San Francisco to Los Angeles, 2004


California Flag

The Golden State

After arriving at the San Francisco Airport late Sunday morning, I unboxed my bike, attached a pair of medium sized panniers to the rear rack, and headed off towards LA. Traveling light and staying in hotels was the only way that I could complete this trip in six days. My itinerary did not allow time for sightseeing; I hope to catch Pebble Beach Golf Course, Monterey Aquarium, and Hearst Castle on another trip. After a challenging four miles through Devils Slide, a hilly and narrow road on the coast just south of San Francisco that is prone to mud slides, I spent my first night at Half Moon Bay, an old farming and fishing community that now has many galleries and cafes. My sister in-law and her husband drove in from north of Oakland and treated me to a delicious meal in one of the many cafes.


Day Itinerary Miles
1 San Francisco Airport (SFO) to Half Moon Bay 30
2 Half Moon Bay to Monterey 100
3 Monterey to San Simeon 90
4 San Simeon to Lompoc 100
5 Lompoc to Carpinteria 65
6 Carpinteria to Los Angeles Airport (LAX) 100

When I entered Los Angeles, the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) was a boulevard with plenty of room for bicycles. However, after unexpectedly riding into LAX, I was chagrined to find that PCH heading south out of the airport was a freeway. I peddled a short distance on a side road looking for a way out of LAX, but I ended up in the United Airlines baggage claim area. By then it was 5:00 p.m., and I had a very important date in Huntington Beach some 30 miles away. I called Yvonne, who had just arrived from Chicago two hours earlier, explaining that I was trapped in LAX. Yvonne came to my rescue. When we arrived at our hotel, I hopped in the shower and Yvonne went out to buy sushi. We celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary on Friday, 9-Apr-04, eating sushi on the balcony of our hotel room overlooking the Pacific.

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South of San Francisco

  • Suzanne and Bob joined me for an early supper in Half Moon Bay where there are many galleries and cafes.
  • The Pigeon Point Light House and Youth Hostel is south of Half Moon Bay.

Big Sur

  • I entered Big Sur after breakfast at a Rotary Club in Monterey, passing the Pebble Beach Golf Course, and riding through Carmel.
  • Bicycling the 63 miles of hills and curves in Big Sur was the highlight of this trip!
  • Bur Sur has many scenic turnouts where cars can stop and take pictures, but bicycles can stop anywhere.
  • Bixby Bridge
  • A Big Sur Beach
  • Big Sur roadway with big drop off
  • Orange Flowers
  • Bike campers heading north. I used to do bike camping in the 1980’s.
  • The scenery kept getting better in Big Sur!
  • A warm and sunny afternoon in Big Sur
  • Seals Taking the Beach North of San Simeon
  • Members of the Cambria OFBC (Old Farts Bicycle Club) at breakfast near San Simeon. They enjoyed hearing about my bike ride!

North of Los Angeles

  • Santa Barbara's version of Sheridan Rd
  • Two bicycle tourists heading north near Santa Barbara
  • Hwy 23 crossing the Santa Monica Mountains, south of Thousand Oaks and north of Malibu. Hard work going up, but fun going down!
  • Yvonne and George in Huntington Beach (aka Surf City)
  • The Huntington Beach Pier is a great place to watch surfers. They wear wetsuits most of the year, except in late summer.
  • George, Chip, and Gretchen in Seal Beach. The day after I arrived, Chip and I went for a bike ride along a canal leading up into the mountains. Chip should have kept his road bike for this ride.