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Road Cycling in CA - SF, Yosemite, Sonoma & Mendocino?

Macungie, PA
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Road Cycling in CA - SF, Yosemite, Sonoma & Mendocino?

We are coming out to CA at the end of April and staying for two weeks into May. I'm trying desperately to figure out if we are going to want to have road bikes with us for our whole trip, or if we'll only want them for a few days while in Healdsburg.

We fly into SF, spend several days at Yosemite (staying at the Lodge in the park), several days in Healdsburg and then several days in Mendocino. We have two days back in SF before our flight home.

We are fairly avid road cyclists. We ride at least once a week, generally about 30 miles with moderate rolling hills. In the winter we train inside to stay ready for our outside riding. My BF must clip into his pedals because of an ankle injury and will only ride on clean, dry pavement. While we don't mind riding with traffic, we do not want to risk an accident while on vacation and would want to avoid any high traffic or high risk (tourist, drunk tourists, route 1 etc) areas.

For this vacation we are looking to be active, really immerse ourselves in the state - especially the scenery but also the food!

Are there any other road cyclists out there that could comment on the road riding conditions in each of the areas we will be?

Thanks so much!

McKees Rocks, PA
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1. Re: Road Cycling in CA - SF, Yosemite, Sonoma & Mendocino?

From everything I have read, Yosemite is not very bike friendly.

Hopefully this won't get snagged by the mods but I am going to recommend that you check this website:

http://www.bikeforums.net/

You might want to post your question in the touring section even if you are not touring.

SF is not real easy to bike through but there are a number of bike paths that are very nice. There is also Golden Gate State Park that is a very nice ride.

You should stop at the Arguello Market for the best turkey sandwich you have ever tasted.

Sorry I could not be of more help in the area where you will be riding in CA.

If you wanted to ride down the PCH then I could provide more information there. I did the trip last year and it was incredible. You should consider it sometime.

Macungie, PA
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2. Re: Road Cycling in CA - SF, Yosemite, Sonoma & Mendocino?

Thanks for the link!

San Francisco
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3. Re: Road Cycling in CA - SF, Yosemite, Sonoma & Mendocino?

There are some great rides in the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy (I believe that's what previous poster was referring to). This is a series of parks that span the SF waterfront and then north and south. The section I'm referring to is through the Marin Headlands. This area is accessible from the Golden Gate Bridge. Generally traffic is light in this area (especially weekdays).

http://www.parksconservancy.org/visit/

Menlo Park...
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4. Re: Road Cycling in CA - SF, Yosemite, Sonoma & Mendocino?

You should find good weather by May. The rains are mostly past, but unfortunately so is our lovely spring. Yosemite is at its best in May. Given the amount of state you plan to cover, a bike may not be the solution. The climb into Yosemite is long and rolling without much shoulder. For the most part drivers here are bike aware, and the roads are in excellent shape, but you're trying to cover some altitude and some distance. I'd feel better if you said you were accustomed to routinely covering a century/day. Otherwise, I'd suggest storing the bikes in SF and then taking them to Sonoma and Mendocino. Both counties have excellent country roads along streams and redwoods mixed with vineyards. Very pretty. Since a decent cyclist can cover 14mph, you can see a lot of territory if you just stay in the saddle. And you'll be far more comfortable on your own bikes. So it would be worth it to box them up and haul them out, but not up to Yosemite. Wine tasting and cycling do not really mix, by the way, no matter how romantic it sounds. But I would certainly encourage you to bring the bikes and enjoy the ride.

5. Re: Road Cycling in CA - SF, Yosemite, Sonoma & Mendocino?

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