San Francisco to Santa Barbara Bicycling Trip

Troop 26 will embark on a 350+ mile bicycling trip this June. The trip will begin at the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge and end at Refugio State Beach.

We will mostly follow Highway 1, and will take us through Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur and Morro Bay among other cities.

The highlight of the trip may well be the isolated coastline between Carmel and San Simeon. This section is a beautiful but demanding road with minimal shoulders traversing open grasslands and timbered slopes.

We will spend the most time traveling through this area to maximize safety, as well as the being able to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The trip will end at Refugio, where their families and a barbecue dinner will greet the riders.

During the trip we will be traveling between 30 and 65 miles per day, with the final day at 70+ miles. Troop 26 completed this same trip in June of 2005 and many participants were heard to say that it was “a trip of a life time”. The leader for this year’s trip is Assistant Scoutmaster Baird.

This adventure is open to all scouts who have a multi-speed bicycle with at least 24-inch wheels who can complete the minimum number of four troop training rides. Training rides will begin in February, and continue once per month until the trip. Scouts who want to Be Prepared for this trip will need to train on their own in addition to the scheduled troop training rides.

The cost of the trip will be roughly $300, which will cover food, camping, and normal repair expenses. Expenses may be less, depending on the availability and cost of a trailer. A $50 deposit is due by February 1st to hold a spot on this trip. Parents are welcome to participate as well.

We are in particular need of a parent to drive the support vehicle during the trip. The riders will carry only what they need for the day and all other gear will be carried in the support vehicle, or sag wagon. Drivers will also be needed to transport the riders to San Francisco on the day of the trip.

There are some items that will greatly improve your cycling experience by keeping you hydrated, preventing soreness, and improve your speed. They are not all required, but the more you take advantage of them the more enjoyable your trip will be.

  1. Glasses (eye protection) – A bug in the eye is no fun, and can be dangerous. Sunglasses are fine for this.
  2. Padded cycling gloves – Help to prevent your hands from getting sore during the trip.
  3. Cycling shorts – The alternative is chaffed legs.
  4. HELMET – This is mandatory item. You can’t come without it.
  5. High inflation pressure smooth tires – A mountain bike with these tires will go 2-3 mph faster with the same energy expended.
  6. Cycling shoes (stiff bottom) – Help to prevent your feet from getting sore from pedals.
  7. Frame mount water bottle cage(s) and water bottles – Drinking while you ride is essential to keep hydrated and strong.
  8. Bicycle – Without a 24 inch wheeled bike you will have a difficult time keeping up with the group. If you are considering riding a smaller bike you will need to prove your abilities on this bike prior to the trip. Regardless of size, a well tuned bicycle will be essential to an enjoyable trip. Items of most interest include, true wheels, lubricated and clean chain, smooth shifting of derailers, properly working brakes, and freely turning wheels.
  9. Tire patch kit – Know how to use it prior to the trip.


Training will be essential on this trip. The troop will have 5 training rides prior to the trip, which are not presently on the troop calendar but will be announced soon. Attending four of the five is required to participate on this bike trip. Proper training and bicycle shake down are essential for a successful trip. Suggested Training Program to prepare for this trip:

Month,Total Weekly Miles,Longest Ride in Miles,Days a Week, Total Training Hours/Week

The table above is adapted from one geared for adults on a much longer ride and has been scaled down accordingly. The most important thing is to get out and ride regularly.

Other aerobic activity supplement your riding is also important. This other exercise is factored into the total training hours per week. It is also important to rest during your training.

Work up to the higher end of the mileage range for the week, and drop off a bit the week prior to the troop training ride. This ride will boost you up to the next months training level.

Riding Schedule

Sunday June 8,Half Moon Bay,33 miles,Depart Santa Barbara early and drive to SF. Start bike ride from north end of Golden Gate Bridge.
Monday June 9,Shore of Montery Bay south of Santa Cruz,66miles,We begin to get in to the groove of traversing the California coast. We will pass through Santa Cruz.
Tuesday June 10,Pfeiffer Big Sur State Campground,64 miles,Another long day with a gorgeous spot for camping this night. We will pass through Monterey and Carmel.
Wednesday June 11,Limekiln Campground,26 miles,The “easy” day of the trip we begin to see the road less traveled. Lots of stops to check out the area.
Thursday June 12,San Simeon State Beach Campground,42 miles,Another shorter day more scenic views to be experienced.
Friday June 13,Pismo Beach State Campground,51 miles,Cranking the miles back up and back into civilization.
Saturday June 14,Refugio State Beach,73 miles,The days up to now have been training for this last strenuous day of riding ending at the cool ocean water at Refugio. After the bar-b–que with our families we will drive home from here.

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