What we're about

Once every 4 to 6 weeks, Southern California Bicycle Camping organizes an overnight weekend bicycle tour. We ride to a campground (20 to 60 miles) and camp. We are usually self supporting -- that means we carry all our gear without a supporting vehicle (SAG Wagon). Once or twice a year, a longer trip (3 to 9 days) is organized. We emphasize having fun and socializing. Our trips are not races. Nevertheless, riders must be in fairly good shape with appropriate gear in good repair.

Upcoming events (1)

Bicycle Camping Tour: Carpinteria Amtrak to El Capitan State Park

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CAMPGROUND: El Capitan State Park is one of the best Hiker/Biker campgrounds that we rarely visit because it is next door to Refugio. The campsite is situated on a cliff overlooking the ocean.

ROUTE: We will begin our tour at 9:00 A.M. (depart by 9:30 sharp) in the parking lot of the Amtrak station in Carpinteria near the end of Linden Ave (close to the beach). The distance is moderate (about 35 miles), and the hills are low. A link to a route map can be found below. Riding north on scenic country roads, bike paths, and the final 10 miles on the wide shoulder of Hwy 101, we will pass through Santa Barbara and Goleta. Our destination is El Capitan State Beach, where we will camp for the night.

SHORT MILES OPTION. If anyone finds 35 miles too daunting, they may shorten their distance by joining up with the leading group in Santa Barbara (which saves 10 miles) or Goleta (which saves about 20 miles). Just let me know, and I will recommend a place to start.

ROUTE: Coming

ROUTE ALTERNATE: A few miles longer, a few bigger hills, but more scenic.

FOOD: We will stop for lunch in Isla Vista 2/3 of the way to El Capitan. If you didn't already pack food for the evening and breakfast, you could buy food for dinner (barbecue!) and breakfast in Isla Vista. On Sunday, we can eat breakfast at camp or in Isla Vista or both.

CAMPGROUND: The hiker-biker camp fee is $10.00 per night. The campground has flush toilets and hot showers (you'll need a few quarters for the shower) right next to the beach-side Hiker-Biker campsite. We can purchase firewood and beer from the campground store. The campground is flat with plenty of room for tents.

DIFFICULTY: I rate this trip as beginning/intermediate due to distance and a few hills best done with a low gear. You are welcome to come if you consider yourself a beginner who is up for a challenge and in good shape. You should know that I use the word "beginner" with qualifications. I do not mean a beginning bicycle rider; I mean a beginning long-distance loaded bicycle tourist: i.e., you can already ride 30+ miles at 10-12 mph on a bike loaded down with 30-40 lbs of clothes, food, and camping gear. You also know how to fix a flat.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING? You will need to pack as you would for a backpacking trip (but no backpack), and a multi-gear bike in good repair with very low gears. If your bike has a triple crankset, a compact crankset, or huge cogs, it probably has very low gears. If you have a mountain bike with knobby off-road tires, I suggest you install narrow road tires – you will find your ride much less difficult. If you have a bike purchased in a department store (rather than a bike shop), you may have a very heavy bike with poor bearings and unreliable hardware. If this is the case, I advise against using that bike. If all you have is a department store bike, but you are nevertheless a strong rider (an unusual combination) and still want to go, I can probably loan you an appropriate bicycle. You should also have a spare tube, pump, tire levers, etc. You will need panniers or a trailer to carry your stuff. If you need help with equipment or you would like to borrow a set of panniers, a trailer, or even a bicycle set up for touring, you can use the Meetup message service.

Please message me your phone number so I can contact you on the ride if needed.

WHY: The ride, the camping, the shared beverages, and the jokes. And… I hope to introduce more people to the joys of bicycle self-supported camping and touring.

Past events (57)

Ojai-Carpinteria-Ve­­n­tura-Ojai Bicycle Camping Tour

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Photos (247)