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Bike ride from Avila Beach to Morro Bay along coast?

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oregon
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Bike ride from Avila Beach to Morro Bay along coast?

I would like some advice on the coastal route from Avila Beach on San Luis Obispo Bay to Morro Bay and its suitability as a bicycle trip.

When I look on the map, I see Avila Beach Drive turns off onto a road that has several names: Diablo Canyon Rd, Pecho Rd, Lighthouse Rd.

This appears to follow the coast fairly closely and turns into Pecho Valley Road which leads into Montana De Oro State Park Road.

This looks promising on Google maps, but portions of the road are marked "Restricted usage road", but does not say what the restrictions are.

Is this route paved, or gravel, or dirt? Is it suitable for bicycle? What does "restricted usage road" mean? I will be riding a mountain bike with hybrid tires, but I could put knobbies on if needed.

Grover Beach...
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1. Re: Bike ride from Avila Beach to Morro Bay along coast?

Diablo Canyon Road is restricted because it leads to a nuclear power plant and only employees, the NRC or approved visitors have access. The guards are not going to allow a guy/gal on a bike through the gate.

What you could do is take Avila Beach Drive to San Luis Bay drive, turn left and continue around the bend until you see the left turn for See Canyon Road. See Canyon Road is narrow and is heavily used this time of year by folks visiting the apple farms up there. Anyway, See Canyon leads you over the mountains south of San Luis Obispo and eventually becomes Perfumo Canyon Road and meets up with Los Osos Valley Road. Turn left on Los Osos Valley Road and continue until you reach South Bay Blvd, turn right and continue toward Morro Bay. Or go straight on Los Osos Valley Road until it becomes Pecho Road and ride into Montana de Oro State Park.

Shell Beach...
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2. Re: Bike ride from Avila Beach to Morro Bay along coast?

The nuclear power plant does tend to put a damper on any plans to follow the coast trail. Prefumo Canyon Road happens to have one of the most scenic vista points in all of SLO County; it's a popular ride for advanced cyclists. Here's a picture of the view:

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/20486123

Edited: 01 September 2011, 02:53
oregon
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3. Re: Bike ride from Avila Beach to Morro Bay along coast?

Thanks for the responses. I didn't know about the nuclear power plant.

I called the plant to see if there if there is any way to get a permit or waiver to bike the road. No joy. They advised me it is a safety issue and they don't even allow employees to bike the road.

Too bad. It looks like a beautiful location.

Grover Beach...
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4. Re: Bike ride from Avila Beach to Morro Bay along coast?

Yep. They would be liable should anything happen to you on their property. Plus, security has been uber tight around the plant since 9/11.

Atascadero...
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5. Re: Bike ride from Avila Beach to Morro Bay along coast?

Although you can't get through the powerplant area, PG&E (the plant operator) recently opened up access to a portion of their property south of Montana de Oro for hiking purposes (no bikes). Access is from the end of Pecho Valley Road at the southern end of Montana de Oro State Park. You need to a sign a waiver at a booth set up at the trail head (manned by a PG&E volunteer), and the trail is only open on weekends (plus other limited times), but you do get to see more of this spectacular coastline than you ever could before--about 3 miles worth, south of Montana de Oro, and you can even see the nuclear plant at the end of your trail (!)....that was never possible before, except from the ocean...

There are also many spectacular hikes and mountain bike rides on the trail system through Montana de Oro, notably to Valencia Peak and Oats Peak, which have views that are as good or better than any you can get along the coasts of Maui, and in some ways are equal to the views along Big Sur.

Some trails are restricted to foot traffic only, but man--this is the hidden gem of the Central Coast--Montana de Oro State Park--no entrance fee, but huge coastal access and views...

San Jose, California
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6. Re: Bike ride from Avila Beach to Morro Bay along coast?

Yes, that is a beautiful road along the coast through PG&E property. But security is tight. Drivers with permission aren't allowed to stop along the road for pictures or just to view the scenery.

7. Re: Bike ride from Avila Beach to Morro Bay along coast?

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