Old Coast Highway, done it?

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by Hubbman, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Hubbman

    Hubbman Been here awhile

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    Hello all,

    I'm a noob to adventure riding, and I'm really interested in hearing from anyone who's ridden the Old Coast Highway in Big Sur. My plan is to start from Carmel (my home town) and head down the coast all the way down to Santa Barbara (baby steps!). When I have more experience I really want to take a few weeks and extend this trip all the way down to Baja! I would love some details of what the road conditions are on the coast road, and how your bike was outfitted for the ride (tires, etc......).

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. loeky

    loeky Been here awhile

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    Great place to gain some experience, imho. Done it on both bike and truck - nothing is extreme save for a few randomly placed boulders.

    Unless it's raining, you shouldn't have any problems with mud or even wet. I would advise having something more substantial than plain street tires, but full knobbies are not necessary to bang through comfortably.

    Given you're so close, I could do it a few times in both directions. You can easily do it twice or three times in a single day.

    Very scenic and fun little path.
    #2
  3. Hubbman

    Hubbman Been here awhile

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    Cool, thanks for the quick response! I was thinking about the Sahara 3's for rubber, they seem to have good reviews for road and off road. BTW, where does the coast road dump you back onto 1? It's hard to tell from the topo map I'm looking at on my iPad.
    #3
  4. BigT

    BigT Been here awhile

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    I've done it a number of times. Great little road, but there more to explore if you find yourself in the area.

    Check out this thread I created a few years ago for ideas.
    http://www.southbayriders.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20602

    Look on a map for names like... South Cost Ridge Road, Los Burros and Willow Creek. There's some fun stuff out there and none of it is any more difficult to ride than the OCR (Old Coast Road).
    #4
  5. T O Double D

    T O Double D Pogue Mahone

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    Old Coast has two down hill sections that can be a little tricky for someone not used to riding dirt as they have some loose stuff in them. I'm not advising against going, just remember to slow down well before the turns and you'll do fine. OCR dumps you out about a mile before Big Sur.

    Cheers!
    #5
  6. Just_Sean

    Just_Sean herewegoagain

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    Just watch for washouts or small culverts that have formed from rains DAMHiK. Of course, this time of year it should all be smoothed out. If it's been or is foggy, it can get a little slick in the lower portions, but nothing major
    #6
  7. rollinrob

    rollinrob Long timer

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    I lived in Monterey for a few years and rode that road a lot. Super fun and a nice way to get down by Big Sur.

    It's slick when it's wet.

    Tassajara(sp.) Road, off Carmel Valley Road is really cool and dead ends at a Monk retreat.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. ravine

    ravine Adventurer

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    Everyone has given you some great info so far. Just Paul and I rode the Old Coast Highway last month. No real surprises, plenty of dust though. If you are going North- South, be on the look out for one short rutted washed out downhill section about halfway through.

    The Sahara 3's I was using frustrated me a bit though. It felt like I was riding on marbles until I aired them down to near 18 psi. That settled them down a little but I just don't think they like gravel roads very much. I Love the Sahara 3 on pavement, very predictable and stable.
    #8
  9. Hubbman

    Hubbman Been here awhile

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    Wow, thanks everyone, this is great info! Hope to see you guys out there one day!
    #9
  10. Hubbman

    Hubbman Been here awhile

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    BTW, I'm wondering what others were using for rubber on this route? I ask because this is the sort of terrain I'll be into most of the time.

    Thanks again!
    #10
  11. roundtripping

    roundtripping Adventourist

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    That's gonna depend a bit on what you're riding. What are you riding? I love the MEFO tires on my KTM 990.
    #11
  12. T O Double D

    T O Double D Pogue Mahone

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    I wouldn't worry too much about tires, as long as it's dry. Riding dirt you're gonna slide a lot no matter what tire you run and the sooner you learn to enjoy it the better. That being said I run a knob of some sort on the front and usualy a 50/50 of some sort on the rear. Better front traction on dirt and better wear for pavement on the rear.

    Cheers!
    #12
  13. BigT

    BigT Been here awhile

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    The last time I rode it I was on a pair of Shinko 244's, which I love, but there were several bikes with all sorts of tires.
    As Todd says, if it's dry you don't have anything to worry about. If you start sliding around beyond your comfort level, just back off the throttle a bit. :thumb
    #13