This is a 3 day, 325 mile one-way tour along the Big Sur and Central Coast with overnight lodging in Carmel and Pismo Beach. From the San Francisco peninsula, we cross the Santa Cruz Mountains, weave through Watsonville’s artichoke and strawberry farm roads and then sweep down the coast to Carmel and Big Sur, where rugged cliffs plunge to the Pacific. The route continues through the Central Coast’s vegetable farms, ranches and vineyards before returning to the sun-warmed coast of Santa Barbara.
Ride from Los Gatos to Santa Barbara in a single long weekend, an epic accomplishment! The first day is the most difficult. Your fitness grows as the climbing and mileage diminishes over the course of the tour. The tour ends on Sunday in the early afternoon at University of California at Santa Barbara, where we use the student health club and pool to swim and shower. Cyclists return by car from Santa Barbara.
Day #1: Route – Los Gatos to Big Sur: 95 miles via old Santa Cruz Highway, Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur. Big first day of riding but only 6000 feet of elevation.
Day #2, Route – Big Sur to San Luis Obispo: 106 miles through Big Sur, Lucia, San Simeon, Morro Bay. This is a rolling coastal day with a quiet morning along Big Sur to Ragged Point with lunch or afternoon stop in Cambria. ~6,000 climbing.
Day #3, Route – San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara: 105 miles via Guadalupe, Lompoc, Gaviota Pass to Santa Barbara. We’ll go around Vandenberg Air Force Base and do the short Harris Grade Climb into Lompoc near La Purisima Mission. The course is mostly flat and fast. We will finish at UCSB where we can swim and shower. ~3,000 ft climbing. The tour ends here with rental cars and the airport nearby.