Roadbike Tour California (Palm Springs)

Welcome  to my Radltour!

 February 18th 2010 to March 3rd 2010

 Total 750 kilometers on bicycle


Iris, age 65, retired
Roadbike tour California (Palm Springs)

Review of the bike Tour to Palm Springs (USA)

The author of this review: Iris from Austria - now retired



I escaped the long Austrian winter...

Looking for a good opportunity to ride my bicycle

And have been ending… in the middle of no-where…

My tour has been started on a rather cheap BA flight from Vienna to San Francisco on February 18th 2010.

The very next day, I have started my tour.

I did it the usual way: taking the CalTrain down to Santa Clara and heading for Hwy 9 at Saratoga. This time, I have been confused… found the wrong way, met another biker who convinced me to ride up to Skyline Blvd. via the Old Page Mill Road. I should have been warned: this road is very steep and with all my luggage (two saddle bags) and absolute no-training at all, it has sucked all my power of. Finally I had two flats, what rounds this day… . On the way down to Santa Cruz is has been so terrible cold and wet: I cached a cold and have been sniffing for days.

My Californian friends picked me up at Santa Cruz and have taken me down to Pismo Beach by car.

The next day, I have been touring around the area of Pismo Beach. Sniffing, I climbed up to Lopez Lake, hit Morro Bay and the well known Los Osos Valley Road.

The plan of my friends was to go to Palm Springs for a week vacation. I followed. But on the car tour to Palm Springs, my Californian friends decided to make several private visits at L.A. and further at San Bernardino. As it turned out, I will loose another day at San Bernardino, I have taken my bicycle out of the car and started riding to head for Palm Springs.

What a challenge! Freeways surround San Bernardino. Not made for bicycles. Luckily I found the entrance to the San Timoteo Canyon Road. So, I escaped the freeways for a while. Not knowing, I will re-enter Hwy 10 again. There was no way out at the city of Banning. I have been riding on Hwy 10 at least for more exits…: Then I found, there is a little side road after the Hwy fence. I slipped through the fence and have been continuing riding safe of the sideway of Hwy 10. Hwy 111 has taken me down to Palm Springs, where I arrived pretty late in the dark after a 200-kilometer ride.

Again: Palm Springs is not made for bicycle riders. It is surrounded by the San Bernardino mountains in the North and the San Jacinto mountains at the South.

As I need to ride to the coast, I have been checking out ways to overcome the San Jacinto mountains. I have been riding South on Hwy 74. Hwy 74 started as a wide road at Palm dessert. But is winding up to 1.700 meters. Narrow with no shoulder. What a dangerous and scary ride.

Hwy 371 and didn’ t do any better. Even the downhill to the city of Temecula was a sort of danger to me, as my speed has been higher by now. At Temecula, I have been lost again between freeways. A local young man “Notcha” has taken me by his car driving me down to Pala at the Indian reservation. At Pala I have been riding my bicycle again on Hwy 76 to Oceanside. It went dark, when I have been arriving tat the Oceanside Motel 6.

At Oceanside’ s Motel 6, the check-in has been easy: the had all my personal data, from my last ride back to 2008, whereas I have been riding the coast with my daughter Anne.

Anne has been a very brave rider. I celebrated my memories on this ride with a good bottle of Californian champagne. Californian champagne is so sweet, so good and so cheap! A bottle is roughly $ 7,-, which converts to € 6,-. You will never ever find better booze for that price. Cheers Anne!

Riding down to San Diego and Tijuana was a sort of deja-vu. San Diego’ s Old Town has not been so busy as time I have been there with Anne. It looks to me: California is in a sort of economic recession.

The easiest way to go to LAX, where my plane has been departing on 3rd of March 2010 was to take the Amtrak. Amtrak has supplied a bike box. With the Surfliner train, I have been traveling the coast up to LA’ s Union Station. And with a shuttle bus to LAX...