Overview – Ragged Point Starts – Self Guided Bike Tour
Starting your California coast self guided cycling tour in Ragged Point (20 miles north of Cambria in northern San Luis Obispo County, perched on the very southern end of the Big Sur coast) avoids the big hills and other potential challenges of the Big Sur coast, but still yields some very impressive coastal cycling. Pedaling through diverse San Luis Obispo County, you’ll pass by Hearst Castle, elephants seals and beaches galore. Picturesque coastal towns such as Cayucos and Morro Bay offer ocean activities like surfing and kayaking. Lightly trafficked inland valleys await as well. Just south of the town of San Luis Obispo (SLO) the scenic wine country of the Edna Valley beckons.
If you continue south past SLO County, the rich agricultural and winery areas of Santa Barbara County beckon, as well as the palm tree lined waterfront of Santa Barbara itself. Iconic surf spots line the route south from Santa Barbara to the Malibu coast and the traditional end of the long version of the tour at Santa Monica Pier.
Ragged Point to San Luis Obispo (SLO) (61-95 miles, 2-6+ days).
Ragged Point to Solvang (142 miles, 2-6+ days).
Ragged Point to Santa Barbara (194 miles, 2-7+ days).
Ragged Point to Santa Monica/LA (281 miles, 3-7+ days).
Accommodations, Traffic, Terrain, Meeting Times, Transportation.
How This Works and WHAT IS INCLUDED IN PRICES.
You are responsible for booking and paying for your own accommodations. We’ll supply recommendations. Costs are highly variable.
Traffic, Road Conditions and Terrain
California coast bike tours that start in Ragged Point and continue south to San Luis Obispo, Solvang, Santa Barbara or Santa Monica (LA) will be on Highway One for some stretches. However, these tours avoid the big hills, traffic and potential winter/spring highway closures of the Big Sur coast. Traffic, road conditions and terrain are still variable for these tours and cyclists should be comfortable riding with traffic for some stretches and climbing some hills.
Ragged Point to SLO tours have relatively few sections of traffic with little to no shoulders as well as having fewer hills.
If you continue south to Solvang, Santa Barbara or Santa Monica/LA, there are more sections of traffic with little to no shoulders and some sections of riding on a freeway near Santa Barbara. The freeway sections always have a large shoulder, except for two very short stretches on the approach to Santa Barbara. However, the standard Pacific Coast Bike Route uses this section of freeway and motorists are used to seeing lots of cyclists and are normally courteous.
In winter and early spring there may be highway closures on the Big Sur coast that might impact your choice of tour. Tours that start at Ragged Point avoid the Big Sur coast
Climate/Best Time to Cycle
The coastal routes on the Central Coast of California (between San Francisco and Los Angeles) can be done any time of year. In winter you may encounter rain and traffic is busiest in summer. Spring and fall are considered ideal.