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Cycling Tourism in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties

In 2018, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties set out to make the Central Coast a premier national and international bicycle destination, attracting tourists, and improving the quality of life for residents. And, today a cycling tourist can go to and find suggested bike routes, accommodations, amenities, bike friendly businesses, local attractions and updated news about bike riding along the California Coast.

The goals established in 2018 by Santa Barbara and Ventura bike clubs, elected officials, transportation planners and officials helped make these counties a model for bike tourism.

  • Make Santa Barbara and Ventura counties premier bicycle tourism destinations and facilitate cycling along the California coast

  • Improve the safety, livability, and quality of life of our communities by improving the bicycling environment for local commuting and recreational uses

  • Convene a unique coalition of businesses, tourism, advocacy, and government organizations to improve bicycling in our area and communicate opportunities for bicycle-centered adventures

  • Develop a sustainable structure for cycleCalCoast to ensure long-term success

My wife and I have traveled to Santa Barbara several times to ride our bikes for a weekend mini vacation. I realize that Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties had a vision for creating a bike network of bike trails and lanes. It is a premier bike destination. And, we will return to ride the California Coast when it is safe to travel again.

Looking at the what made Cycle the California Coast successful will help our five county partners create Bike Valley to Sierra as a cycling destination. The first step is to identify a bike loop, or several bike route options.

This is the Cycle the California Coast Initial Bike Route that helped make this region a cycling destination.

The partners in Bike Valley to Sierra are currently, looking at bike popular bike routes. The following are routes based on my cycling experience:

San Joaquin, Woodbridge to Thornton

Stanislaus, Modesto to Oakdale

Calaveras, Tri Dam Loop from Valley Springs

Tuolumne, Cherry Lake to Evergreen Lodge

Alpine, Markleeville to Ebbetts Pass

As Outreach Manager for the CalBike Cycling Tourism Study I contacted over fifty civic leaders, government officials, friendly bike business owners, bike club leaders and transportation planners about cycling tourism. One memorable conversation was with Kim MacFarlane, Tuolumne County Public Works,Tanya Allen and David Ruby, Tuolumne County Transportation Engineers. This phone call lasted 90 minutes! We talked about creating a bike riding network for all types of bicycle riding. We discussed bike lanes, routes to school, bike lanes for commuting to work or shopping. And, finally routes to link popular recreational bikes from downtown Sonora. In retrospect, I suspect this conversation was similar to the vision setting in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

Our vision for Bike Valley to Sierra begins with our conversations to make our region a premier cycling destination.


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