Take in the famed Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica Mountains, and world-famous beaches by bike.
Benefiting Lindblad-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund
600-Mile Cycling Adventure from Los Angeles to San Diego
There are many reasons Southern California is the off-season base for so many pro racers: the remarkable climate, the Santa Monica Mountains, and world-famous beaches to name but a few. The Randonnée Los Angeles to San Diego pieces together celebrated sections of the world-renowned pro race, the Tour of California, with routes from Rapha’s own Continental rides and Gentlemen’s Races.
Less focused on racing and more on rider camaraderie and accomplishment, randonneuring offers the ultimate challenge to cyclists looking to push their limits. Randonneurs are self-sufficient, organizing their own supplies and repairs, and plotting out long-distance “brevets” (ride sections) with set time goals.
Starting in Los Angeles, the route snakes north before heading back south, taking in both remote inland climbs and stunning coastal roads. The famous Palomar Mountain Road and infamous Mount Baldy both make appearances on the trip as do California’s exceptional culinary offerings.
IfOnly adventurers can expect an itinerary similar to the following:
Arrival Day: Malibu
Your boutique hotel is in the beachside community of Malibu just north of Los Angeles, just on the strip of seashore nicknamed ‘Billionaire’s Beach’. It’s the ideal place to relax and meet your guides and fellow riders while the ride organizers take care of your bikes. In the evening, over dinner, you will review the exciting week’s riding ahead.
Day 1: Malibu — Pasadena
You will start along the famed Pacific Coast Highway One and climb into the Santa Monica Mountains, before cresting and descending into the San Fernando Valley. You will pass Studio City and the Hollywood Hills and head towards your final climb of the day, Big Tujunga Canyon Road, in the Angeles National Forest.
Day 2: Pasadena — Claremont
After an easy start riding east towards Glendora, you and your group will attack the 26-mile-long Mount Baldy, scene of epic battles in the Tour of California. There isn’t an American pro who hasn’t trained on these roads. Then it’s a fast descent into Claremont, where a great Belgian ale house and our wonderful hotel await.
Day 3: Claremont — Lake Arrowhead
Departing early, you will climb to escape the heat of the day, summiting after a steady 25 miles uphill. Cajon Pass, your next high point, marks the passage between the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains, and the edge of the Mojave Desert. You will stop for the night just shy of Big Bear, on the shores of Lake Arrowhead.
Day 4: Lake Arrowhead — Idyllwild
Today you will see the spectacular Big Bear Lake and the highest pass in Southern California, Onyx Summit, before tumbling down into the San Gorgonio Pass, which was created by the San Andreas Fault and is one of the deepest mountain passes in the US. The Panoramic Highway is as good as it’s name, and it takes us to your overnight stop in Idyllwild.
Day 5: Idyllwild — Julian
You will leave the San Jacinto Mountains and head towards the warm desert along the Pines-to-Palms Scenic Byway. Mt. Palomar, your challenge for the afternoon, has 21 switchbacks and is often compared to the great Alpe d’Huez. We descend to finish the day lakeside, and stay in the quaint gold-mining mountain town of Julian.
Day 6: Julian — La Jolla, San Diego
Gently climbing out of Julian on the Sunrise Highway, you will take a side trip up the remote Pine Canyon as the group comes into the outskirts of San Diego. You will pass through downtown and make your way north over Mt. Soledad with more great views before arriving at the seaside community of La Jolla for a celebratory meal.
- This experience is from October 11th to October 18th, 2015
- Please note, you will be joining a group of up to 15 riders
- Includes ride guides, mechanic, and soigneur support plus massage and laundry
- Mercedes Sprinter support cars
- Single-occupancy accommodation at luxury and boutique hotels included
- Airfare not included in this price
- Experience provided in English (US)
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- Average riding distance per day is 85-100 miles with 5k-10k of vertical