USA West Coast: San Francisco to Los Angeles

USA West Coast: San Francisco to Los Angeles


27 Oct – 3 Nov 2019

8 days/5 days cycling/330 miles

This is a classic Californian bucket list trip, as we cycle from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and cruise the iconic Pacific Coast Highway 1 – a twisting, cliff hugging, ever changing, 600km route that takes us along USA’s most famous coastline down to Los Angeles.

A challenging route that traverses movie magic, the miles open up as we weave a mix of hills and urban roads through state parks and farmland to Monterey. The challenge steps up as we ride the dramatic Big Sur coast, 1000ft above sea level. But the long daily distances and tough climbs pale as we power towards Santa Monica, Muscle Beach and the warmth of the Pacific Ocean, having completed a jaw dropping 5 day cycling challenge at the door of the City of Angels.


Your Route



Day 1Sunday 27 October
Morning flight from London to San Francisco. One hour transfer to hotel, trip briefing, orientation and bike fitting.
Day 2Monday 28 October
San Francisco to Costanoa • Cycle 60 Miles, +3690/ -3622 feet of elevation
Leaving San Francisco, we head out on Highway 1 and continue through Presidio and down to Half Moon Bay on a hilly and sometimes urban route. Numerous state parks, beaches and an historic lighthouse entertain us before we end the day in spectacular Costanoa – one of the most ruggedly beautiful and spacious stretches of California’s coast.
Day 3Tuesday 29 October
Costanoa to Monterey • Cycle 73 Miles, +2870/ -2971 feet of elevation
This morning begins with a glorious ride down the coast to the surfing town of Santa Cruz, where the laidback California lifestyle was practically invented. This coastal route weaves through farmland and along scenic dune areas to the Monterey Peninsula.
Day 4Wednesday 30 October
Monterey to Big Sur • Cycle 44 Miles, +2771/ -2520 feet of elevation
Starting out from the historic Monterey waterfront with sites made famous by writer, John Steinbeck, we take Monterey’s scenic bike paths towards the fabled Big Sur coastline and its Redwood forests.
Day 5Thursday 31 October
Big Sur to Santa Barbara • Cycle 65 miles, + 5656/-5836 feet of elevation
We are either climbing or descending the Big Sur coast today as Highway 1 carves a path along the cliffs over 1000 feet (305 m) above the ocean. This is some of the most dramatic cycling of our challenge. It’s a tough day that ends with a transfer to Santa Barbara for a well earned rest.
Day 6Friday 1 November
Santa Barbara to Santa Monica • Cycle 88 Miles, +2206/ -2220 feet of elevation
We are now in the heart of Santa Barbara County’s wine and olive region with just a huge climb standing between us and our return to the Pacific and a much awaited celebratory finish at the pier in Santa Monica.
Day 7Saturday 2 November
Day of leisure.
Day 8Sunday 3 November
Breakfast and transfer to Los Angeles Airport for journey home.

What’s included

Flights if taking the recommended group flight to San Francisco and departing Los Angeles on Sunday 3 November. Flight time 11hrs/GMT – 7hrs.
7 nights of lodging in hotels (twin-sharing). Limited singles available on request, subject to availability and at an additional charge.
Professional, knowledgeable and safety certified trip leaders for the duration of your trip.
Bike hire – comfortable, well-tuned hybrid bike.
Fully supported ride with organised waterstops, lead rider, mechanics, support vehicles and doctor.
Park permit coordination when required.
All Meals vegetarian – Breakfast day 2 – 7.
Bottled water, snacks, fruit, & sports drinks available in support vehicles and aid stations through rides.
Airport Transfers from San Francisco and Los Angeles Airports if taking the recommended flight.
FREE Norwood cycle jersey.

What’s not included

Flights to and from San Francisco and Los Angeles if travelling outside of the recommended group timings.
Airport transfers outside of the times of meeting the recommended group flight.
Personal cycling equipment and kit.
ESTA Application Fee, tips, gratuities and any independently arranged entry fee/tour costs.

OPTIONAL ADD ON – The standard Norwood itinerary involves flying out on a Sunday, 7 nights in California and departing on a Sunday, but we recognise that many participants may want to customise their trip by flying out early or extending their stay at the end of the challenge. Book your own flights and there’s a £500 deduction of your total. OR fly out on the Friday and enjoy a visit to Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz co-ordinated by our Ride Ambassador before joining up with the rest of the group on the Sunday 27 October (and depart Saturday night).


How challenging is it?

This is a challenging ride with some long daily distances, challenging climbs and up to 8 hours in the saddle. Ideally you should be a keen cyclist, enjoy training and ride regularly. You need to have a good level of endurance with an ability to sustain the level of effort required over a period of days. You should be used to doing long rides in the countryside – 6 hours + . You should be doing regular exercise – with some serious cycle training.


Any questions?

Talk to Julie on 020 8420 6811 or email

Or download the full itinerary



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