San Luis Obispo Biking: Easy to Off-the-Charts Hard
I don’t bike a hundred miles at a time, but I know a lot of SLO residents who do. This county is just the perfect place for anyone who likes to spend time pedaling a cycle, either on the road or on the trail. The weather is Goldilocks (not too cold, not too hot), the hills are many and varied so you can choose your challenge, and there’s not so much traffic you feel like an endangered species.
We get an extra jolt of biking enthusiasm this time of year because the Amgen Tour of California comes through the county. This year, the race is starting Stage 4 in Pismo Beach on May 13that the pier, just a short boardwalk from the SeaVenture. Those riders always inspire us lesser types to get out on the road.
But every day, you’ll find bikers at all levels of ability on roads all over the county. A lot of these rides are mapped and measured so you can plan your own excursion if you want. In fact, if you ride, do not leave the bike home when you come for a visit!
The San Luis Obispo Bike Club (whose wonderful slogan is “Ride to Eat, Eat to Ride”) has published a nice list of local rides for road bikes. The rides are broken down by difficulty and location, and all are available as GPS maps.
One example of a “harder & longer” ride is the Old Creek route that begins in Cayucos. This one is only 33+ miles long, but it gains 4,500 feet of ascent, with a lot of that concentrated in a 3-mile section that climbs about 1,500 feet. The scenery is amazing, and very close and personal on the climb, but open to great views of Estero Bay on the long, fast descent from the 1,762 foot summit on Highway 46.
On the “Easier & Shorter” side of things (my favorite category!) is a ride called “wine now, or whine later.” That sounds tailor made for me, and it is in fact just 20 miles, with only 1,100 feet of pretty easy hills.
If you prefer single track to bike lanes, the Central Coast Concerned Mountain Bikers have posted some maps for rides at several levels of difficulty. CCCMB works hard to make and maintain these trails, so give them a shout if you find a route you like.
Biking is a great way to see San Luis Obispo County, at slow speed and ground level so you can really be part of this beautiful place. If you don’t want to haul your bike with you on your next visit to Pismo, use one of our beach cruisers for local stuff or let us help you find a road worthy rental.
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