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Bicycling in San Luis Obispo

People Riding bikes in San Luis Obispo
Jenn Tolson
Jenn Tolson
April 24, 2020

San Luis Obispo, California, is so beautiful that you may not want to spend your whole vacation cooped up in a rental car or hotel room. Luckily for you, there are plenty of ways to see the city and surrounding area on foot. If you prefer biking over hiking or walking, you can either bring a bike from home or rent one from a local business. It's then as easy as deciding what you want to see and where you want to go. With a bicycle, San Luis Obispo visitors can check out some great trails.

San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club

Also known as SLOBC, the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club welcomes visitors to join. You can then participate in any of the weekly rides. The club only cancels outings if it rains as this makes the trails too wet to handle easily. Each trip takes place on a different day of the week and meets in a convenient spot around town such as a cafe or restaurant. You can enjoy a cup of coffee as you talk to other riders about their favorite trails. Most events end with a small group meeting too.

Public Parking

Person paying for Public Parking spot

San Luis Obispo is a biking friendly community that has facilities and trails for both locals and visitors. You'll find parking lots all across the city that let you drop your car off and hit the trail. There are public facilities dedicated to those who want to change, which helps you quickly get into your biking gear and change into some fresh clothes at the end of your trip. Both the Amtrak Bus Station and Bus Transfer Center have bike parking, as does the SLO Airport. You will also find bike racks located on every block in downtown San Luis Obispo.

Basic Routes

If you want to cycle out to the Monarch Butterfly Grove in Morro Bay to see the butterflies migrate or bike to the beach, you need to pick the right trail first. Some of the more basic routes have fewer than 30 miles of space to ride on and have a lower descent to keep you from panting and losing your breath. Golden Hills Plaza has the Estrella Loop 1 and 2. While the second loop lasts for 35 miles, the first loop runs for only 28 miles. Another primary route is Wine Now or White Later at Heritage Square Park, which is a little more than 20 miles.

Trails for Serious Bikers

Man riding a bike on a mountain trail.

Serious bikers will find even more trails such as Figure Eight at Templeton Park, which covers more than 30 miles. Crawford Clarke Park has some of the longest and most advanced biking trails called Bitterwater. Not only does this have some high hills, but it also includes more than 71 miles of terrain. Pismo Preserve and Whale Rock Reservoir are some of the other places where you can cycle. For the ultimate bicycle San Luis Obispo adventures, you can hit these trails on your own or with a group of cyclists.

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