The Big Sur Spectacular covers a lot of terrain over six days of riding, with short and long options. The average short distance is 37 miles, the average long distance is about 60 miles. In case you want to ride farther, we can give you some options for additional miles. If you want to ride less, you can catch a ride in the support vehicle. By using the support vehicle, the mileage on any day can be reduced by as much as you wish.
The pace is whatever each cyclist wants to ride. We encourage all of our cyclists to ride at whatever speed they wish. We will be there to support each rider throughout the day, no matter how slowly or quickly they travel.
Spring and Fall weather in Big Sur and Central California is generally mild, and the days are mostly sunny. Mornings can be cool and afternoons inland can be quite warm. There always is a chance of rain any day of the year. Our best advice is to be prepared for changing weather conditions—the SAG van will carry your extra clothing if you don’t need it.
|Weather Averages for Big Sur|
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Biking on quiet roads is much more pleasant than the alternative, which is why we always pick routes that minimize vehicle traffic. Although the road through Big Sur has the word "highway" it its name, it is about as far from a traditional highway as it gets. It is a winding, scenic road, not a route for high speed drivers to get from point A to point B quickly. The traffic is low for two reasons: drivers have other roads that get them where they are going more quickly, and most of the Big Sur Coast is undeveloped.
When researching a trip, we seek out dining options with healthy, fresh choices typical of California cooking. The restaurants we choose are among the highest rated in the area.
Nobody goes hungry on our trips! One of the joys of riding several hours per day is getting to enjoy the dinner afterwards. We give you the choice of ordering anything on a restaurant's menu. Order appetizers, soup, salad, entree, dessert, and beverages. The only thing that isn't included is alcohol. The only exception to the full menu is when a restaurant has prepared a special dinner for us
Breakfasts are either continental, buffet style, or made to order.
We meet at 8:00 AM on the first day of the trip in San Jose, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Jose
The trip officially ends in the late afternoon on the final day of the tour, in San Jose. You'll have a chance to go for a final spin that morning, shower and pack up your things, and grab a bite to eat before your guides transfer you back to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Jose.
Cycling shorts, cycling jerseys, cycling socks, cycling shoes, gloves, helmet (mandatory), wind jacket or vest, rain gear (jacket, pants, helmet cover, shoe covers), sunglasses. For colder weather: arm warmers, knee/leg warmers or tights, full fingered gloves, shoe covers, beanie.
Hat, bathing suit, sweater or jacket, comfortable shoes, business casual evening wear.
Sunscreen, lip balm, prescription medicines, chamois cream, toiletries, identification, medical insurance card, camera.
If you still have questions, please take a look at our general Frequently Asked Questions page. It addresses questions that are common to all tours.
I just returned from a 6-day cycling trip with Undiscovered Country Bike Tours. This was my first organized bike tour, and it met, perhaps exceeded, my expectations.
The tour went from Monterey, south on California Route 1 all the way to Cambria, and finally inland to Paso Robles.
My Excellent rating is based on the following:
1. Routes. This seems like a no-brainer (just go south!), but it's not. The routes were designed with ample time for stopping for photos along the spectacular coastline, and also offered extra challenges for riders who wanted more. For example, on Day 2, we had the option of a difficult 7 mile climb up Nacimiento Road, off Route 1. Not all riders opted for this, but the fact that some riders did it, did not cause any problems for the full group. Also, the route on the optional day's ride was very challenging, and a lot of fun, and it was different from the coastal riding we had been doing up to that point.
2. Guides. We had Laura and Daryl as our guides. A married couple, they took turns each day with one driving the van and the other cycling with us guests. They are California natives, they know the roads and each other very well, but they especially made all of us happy all throughout the whole trip. They took care of every detail - whether it was a small adjustment on seat hight, making sure our luggage was in our rooms, or encouraging us to push ourselves on challenging parts of the ride, they were there, and happy to do it.
3. Bicycles. From the outset, I felt confident that I was in good hands with using a bicycle from UDC. After initial registration for the trip, I received a package with a tape measure and a schematic drawing of a bike, to provide my bike measurements. My setup is slightly unusual, which UDC noticed, and checked with me to verify. Upon arrival, the bike was perfectly fit, with just some minor saddle adjustments necessary, since I brought my own saddle from home. The Scott bikes were in good mechanical condition, and we had no mechanicals during the entire trip. My friend rented a Garmin - it was a great idea for someone to try out using a Garmin, if you don't already own one. The unit came pre-loaded with all of the routes for the trip.
4. Accommodations. All of the hotels we stayed in were top-notch.
5. Food. Breakfast and dinner were included as part of the trip price, and the restaurants were all terrific. In Big Sur we didn't have any choice, but we were already staying at Big Sur Lodge, *the* place to stay. The dinners in Cambria and Paso Robles were terrific, and this is from a New Yorker!
6. Transportation. The tour ended in Paso Robles. Included in the trip price was Amtrak train fare back to Salinas, with transfer to Monterey. This was the only part of the trip that was not perfect. It is not UDC's fault that Amtrak was an hour late. However, I would have preferred if UDC listed the trip as ending in Paso Robles, and then giving us the option of Amtrak back to Monterey. If I had to make a choice, I probably would have preferred to rent a car earlier in the day, and go directly to LA or SF for flights back to NYC. Hindsight is 20/20 though! In this domain, I could be nit-picky and make my rating a 5-1/2.
The biggest compliment I can give is that the day after the tour, my friend and I logged on to their website to see what other tours were available that we could do next year.
Thanks UDC, and thanks Daryl and Laura!
TripAdvisor Review September 2013