Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm a fixed Gear cyclist and I'm trying to set up a big ride with a group of friends from Los Angeles to San Fransisco. I am aware this is not an easy ride but we are willing to go, but I'm not sure Google Maps is giving a very good route for cyclists. Is there any place where I can find a route suitable for cyclists to get to San Fransisco.

share|improve this question
You say you know it's not easy - but do you have a good idea how hard it'll be? Have you done a multi-day long hilly ride on a fixie before, or at least a single long hilly day? – Jefromi Jan 7 '13 at 8:31

Friends who have ridden the coast from Vancouver, Canada to the Mexican border used Adventure Cycling Association maps for the route. ACA has a series of maps that cover the route.

The ACA description of the terrain for LA to SF matches what I heard from my friends: lots of climbing.


This route segment is generally hilly, with lots of ups and downs following the coastline in the northern part of the state. Some sections in the southern part of the route are rolling to flat, especially along the various cities' bike paths along the beaches.

From what I heard about the ride, it was tough enough with (multi-geared) road bikes. I suppose, theoretically, it could be done on a fixie.

If you look around the Web, there are many sources of bicycle route maps. California Bicycle Coalition is one such example. I have the SLO County map which they link to, and it's an excellent map. Don't miss Turri Road when you go through there.

There are also many threads over at BF regarding this trip:

San Francisco To Los Angeles thread;

Advice for Los Angeles to San Francisco thread;

Considering Riding From Los Angeles To San Francisco thread.

Just to provide a few. Lots of experienced answers in those BF threads...

share|improve this answer

Check out this option on mapmyride, goes along the coast, low altitude change with a few burly climbs.

share|improve this answer

Having made the Seattle-San Diego run (long ago and far away) the simple answer is stick to highway 1 or highway 101 when necessary. Be aware that highway occasionally drops into the ocean, so be prepared :) As far as the fixed gear goes, I road a Masi which most assuredly has the wrong geometry for the job and I don't really remember switching gears all that much. My suggestion would be to choose carefully a gear that you can use a long time over terrain that is not flat. Hugging the ocean means up and down every time you have a 'dent' in the coast. The down is a blast, the up not so much. There is such a situation on the north side of Elk CA which was steep to the point that I broke two spokes not to mention coming to a stop and falling over! Enough war stories---have fun :)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.