Vancouver to Southern California Cycle Blog

August 10 – 15, 2014. Santa Barbara After two days of discussing options, we decided to end our trip south, in Santa Barbara. Descriptions of the physical and mental stress of getting through the urban area around Los Angeles in the height of summer, together with the challenges of finding accommodation for anything less than exorbitant prices, made the decision to finish ...

Saturday August 9, 2014. Transfer Day (and Treasure hunt #3) This evening, we find ourselves in Southern California. It took 6 hours driving to get to where it would have taken 6 days by bike. It is disorienting. Travelling by bicycle allows for a more direct, but gradual, experience of changes in landscape, architecture and weather. We were quite relieved to return the car. That ...

Friday August 8, 2014. Planning Day! Our plans changed today. For the past few weeks, we have  been trying, without success, to book accommodation south of Monterey.  From here to San Luis Obispal, there are few hotels/ motels or B&Bs and what do exist, are booked up months in advance. We decided to temporarily retreat to the four-wheeled means of transport ...

Thursday August 7, 2014. Day 29 Santa Cruz to Monterey (87km) Today was grey. The hoards of volley ball players by the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz must have been hoping for sunshine, while the surfers in the calm off the beach at Capitola were waiting for waves. For our part, the overcast skies contributed to a rather gloomy ride, despite a fairly ...

Wednesday August 6, 2014. Day 28 Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz (82km) Half Moon Bay is one of those wonderful towns which is easy to miss, hiding behind the highway strip. We discovered the charming and lively Main Street last night on our way to Pasta Moon, when we also scouted out espresso and bakeries (Peets and Half Moon Bay Bakery). It ...

Tuesday August 5, 2014. Day 27 San Francisco to Half Moon Bay (56km) Blue Bottle espresso was worth yet another lineup this morning and is on a par with Moja coffee from Terra Breads. Leaving SF was easier than expected, with the help of our trusty Garmin. Fortunately, it did not involve any steep hills (those came later in the day). We cycled ...

Sunday and Monday August 3&4, 2014. Days Off We had a wonderful couple of days off in SF, catching up with Mish, walking, eating (thank you to Jayne for the long and excellent list of recommendations), shopping, sight-seeing. We also took our bikes in to replace the chains and to have a new derailleur cable installed on Paul’s bike. The weekend passed way ...

Saturday August 2, 2014. Day 26 Olema to San Francisco (63km) (and Lois’ birthday surprise) We began to see road cyclists soon after we left Olema. Many were participating in the Marin Century ride; 2500 cyclists going from 50 to 200 miles. By the time we got to Fairfax and the edge of the Bay conurbation, riders seemed to be outnumbering cars, ...

Friday August 1, 2014. Day 25 Bodega Bay to Olema (57km) The sun was out as we cycled inland through pastureland and then back to the coast along Tomales Bay. In Marshall, there were at least four oyster bars selling local product. By the time we got to Point Reyes Station, it was ice cream time and we had a choice between ...

Thursday July 31, 2014. Day 24 Gualala to Bodega Bay (78km) Our guide book describes today’s section of the route as “demanding”, particularly the “10 strenuous and scenic miles” after Fort Ross where the “highway becomes a bare etching across the steep, unstable cliffs ahead.” Again, it was steep climbs, followed by rapid ascents to sea level via “exhilarating” switchbacks! Nearing the ...