When you think of bike routes on the Central Coast, it’s easy to imagine the allure—oceanside riding on the smooth pavement of Highway 1 as you face the salty breeze and the rush of the ocean waves crashing the rocky shores and moonstone-laden beaches fills the air. However, another experience awaits as you head inland on some of our best routes. Get ready for challenging climbs and magnificent views of the green and golden Central Coast hills, valleys, and peaks. We’ve got the perfect routes for you to ride if you want the full experience of high-wattage satisfaction on the Central Coast.
1. Edna Valley Route from Avila Beach
The Edna Valley Route is not your average ride—it’s a journey through the heart of the Central Coast’s wine country. Starting from Avila Beach, this route gives you a taste of the coast before you climb inland to Edna Valley’s loop of vineyards and orchards. The air is tinged with the sweet aroma of grapes and citrus, a sensory delight that accompanies you as you navigate the rolling hills.
Experience Factor: Feel the sun on your back and the wind in your hair as you cycle past rows of meticulously pruned vines. The climax of this route is the summit view, a panoramic spectacle that makes every pedal stroke worth it.
2. Eroica Heroic Route from Cambria
The Eroica Heroic Route, the capstone route for the Eroica California event, is a gritty, gravel-filled adventure that starts and ends in Cambria. The route takes you through steep inclines, gravel paths, and even a few forested areas. The terrain is as challenging as it is rewarding, offering vistas that are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Since this route is specifically for the Eroica California event with snack and drink stations, make sure to modify the route to include stops to fuel up.
Experience Factor: Your muscles will scream, and your heart will pound, but the sense of accomplishment as you conquer each incline is unparalleled. This is where you come to test your mettle and perhaps even find a new limit to push. After all, this route was created specifically to feel “the beauty of fatigue” and “the thrill of conquest.”
3. Santa Rosa Creek Road from Cambria
Santa Rosa Creek Road offers a different kind of challenge—forming the challenging segment of our Cayucos Loop, Green Valley Loop, Highway 46 Route, and Santa Rosa Creek Route. Starting from Cambria, this route is a scenic marvel, winding its way alongside the creek, through canopies of trees that provide a respite from the sun. The road itself is narrow and winding, demanding your full attention as you climb “The Wall.”
Experience Factor: As you navigate the twists and turns, each pedal brings a new vista, a new moment to savor. It’s a local favorite ride that offers both tranquility and adrenaline in equal measure.
4. San Simeon Creek Climb from Cambria
The San Simeon Creek Climb is a route designed for those who love a good challenge. Starting from Cambria, you’ll find yourself on a path that includes intense gravel riding, steep inclines, and even a few creek crossings. But don’t let that deter you; the views of the surrounding hills and valleys are worth every drop of sweat.
Experience Factor: Imagine the crunch of gravel under your tires, the steep inclines pushing you to your limits. This is not just a ride; it’s a battle against the elements, against yourself. The route culminates in a summit that offers a panoramic view of the entire valley—a reward for your Herculean effort.
5. Sea to Summit Route from Avila Beach
The Sea to Summit Route is a tale of two terrains. Starting at the scenic Avila Beach Pier, you’ll enjoy a light trek on the Bob Jones Trail before the real challenge begins. The route intensifies as you climb up See Canyon Road, passing orchards and vineyards before reaching a breathtaking summit. Along the way, you’ll pass by local markets and even a few breweries, perfect for a mid-ride break.
Experience Factor: The pinnacle of this route is the summit view, a 360-degree panorama that captures the essence of the Central Coast. Feel the exhilaration as you descend back to Avila Beach, your spirit soaring as high as the hills you’ve conquered. The descent is just as thrilling as the climb, offering a perfect end to an unforgettable ride.