About the Route

One of the many things that makes AIDS/LifeCycle such a unique and special event is the scenic route that takes us through the heart of California. Stunning views, historic destinations, and even the chance to spot dolphins frolicking off the coast are followed by a hero's welcome in the City of Angels. Although the route has been largely the same since the very first AIDS/LifeCycle, there are typically some changes from year to year.

There are seven days of riding, and each day is different. You’ll ride an average of 80 miles a day, over varying terrain. One day, you’ll be riding a flat route along the coast or through artichoke and strawberry fields, the next you might be riding through fog banks and foothills. The course is designed to be challenging but completely doable, so be sure to train well in order to fully enjoy your week. No matter what, you can count on the constant presence of our Roadies on the route, who help keep everyone safe and sound. We are serious about safety and do everything possible to ensure your happiness and well-being during this week. Last year's route sheets are available here, but please note that the route does change every year.

San Francisco to Santa Cruz
Your AIDS/LifeCycle adventure begins as you and your fellow cyclists ride out immediately following Opening Ceremonies. The route on Day 1 offers some of the best scenery and cycling roads that San Mateo County has to offer. The stunning coastal views from hilltops to the ocean are truly Northern California at its best! Tailwinds prevail as we pedal along scenic CA Hwy 1 on our way to camp. Highlight of the day: The lunch stop on Day 1 offers a spectacular and breathtaking view of the ocean so be sure to pack your camera.



Cow Palace (Main Entrance)
2600 Geneva Ave., Daly City, 94014


Harvey West Park
326 Evergreen Street, Santa Cruz, 95060


82.5 Miles




Cow Palace
2600 Geneva Ave
Daly City, CA 94014

Harvey West Park
326 Evergreen Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Santa Cruz to King City
Rise and shine early on Day 2 to beat the morning rush hour commuters and get an early start on your second day in the saddle! This is a long mileage day with relatively flat terrain that will take us through the Salinas Valley, also known as Steinbeck Country. The lushness of vineyards, strawberry and artichoke fields stretch as far as the eye can see in all directions. Highlights of the day include The Otter Pop guys at the Water Stop (which is at the Soledad Mission; make sure you stop into the mission where you can reflect on The Ride’s purpose and sign their altar cloth for a loved one), fried artichokes, and the Cookie Lady.

*Please note:
To alleviate congestion, and the challenge of riding out of Santa Cruz during heavy commute time, the route will open at 6:15am on Day 2, barring any route or rest stop issues. Bike Parking will be open beginning at 5:45 to help facilitate getting cyclists on the route earlier.



Harvey West Park
326 Evergreen Street, Santa Cruz, 95060


San Lorenzo County Park
1160 Broadway, King City, 93930


109.2 Miles




Harvey West Park
326 Evergreen
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

San Lorenzo County Park
1160 Broadway
King City, CA 93930

King City to Paso Robles
Quadbuster. Don’t let the name scare you. You are sure to make it to the top with your fellow cyclists (and perhaps a special guest) cheering you on and up! But Quadbuster is only a small part of the route on Day 3. Lunch is at the small town of Bradley, which has embraced the ride with open arms. You will pedal on remote roads passing only a few small quaint stores, mostly later in the day. Rolling hills through beautiful countryside will take you into camp.




San Lorenzo County Park
1160 Broadway, King City, 93930


Mid State Fairgrounds
2198 Riverside Ave., Paso Robles, 93447

66.7 Miles




San Lorenzo County Park
1160 Broadway
King City, CA 93930

Mid State Fairgrounds
2198 Riverside Ave
Paso Robles, CA 93447
Paso Robles to Santa Maria
The route on Day 4 has a little bit of everything…a feast for the eyes with stunning vistas and ocean views that give way to sprawling fields of farmland and even some quaint seaside towns. The route will wind along some remote and seldom-traveled roads as well as some congested town streets. Before lunch, you will conquer the infamous Evil Twins. The views from the top of that second sister hill are nothing short of spectacular and you may even find yourself forgetting that you are pedaling uphill. From there, you will ride back out to the coast and through the city of Pismo Beach (Do I smell Cinnamon Rolls?) and on into camp. Highlight of the day: Half Way to LA!! At the top of the second sister hill, you will come upon a vista point turnout where you will have the opportunity to have your picture taken with the Half Way to LA sign! Don’t forget your camera on this day!! (note: but don’t dally too long--you still have a lot of miles to cover!)




Mid State Fairgrounds
2198 Riverside Ave., Paso Robles, 93447


Preisker Park
2301 Preisker Ln., Santa Maria, 93458


97.7 Miles



 
 
Mid State Fairgrounds
2198 Riverside Ave
Paso Robles, CA 93447

Preisker Park
2301 Preisker Lane
Santa Maria, CA 93458

Santa Maria to Lompoc
As soon as you roll out of your tent, you will realize that this is not just another day in the saddle. Today, it is an AIDS/Life tradition to ride in our AIDS awareness red best. You will look like a fabulous red ribbon on wheels as you head out of Camp 4 on our way south towards Rest Stop 1 in Orcutt. We’ll be on a route through Santa Maria and the ‘All American City’ has worked hard to create some really nice bike lanes. Enjoy them!  As you approach the switchbacks after Rest Stop 2 that originally inspired early AIDS riders to don red, be sure to look up at the hills to get your own peek at the red ribbon bicycle parade. The route on this day affords beautiful vistas and light traffic. One of our rest stops is on a military base, so give a salute to our men and women in uniform if you see them! As you enter Lompoc, keep your eyes peeled after lunch for wildflowers! The mileage may be a little shorter today but there is certainly no shortage of beauty and fun.





Preisker Park
2301 Preisker Ln., Santa Maria, 93458


River Park
Sweeney Rd. & Hwy 246, Lompoc, 93436


42 Miles



 
Preisker Park
2301 Preisker Ln
Santa Maria, CA 93458

River Park
Sweeney Rd & Hwy 246
Lompoc, CA 93436
Lompoc to Ventura
Day 6 begins on one of the prettiest roads on the entire route. You will pedal through vast expansive ranchlands with wildflower-covered hills on both sides! As you ride toward the coast through the gorgeous Gaviota Pass, you will be on US101. This is a well-travelled freeway and caution should be practiced at all times along this portion of the route. After lunch, you will pass through the heart of Santa Barbara, Montecito and Carpinteria, and on into Ventura, where we camp at San Buenaventura State Beach. Highlight of the day: Day 6 is your best bet for dolphin sightings!! Cast an eye to the sea and perhaps you will glimpse those playful creatures jumping in and out of the water as they frolic just off the coast.

New for 2014: Join the AIDS/LifeCycle community as we publicly renew our commitment to safety by wearing orange on Day 6 for Safety Orange Day!!!



River Park
Sweeney Rd. & Hwy 246, Lompoc, 93436


San Buenaventura State Beach
901 San Pedro St., Ventura, 93001


84.3 Miles



 
 
River Park
Sweeney Rd & Hwy 246
Lompoc, CA 93436

San Buenaventura State Beach
901 San Pedro Street
Ventura, CA 93001
Ventura to Los Angeles
Almost there! Today, your trip south will take you through Ventura, Oxnard and Port Hueneme (pronounced Why-Knee-Me) and Malibu. You will see the military planes on display as you ride past the Naval Air Station on your way to Highway 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Once on PCH, it’s a straight shot down the coastline for about 20 miles. Enjoy the southern California sights of surfers and beach goers as you pedal through Malibu on your way toward LA. You will complete your journey with a turn away from the coast and nice pedal through Santa Monica on your way to the Closing Ceremonies site. Highlight of the day: The streets are peppered along the route on Day 7 with friends, family, and well-wishers. Enjoy your hero’s welcome … you deserve it.





San Buenaventura State Beach
901 San Pedro St., Ventura, 93001


VA Center
11301 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 90025


60.7 Miles

TOTAL MILES: 543.1 Miles




San Buenaventura State Beach
901 San Pedro Street
Ventura, CA 93001

VA Center
11301 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025