cycleCalCoast has been keeping me busy lately as I map the best bike routes throughout Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. It was time to get on the bike and sample some.
Hop on the train
So we packed the bikes with the barest essentials and hopped on the Surfliner to San Luis Obispo, a trip we’ve made many times. This trip wouldn’t be about long distances, instead we’d be sampling all our favorite places, new ones, too, while we take it slow and easy.
We have a 10am train to catch and it’s all downhill on State Street to the AMTRAK Station next to the MOXI Museum. Our only problem? We arrived too early. Where to kill some time? We pedal over to the Dolphin Fountain, a perfect scene for a kickoff photo then in no time, we’re rolling the bikes onto the train. Lift it one large step and you’re on the train, you and the bike. A bike rack awaits – simply roll in, strap in with a nicely modified seatbelt buckle, pop the bags off the back and go get a window seat for 2. This Wednesday morning is quiet onboard, so we have our choice of ocean views or Super Bloom – your choice may vary, we sat to see the flowers in bloom virtually the entire way north. We settle in for the 3-hour journey; our trip has already started, we’re getting out of town like it’s a breeze.
San Luis Obispo
Rolling off the train, we’re arriving in style – San Luis Obispo is a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community and we feel it right away – bike boulevards take us straight downtown where we get an early check-in at the Granada Hotel and Bistro.
It’s 1pm, so we’ve got lots of time to explore the ever-changing downtown. Temperatures are a bit cool, but expected to climb, so we’re torn between shopping for a sweater or a bathing suit. Either way, we’re already relaxed, focusing on where to eat lunch – this bike getaway concept is extra chill.
No matter how well you plan and pack, you’re gonna need something. Barbara needs a windbreaker, which takes us to S.L.O. Bike & Run – they’ve got one that’s perfect and she’ll put it to good use over the next few days.
Other distractions find us and it’s almost dark as we walk to Ciopinot for a bottle of white wine and a light meal.