SF to Mexico via Pedal-power

Folks, a great ride! Safe passage, 650 miles in 7 days, a gorgeous route with terrain that ran the gamut and was stunning in its beauty. Very cool to see just how far one can comfortably travel under one’s own power.

Look for this ride report to be updated almost daily with highlights and anecdotes of the distinct stages.


  • Beginning of the ride crossing Golden Gate Bridge with post-card perfect day, blue skies and temps in the 80s.
  • 8 mile stretch from rt. 84 to Pescadero; road winds on the edge of small cliffs just above the ocean. Gorgeous!
  • Big Sur; 90 mile stretch from Carmel to Hearst Castle; dramatic climbs and descents along huge cliffs that plummet straight down to the crashing surf below. Breathtaking.
  • Cambria.

  • Riding alongside groups of dolphins as I approached Santa Barbara.
  • Point Mugu – Malibu; the stuff car commercials are made of…blue ocean surfers, kite-surfers, movie-star mansions, another world. Passed on lunch with Pamela Anderson as I was in a really good rhythm.
  • Fine dining every night on an empty stomach!
  • $4.95 breakfast on a deck overlooking a surfing beach and skating path. Eggs, french toast, home fries, bacon, english muffin, and friendly service. Check it out at end of Garnet Street in the Mission Beach area of San Diego.


  • Only had 3 car incidents in 650 miles, two of which involved people throwing objects/trash at me and the other simply people literally hanging out of a car to give two-arm middle finger salutes….something about me being on a bike in a bike lane I guess.

    A pretty clean ride though I must say given the distance and so few incidents. On the other hand, despite having ridden thousands of miles in foreign lands, the US remains the only place where I have had bottles, cans, trash, cigarettes, etc. thrown at me.

  • Flatting on 4-lane Interstate 5 and realizing I forgot my pump. Prior to 9/11 riders were able to ride through the enormous coastal military area, Camp Pendleton, as they made their way between San Diego and LA—not anymore. Another one of those freedoms that has been removed to help keep us free.
  • Ended up walking several miles to 1st exit.

You Know You’re In Califoria When…….

  • A senior citizen passes you on a bike path with high-speed wheel-chair equipped with Rock-Shocs suspension, and his wife is standing on a special made platform on the back.
  • Ohhh, those roller-bladers on the bike path in Santa Monica.
  • You share space with Kite skate-boarders cruising the same bike paths
  • You see a home-less dude with a motorized skateboard, connected to a wider platform skate-board which carries his belongings…..connected to a 3rd skateboard on which rides the dude’s dog.
  • The Terminator offers Arianna Huffington a role in Terminator 4.
  • You don’t have to pack any rain gear because it NEVER rains in August or September!

Stage 1
Mill Valley > Santa Cruz Distance 105 miles Fuel 4 water bottles Champion Nutrition Revenge, 2 banana breads Route: Golden Gate Bridge > Hwy. 1 Terrain: rolling

Stage 2
Santa Cruz > Monterey > Gorda (Big Sur) Distance 100-104 miles Fuel 5 water bottles, bagel, 1/2 bag of Power Bites Terrain: extreme rolling, Big Sur Hwy. in particular

Stage 3
Gorda > Pismo Beach Distance 88 miles Fuel 2 water bottles, 1/2 bag of Power Bites Route Hwy. 1 > Morro Beach > back roads to San Luis Obispo > Pismo Terrain: medium rolling mixed with flats

Stage 4
Pismo Beach > Santa Barbara Distance 100 miles Fuel 3 water bottles + 1 Red Bull, 1/2 bag of Power Bites Route: Hwy. 1 > Lompoc > Santa Barbara Terrain; flat mixed with modest climbs of 2-3 miles, to modest rolling

Stage 5
Santa Barbara > Redondo Beach (Los Angeles) Distance 105 miles Fuel 3 water bottles + 1 Red Bull, 1/2 bag of Power bites Route: mixed back roads with Hwy. 1 & 101 Terrain: gentle rolling

Stage 6
Los Angeles > Del Mar Distance 100-105m Route: (m2 opted out of the first 20 miles, 15 of which were an urban LA nightmare through the Port area of Long Beach. Tough neighborhoods with no bike lanes, heavy truck traffic, stoplights, etc. No redeeming aspect to this section other than to have survived it, so went sightseeing with my wife and son and rode from Huntington Beach. Terrain; flat to gently rolling

Stage 7
Del Mar > Tijuana Distance about 50 miles Fuel 1 water bottle, one coffee, one bagel on the ferry Route: complicated mix of secondary roads, bike paths, ferry ride, and more of the same Terrain: mostly flat

“Ohh Mexico, never really been, but sure’d like to go…”

Well, that’s how the song goes anyway. Truth is I have been to Mexico, but I’ve never gotten there via pedal power.

Riding from Mill Valley to the border this week. Leaving Monday morning the 22nd and should arrive sometime Saturday some 650 miles later. September weather in CA is typically gorgeous and road tourists are fewer.

Mill Valley > Golden Gate Bridge > Santa Cruz > Carmel > Big Sur > Santa Barbara > Newport Beach > San Diego > Mexico! Oh yeah!

M2 thinks this might provide a blueprint for future training trips. Stay tuned for photos and observations. Limited e-mail access during this trip.

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