Santa Barbara is one of the best bike-friendly cities for road cycling fans. While the scenic Santa Ynez Valley and thrilling Gibraltar Road are the most frequented routes in the city, you’ll find plenty of other trails to explore as well. Besides boasting fantastic cycling trails, Santa Barbara has an active biking community that advocates for bikers’ rights in the city. Currently working on implementing a Bicycle Master Plan to further improve the cycling circulation, this Central Coast standout gives you a biking community you can always fall back on.
Bike trail to try: Santa Barbara to Ventura.
Want to bike through charming beach towns like Summerland and Montecito? Try biking all the way from Santa Barbara to Ventura. This point-to-point journey packs in the coastal views like nobody’s business. It’s surely a can’t-miss thing to do on the Central Coast.
SAN LUIS OBISPO
San Luis Obispo is a rather underrated city for Central Coast biking, but it has great bike trails any biker would love to explore. For scenic rides along the water, the Central Coast beach town of Avila Beach is especially incredible. Enjoy cruising along uncrowded lanes featuring fantastic views and through the coolest small towns as you pedal around one of California's best bike-friendly small towns.
Bike trail to try: Bob Jones Trail.
Perhaps the most well-known trail in the county, the Bob Jones Bike Trail is enjoyable for bikers of all levels. You’ll start the ride near Highway 1 and cycle by a Buddhist temple and apple orchards before crossing San Luis Obispo Creek—your final destination is the iconic Avila Beach Pier.
THE MOST BIKE-FRIENDLY CITIES IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
The Golden State's capital is a bike city through and through. Home to some of the state’s most well-known bike trails, Sacramento is increasingly becoming more bike-friendly. While Midtown Sacramento scores the highest in regards to its bike-friendly nature, Downtown, Med Center, North Oak Park, and other areas of the state capital are great options to pedal to the metal.
Bike trail to try: American River Bike Trail.
Also known as the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, this famous biking route stretches all the way from Folsom Lake to Old Sacramento. The 30-mile point-to-point trail has plenty of awesome stops and access points along the way, so you are in no way obliged to ride it in its entirety (kudos to you if you do though).