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Cycling the California Coast

Escape the concrete jungle with a 6-day tour of California’s central coast.  With diverse landscapes ranging from sandy beaches of the Pacific Coast Highway to the rolling vine covered hillsides of wine country, California’s Central Coast is home to some of the premier cycling terrain in the world.  It has also served as the backdrop to 4 years of the Tour of California in the past decade, as well as annual spring training for the Tour de France. With the flexibility of multiple route options available to all skill levels, and the assistance of our cycling guide, make this the active vacation experience you’ve been dreaming of.  

  • Duration: 6 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Moderate%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: ACS/209268
  • Starts: Los Angeles, Germany
  • Finishes: Los Angeles, Germany
You will Visit
  • Ventura
  • Ojai
  • Santa Barbara
  • Solvang
  • Lompoc
  • Santa Maria
  • San Luis Obispo

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Ventura - Ojai

Starting point and meeting time: 10 am at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, Ventura Today’s route will take us from the beautiful Pacific Coast through some of Central California’s most verdant farm lands near the town of Santa Paula. Along the way we’ll cycle through citrus orchards and local vineyards before beginning the climb into the Ojai Valley and ending in the quaint town of Ojai. Tucked away in a valley in the Topatopa Mountains you’ll be free to spend the night discovering the city’s village-like center dotted with art galleries and new age shops. Main route: Via Santa PaulaDistance: 32 miles (51km) Elevation gain: 704m Bonus Miles: Hwy 33 to Rose Valley SummitDistance: As many as 33 miles (53km) Elevation gain: As much as 925m Today’s bonus miles route will take you from Ojai and up the Maricopa Highway - as far as you care to ride. The Maricopa Hwy from Ojai to Rose Valley Summit is a locals’ favorite climbing route and, if ridden all the way to the summit will total more than 30 miles and 3000 feet of climbing. However, the quiet country road feel of this ride is appealing even if you choose not to ride all the way to the summit.

Meals Included: Breakfast and lunch included

02

Day 2: Ojai - Santa Barbara

Todays ride will take you through the Los Padres National Forest, and away from Ojai. Enjoy pastoral views, and the textbook beauty of California’s rolling hills. Climb to the 2 Lake Casitas summit, and enjoy the vista before gliding down to the Pacific Coast Highway, and Santa Barbara coast. Main route: via Lake Casitas and CarpinteriaDistance: 37 miles (59km) Elevation gain: 712m Burner Route: via Laguna Ridge (gravel grind) and CarpinteriaDistance: 38 miles (61km) Elevation gain: 789m Choose to ride the burner route which adds virtually no miles and has less overall climbing than the main route. However, much of the climbing will come by way of an unrelenting 7 mile climb on the Laguna Ridge Gravel Road before meeting back up with the main route at the bottom of Casitas Pass. Though parts of this route are quite steep and, the condition of the road is largely dependent on recent weather, the solitude and the views are worth the effort for those up to the challenge. There will be no vehicular support available on the gravel part of this route. Bonus Miles: via Isla Vista and Goleta Beach County ParkDistance: 2.1 miles (34km) Elevation gain: 297m Enjoy the afternoon to soak up the sun on one of Santa Barbara’s amazing beaches, or push yourself to take in a bit more of the coast by cycle, as you head north on a loop to Isla Vista. Celebrate the success of the days ride with your fellow cyclists, and support staff with an included dinner downtown.

Meals Included: Breakfast and dinner included

03

Day 3: Santa Barbara - Solvang

Leaving the coast behind, you’ll head deep into the heart of Santa Barbara Wine Country. Start the morning with a climb to the top of San Marcos Pass and into the Santa Ynez Valley. Those that choose the burner Route will attack one of Southern California’s most notorious rides on Gibraltar Mountain Road- a 9 mile climb through Rattlesnake Canyon that will reward you with spectacular vistas. Regardless of the route you choose you’ll be rewarded yourself with an included lunch at the historic Cold Creek Tavern. Main route: via San Marcos Pass and Cachuma LakeDistance: 37.5 miles (60km) Elevation gain: 1153m Burner route: Via Gibraltar Mountain and, El Camino Cielo and Cahcuma LakeDistance: 45 miles (72km) Elevation gain: 1687m

Meals Included: Breakfast and lunch included

04

Day 4: Solvang - Lompoc

In recent years, Solvang has become a cycling mecca, utilized as the main race location on the Tour of California (07-09, 11) as well as a spring training hub for Tour de France. Explore the area with a ride down the renowned Santa Rosa Rd, bringing you through winding valleys, and mountains towards the city of Lompoc. Upon arriving in Lompoc, you’ll have the flexibility to complete the loop on cycle back to Solvang, or join the support staff for a ride by shuttle. Kick back, and relax upon your return with an included massage and spa entrance. Main route: Solvang to Lompoc One WayDistance: 23 miles (37km) Elevation gain: 256m Burner route: via Happy Valley and Figueroa MountainDistance: 46 miles (74km) Elevation gain: 1608m Bonus miles: Solvang to Lompoc LoopDistance: 43 miles Elevation gain: 256m

Meals Included: Breakfast included

05

Day 5: Solvang - Santa Maria

On today’s ride you’ll follow the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, finding yourself surrounded by vineyards, and more of the quintessential California hills and countryside. Stop in for a supported nutrition stop at River Bench Winery for a taste of their stellar Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir before continuing on to your final destination for the night. Santa Maria is renowned not only for its importance in the wine industry, but also for its succulent Santa Maria style barbecue, and has been called “The West’s Best BBQ Town,” by Sunset Magazine. Eat to your hearts (and stomachs) content with an included dinner as you prepare for your final day. Main route: via Foxen Canyon RoadDistance: 42.5 miles (68km) Elevation gain: 510m Burner route: via Foxen Canyon Road, Tepusquet Rd. and Cuyama Hwy.Distance: 49.5 miles (80km) Elevation gain: 1210m

Meals Included: Breakfast and dinner included

06

Day 6: Santa Maria - San Luis Obispo

Congratulations! You’ve now ridden almost half way from Los Angeles to San Francisco, as you finish today’s final ride in the city of San Luis Obispo, one of California’s oldest communities. Spend an extra night to explore SLO, as an opportunity to relax, and reflect on your successful journey into California’s Central Coast. Main route: via Pismo BeachDistance: 35 miles (56km) Elevation gain: 306m Your tour will end after the included lunch on Friday, which will be around 2 pm. At this time, your support staff will be able to take you to the Finishing point hotel in case you have booked additional nights after the trip or other onward travel plans, or to the local Amtrak Station.

Meals Included: Breakfast and lunch included

Inclusions:
  • Services of a cycling specialist and 'on the road' support staff
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Hotel: 5
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Tour Highlights:
  • Point to point rides with specialist cycling guide
  • Custom fitting on a 2018 specialised Diverge Comp Cycle
  • Luggage Transfer each day
  • Recovery massage treatment at Wine Valley Inn, Solvang
  • Cycle part of the infamous Pacific Coast Highway
  • Time at the end of rides to enjoy sun soaked Californian beaches
  • Enjoy a Santa Maria style barbecue in the “West’s Best BBQ Town”
  • Explore, incredible canyons, low level mountains, idyllic coastal towns and winding valleys on two wheels
  • Featured rides: Santa Rosa Rd, El Camino Cielo, Gibraltar Road Climb, Laguna Ridge Rd, Maricopa Highway, Foxen Canyon Rd