely be 95-123km (60-77 miles) per day over 4 days cycling and one day in a hot spring at the end while waiting for a train for a total of 435km (270mi) and about 4400m (~14500ft) elevation gain.

Dates and Times[edit]

Mako finishes a conference in the afternoon/evening of March 2nd. The trip will be for March 3-7 (with a return on the 6th possible, but difficult).

Mika is interested in spending a day in Monterey. She leaves on the morning of March 2nd with Seth and Matt (until Half Moon Bay). She will then meet with Peter and Mako at the campground in Monterey in the afternoon on March 4th. We finish the tour together.

The Amtrak Coast Starlight is scheduled to leave SLO at 3:35pm which would get folks into Oakland at 9:24pm that evening and into Seattle at 8:12pm the following day. We'd want to be there early to put bikes into bike boxes, etc. This means if we want to take the train on the same day, it would be 68 miles over ~8 hours of daylight which might be tight.

Mako and Mika have tickets from San Luis Obispo to Seattle on the Coast Starlight leaving SLO at on 3/7 and will be doing the five day version of the trip. It should be possible to make the train back to Oakland on March 6th but it will involve cycling at or before sunrise on March 6th, making very few stops, and may be tight. Of course, this alternative plan will involve skipping the evening and morning at the hot spring resort.

General notes: Sunrise in SLO on March 1st will be at 6:31am. Sunset is ~6:58pm. We will try to leave the campground by 8:30AM every day.


  • pack and send off bikes to Seattle on Amtrak (Thursday 2/25 or Friday 2/26)
  • check weather to make sure it's not too windy or rainy
  • put routes on phones
  • get food on Bike tour/March 2016/Packing list
  • (Mika) Uniqlo shopping in SF
  • bike maintenance at Charles

Bike tour/March 2016/Packing list


This involves camping along the way and will end up costing between 10-25% in terms of basic rooming fees.

Day 1 (Thursday March 4)[edit]

route: San Francisco→Costanoa Koa (61mi/3500ft)

overnight: Santa Cruz North / Costanoa Koa (~$36 for 4ppl & 2 tents)


breakfast in SF;
lunch in Half Moon Bay;
dinner? (camping): PLAN!

Day 2 (Friday March 4)[edit]

route: Costanao Resort→Monterey (~75mi/3000ft)

overnight: Veterans Memorial Park in Monterey ($6pp): Reservations for Monterey: Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis only. Mika will try to get a spot before going to the aquarium on March 4.


breakfast? (camping); PLAN!
lunch in Santa Cruz and/or Moss landing;
dinner at a restaurant in Monterey.

Day 3 (Saturday March 5)[edit]

route: Monterey→Plaskett (~64mi/5800ft)

overnight: Limekiln State Park; Dispersed Camping on National Forest Lands; Plaskett Creek Campground) (Plaskett Creek: $5pp). There are hiker/biker sites.


breakfast? (camping or eat out): PLAN!;
lunch in/near Posts? (Big Sur Deli, Big Sur Bakery, The Restaurant at Ventana, Nepenthe) or farther out at Coastal Gallery&Cafe;
dinner? (camping): PLAN!

Day 4 (Sunday March 7)[edit]

route: Plaskett→Avila Beach (~79mi/4200ft)

overnight: Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort (77m) - leave early, so that we can get in early!


breakfast? (camping): PLAN!;
lunch in San Simeon (SEBASTIAN'S) or Cambria (lots) or further out in Cayucos (some)
dinner in SLO/Avila Beach!

Day 5 (Monday March 8)[edit]

route Bike to SLO station (8.7 miles) Train from SLO Oakland/Seattle at 3PM.

Note: I'm currently leaning pretty heavily toward this arrangement with the 5-day trip and a stop in Plaskett and spending the final night/day in a hotel at the Sycamore Mineral springs before taking the train back to Seattle. —mako

This is the official plan now. Mika (talk) 01:45, 25 February 2016 (EST)


Bike shops:

  • Day 1
Half Moon Bay: Bike Works (520 Kelly Ave, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019)
 ? Before Pescadero: Team Tibco (4000 Stage Rd, Pescadero, CA 94060: (650) 712-0829): ? store
  • Day 2
Santa Cruz: lots
Before Monterey: REI?
Monterey: lots
  • Day 3
Carmel by the sea
  • Day 4
Nothing until Cambria! (97.8 miles of no bike shop!)

Mika's notes[edit]

  • Mika's travel schedule:
Day 1 (March 2 Wednesday): SF to Pigeon Point Lighthouse hostel (from Half Moon Bay, take Route 1 until Pigeon Point Rd)
Day 2 (March 3 Thursday): Pigeon Point to Monterey (#1 to Coast Rd, back to #1, left on Western Rd, right on Grandview, left on Escalona, right on Mesa Ln, left on King st, right on Walnut st to Cafe Campesino)
Day 3 (March 4 Friday): Aquarium. Meet up with Mako and Peter.
Day 4 (March 5 Saturday): Monterey to Plaskett
Day 5 (March 6 Sunday): Plaskett to Avila Beach.
Day 6 (March 7 Monday): Avila Beach to SLO. Train.
Day 7 (March 8 Tuesday): Seattle. Home!
  • Bring enough snacks.
Day 1: Bring dinner and breakfast as stores are sparse after Half Moon Bay until Santa Cruz.
Day 2: Get light lunch in Santa Cruz (29 miles from Pigeon Point: Cafe Campesino Mexican food 1130 Pacific Ave Santa Cruz, CA 95060) and second lunch in Moss Landing (28 miles). Lots of dinner and breakfast options in Monterey but get food for Day 3/4.
Day 3: Make breakfast. Get food for dinner and breakfast at Safeway just outside Monterey. Not much until we get to Big Sur/Posts (~27 miles). Not much after Big Sur/Posts until a little bit in Gorda (past Plaskett) and Cambria (30 miles from Plaskett).
Day 4: Make breakfast. Get lunch in Cambria. 33 miles to SLO!


Review: Turned out to be the only stormy weekend in the area. The forecast looked good for a month but changed quickly ~5 days before the trip. 3 days (for Mako) were rainy but the last day was gorgeous. Even on cloudy days, Seth got sun burnt.

Past proposal 1 (Credit Card)[edit]

This for a "credit card tour" which would involve no camping or camping gear. There are tons of spots for camping along the way so arranging something like this would be pretty simple if we wanted to do that instead.

  • Day 1: San Francisco→Costanoa Resort (60m)
  • Day 2: Costanao Resort→Monterey (74m)
  • Day 3: Monterey→Big Sur (Treebones Resort/Gorda Springs Resort) (68m)
  • Day 4: Big Sur→San Luis Obispo (68m); Train to Oakland/Seattle

Or this alternate with an extra day for hot springs at the end:

Details on accommodation:

  • Costanao: <=$75 (which gets you a queen bed in a canvas tent!)
  • Treebones: glamping in cliffside yurts for 4 people should be around $350?
  • Gorda Springs: 1-4 guests $200-250
  • Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort (which unlike Gorda seems to have actual hot springs): 2-double beds for $160/night; two bedroom suites for 4+ people for $350; rooms come with fenced/private mineral springs hottubs

Another credit card option effectively skips Day 1:

  • Day 1: Caltrain from SF to San Jose; San Jose→Monterey
  • Day 2: Monterey→Big Sur (Treebones Resort/Gorda Springs Resort)
  • Day 3: Big Sur→San Luis Obispo

Obviously, we can then do the same thing with a final day.

Review of the trip[edit]

Things to remember:

  • We got rained on and camped during the storm. The tent held up well. The tarp turned into a sail and it was noisy. It was useful for cooking during the storm/hail.
  • We got very cold as soon as we stopped biking in rain.
  • Our dry clothes got wet during the tent setup etc. Bring ponchos to keep dry clothes dry.
  • Bring plenty of plastic/garbage bags to keep dry items dry.
  • When dry, dry things on the back of the bike.
  • Bring more dry clothes (especially socks) than I think I need.
  • Bring REI's big wool socks.
  • Bring thin/waterproof shoes if possible.
  • Bring extra rear lights.
  • Keep phones and other electronics and matches in a ziplock bag.
  • The traffic was low because the weather was bad.
  • Bus 22 to Big Sur is usually full before leaving the prestidio in Monterey. When the weather is bad, it's pretty empty. They may not run if the weather is bad (we were close this time). Past Point Lobo, no radio communication on the bus, so it will go all the way. Bus 22 has a rack for two bikes.
  • There were a number of houses but very few commercial places between Nepenthe and Lucia (there's an inn/restaurant).