This is one of our most used and enjoyed routes. Refugio is just about everyone’s favorite Hiker/Biker campground. The distance is moderate and the hills are low.
BICYCLE ROUTE MAPS Link: http://caripictures.wc.lt/gallery/Santa_Barbara_Bike_Paths_Map.html
ROUTE: We will begin our tour at 9:00 A.M. (depart by 9:30) in the parking lot of the Amtrak station in Carpinteria near the end of Linden Ave (close to the beach). Riding north on scenic country roads, bike paths and the final 11 miles on the wide shoulder of Hwy 101, we will pass through Santa Barbara, and Goleta. Our destination is Refugio State Beach where we will camp for the night. On Sunday return to Carpinteria possibly taking advantage of an alternate route between Santa Barbara and Carpinteria. The distance each way is about 42 mostly easy miles with the exception of a few small and medium hills (none more than 300 feet vertical gain) with the exception of one hill, you don’t need your granny gear.
SHORT MILES OPTION. If anyone finds 42 miles too daunting, they may shorten their distance by joining up with the main group in Santa Barbara (saves 10 miles) or Goleta (saves about 20 miles). Just let me know, and I will recommend a place to start.
FOOD: We will stop for lunch in Isla Vista 2/3 of the way to Refugio. We will buy our food for dinner (barbecue!) in Isla Vista as well. On Sunday, we can eat breakfast in camp or in Isla Vista or both.
CAMPGROUND: The hiker-biker camp fee is $5.00 to $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 fire wood and beer from the campground store. The campground is flat with plenty of room for tents.
View from the Hiker/Biker
DIFFICULTY: I rate this trip as beginning/intermediate due to distance and a few hills best done with a low gear. If you consider yourself a beginner who is up for a challenge and in good shape you are welcome to come. 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 crank set, a compact crank set, or very large 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 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 email me or call me at[masked].
WHY: The ride, the camping, the shared beverages, and the jokes. And… I hope to introduce more people to the joys of bicycle touring and camping.