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  1. #1
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    Early Spring: SEKI/Yosemite or the coast?

    Heading out the first week of April. The wife wants to look at sh*t, I want to get in a day or two of riding. We'll be heading north from LAX to see the big trees and drive thru Yosemite, then driving over to the coast, hopefully from Santa Cruz then down. I know the options are endless, but that's my problem.
    I hope to get a least two days of riding, and I'll need a rental. Love to do the Cannell Plunge but that's probably a stupid thought so early in the season.
    Where should I focus my research if I know I'll be in two prime areas: Sierra foothills or the coast. I've read the thread from the Minnesota guy about LA area riding and Santa Monica sounds good, but what is further north?
    I'm from Ohio but I've ridden all over the East Coast, especially WV and Pennsylvania, and I've ridden Sedona. Never ridden at real elevation, tho, but I'll be ready to climb.
    Any thoughts/guidance would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    The riding conditions along the coast are likely to be better in early April, comparatively.

    If you are shooting down the coast then a must stop would be San Luis Obispo. It's got everything you'll need in riding and it's a beautiful place to take in the old town shopping, California Mission, clear air, near the sea kind of atmosphere it has to offer.

    I haven't lived there in many years so I cannot recommend a bike shop for rentals but I'm sure a SLO native will chime in.

    I do highly recommend riding in Montana de Oro if you decide to stop over in SLO. The sights of the Pacific Ocean from the trails there are spectacular.

    I also recommend driving down highway 1 from Monterey/Big Sur area just to see it. Unbelievably beautiful but be forewarned, it's hectic with many hair pin turns and some slow going. Stop at one of the beaches along the way and look for pieces of Jade. there's lots of it along there.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  3. #3
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    If you end up heading towards Santa Cruz, I definitely recommend hitting up Demo. Awesome forest riding through the Santa Cruz Mountains. I'm sure someone from the NorCal forum could show you around.
    definite malingerer

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the info, fellas

  5. #5
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    PCH has had some rockfalls this winter so be sure to check the latest news before making reservations. If PCH is still closed you can use the 101 as a backup. I know a couple months ago PCH was closed due to a rockslide North of San Simeon. When I drove PCH from Monterey to Ventura in November there was a construction site South of Big Sur where you literally followed the construction company's guide truck across a rough dirt bypass route through the construction zone. It wasn't too bad that a passenger car couldn't pass but if you're renting an RV it might be tight.

    As for riding I think the National Park Service bans bicycling in the actual parks except for paved roads, so you'd probably be either riding out in the National Forests beyond the Park boundary or waiting until you passed through the coastal areas.

  6. #6
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    Early Spring: SEKI/Yosemite or the coast?

    Heard of some good rides further down from Yosemite in Bass Lake area. 007 is one of them.

    As far as the central coast, I'd second Montana de Oro state park. Easy trail system to find and navigate and plenty of fun. Just a short hop over to Cerro Cabrillo trail system and Black mountain for a few extra easy miles. Can likely rent a bike at Marks Baywood Cyclery right off the main drag.

    Good mtb community in San Luis Obispo. The SLO trails tend to have more traffic and are rockier than MdO and some areas could be harder to navigate for an out of towner ( cuesta ridge comes to mind ) though they are plenty of fun too. What kinda rig are you bringing? There is a nice new loop you can do from Irish Hills to Johnson Ranch and back. Connector trail was just put in and should be rideable by them. Check cccmb.org for trail maps and trail status. Check Cambria Bicycle Outfitters for a rental or demo in SLO. Also arts Cyclery and foothill Cyclery.

  7. #7
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    Thanks, Kris and Dan! I'll check out Montana de Oro. Won't be bringing a bike, so a convenient, decent rental/demo is a must. I've gotten a lot of similar advice about the PCH, so I guess we'll be planning quite of bit of extra time to make that drive. Too much to see and do, too little time.

  8. #8
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    Search for Ridezum, he's a good guide in the SLO area and will be happy to show you around.

  9. #9
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    I can show you some fun trails around Santa Cruz (riding in the redwoods is pretty awesome). Wherever you go, you might want to specify if you you're looking for XC or AM trails. And you're gonna love the drive down through Big Sur--give yourself most of the day to check out the views, waterfalls, elephant seals, etc.
    Why?

    Because we like the taste of freedom; because we like the smell of danger. ~ E. Abbey

  10. #10
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    I'm feeling a little weird about not doing a pilgrimage to Santa Cruz (since I own a Superlight), but for time's sake, I think I'll try to get a ride in at Montana de Oro SP.
    I keep getting this creeping feeling that there will be too much to see and do in the short time we'll be out there, to spare time for riding - wait a minute....did I just say that?? That was an evil thought.

    So therefore:


    This seems doable, right?
    Day 1: Drive from Yosemite to SC (4-5 hrs) and ride in afternoon while wife walks among the redwoods
    Stay in SC or Carmel and hit up Point Lobos for a hike that night.
    Day 2: Spend day driving PCH to SLO with time to poke around
    Stay at SLO
    Day 3: Ride SLO, and let wife poke around the area, then drive into LAX that evening and fly out (we're taking a red-eye).

    I was looking at Bass Lake/Yosemite Bicycles/007 trail, but not sure if there would be much for the wife to do, except shuttle me. Which any truly loving wife ought to be willing to do. But I want to stay married.
    Last edited by GrandpaSnook; 02-19-2013 at 07:37 AM.

  11. #11
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    FWIW, Foresta Road (narrow doubletrack) between Foresta and El Portal is all DH, runs through some drainage crossings with cool bathtubs and generally through some beautiful country. Especially nice that time of year. A nice option if someone wants to spend a few hours more in Yo. I stashed car at end and thumbed up to Foresta pretty quickly.

    Cheers...

  12. #12
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    Looks like I'll be in Santa Cuz on April 3. I'm looking to do a 3-4 hour ride and I've got all afternoon and evening. Again, unfortunately I'm gonna try to rent or demo a bike. Dirtvert, I'll be in touch. Not sure if you'll be available on a weekday afternoon, but any advice will help. I'm used to finding my way around West Virginia by myself with a map, and I like doing that, but given my limited time, I'd appreciate any guidance you or anyone else can offer.
    I'll be in San Luis Obispo on April 5th all day and plan on riding MDO, but I'd like to spend at least a bit of time toward evening with the wife, exploring the sights. A couple of 2-3 hour rides would be cool. I'll be hitting up Ridezum for info/guidance, but any further help from anybody else would be appreciated.
    I consider myself an all-mountain rider, but I'd rather not get banged up on vacation.
    Thanks for all the posts/info

  13. #13
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    ^^ Good call. I'm in! I think Demo Forest (Soquel Demonstration Forest) will make you very glad you came: Singletrack Mountain Biking in Northern California

    Shoot me a pm when you get closer to your trip, and we'll work out the details.

    Doug
    Why?

    Because we like the taste of freedom; because we like the smell of danger. ~ E. Abbey

  14. #14
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    Demo looks just right

  15. #15
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    Thanks for showing me around Demo, Dirtvert! That was a good time!

  16. #16
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    ^^ It was my pleasure, Tim! That was a good (fast) tour. Now update your blog so I can read about the rest of the trip!
    Why?

    Because we like the taste of freedom; because we like the smell of danger. ~ E. Abbey

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