Road or Trail? Choose Your Ride and Bike the Central Coast
On May 18, 2016, the Amgen Tour of California will find its way through picturesque Morro Bay, an area known for its coastal-range mountain biking and has become an international bicycle-touring destination along the iconic Highway 1.
Cycling enthusiasts have long known that one of the best areas to pedal through and around is the Central Coast of California. But the question is: What’s the best terrain when you want to get moving? Whether you have a taste for leisurely roads or demanding trails, whether you’re rolling solo or biking with the family, whether you’re an elite cyclist or simply seeking some exercise, cycling options are plentiful in and around Pismo Beach.
If you are truly serious about being one with nature and pushing yourself to the limit, consider these popular Central Coast areas to ride (and hike, and run):
- West Cuesta Ridge: Riding trails in West Cuesta Ridge primarily run through the Los Padres National Forest. The trail conditions vary from hairpin turns to water crossings – and you might even get a glimpse of cattle herds. The upper ridge trails reward the cyclists with the most energy, offering views of San Luis Obispo County to the ocean.
- Morro Bay State Park: Cross country riding and extensive singletrack riding are what you’ll find at Morro Bay State Park. Short but moderately steep climbs will test your abilities, while most of the trails will take you through coastal sage scrub, native grasslands, and the homes of many a bird species.
- Montana de Oro State Park: Home to true tests for bikers – Oats Peak and Hazard Peak – Montana de Oro State Park offers some of the most stunning panoramic ocean and canyon views. Trails can be flat and wide for intermediate cyclists, while other trails require major stamina and experience for the advanced bike riders.
- Santa Margarita Lake Regional Park: If you’re looking for a day off from your typical intense mountain biking, Santa Margarita Lake Regional Park offers meandering, easy-to-moderate singletracks with shade and lake views, but this destination is also home to slightly more strenuous singletrack and doubletrack options.
- Irish Hills and Johnson Ranch: With about 10 miles of public trails, Irish Hills Natural Reserve is connected to Johnson Ranch Open Space by the Filipponi Ranch Trail. Once you reach Johnson Ranch, you’ll find contour-style, loop trails. The entire area is ideal for all skill levels.
- Lopez Lake Regional Park: It’s not California without some sand, right? You’ll find the sandy trails at Lopez Lake taking you around the lake while the singletrack curves through the campground, skirts the water, and provides a panoramic view of the ocean at the top of the ridge.
If you’re seeking a scenic and touristy biking trail that offers opportunities to stop and enjoy the food, landmarks, and sights along the way, the Bob Jones Trail makes it possible for families, couples, and all sorts of cyclists to take a safe and leisurely route from Pismo Beach to Avila Beach.
Your Online Biking Resource
Cycle Central Coast is a go-to resource for cyclists, offering up-to-date information rider alerts about road construction, traffic delays, and the like. If you’ll be spending any significant amount of time in the area, or you’re a hardcore cyclist seeking some buddies to train with, this website also maintains an ongoing list of area bike clubs and bike services so you can connect with the San Luis Obispo bike community.
Plan Your Biking Adventures at the SeaCrest
Planning on leaving your bike at home on your next trip? No problem. Staying at the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel comes with amenities like employees who know their way around Pismo Beach and its neighbors—not to mention on-site beach cruisers from Wheel Fun Bike Rentals! We’ll help you figure out how to get your hands on rental bikes and map out the best sightseeing road or sweat-inducing trail in the area. When you’re ready to put your feet up at night – which you certainly will be after pedaling for hours – the SeaCrest is the best place to do so. Enjoy the sunset from your private balcony, or head down to the sand with our direct beach access and soak your tired feet in the Pacific Ocean.