Suggests Bicycling Enthusiasts Use Campgrounds as “Base Camps” for Exploring the Golden State

Debbie Sipe
California Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds
(530) 885-1624
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


AUBURN, Calif., May 2014 — People often think of campgrounds as base camps for hikes into the wilderness. But have you ever thought of using a campground as a base camp for a bicycle tour?
"There are literally scores of organized bike tours across California that range from 7-mile family friendly rides to strenuous multi-day tours through some of the most scenic parts of the state," said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds.
"And since campgrounds are located near most of these routes, so they can be used as base camps for bicycling adventures," Sipe said.
The Auburn-based association hosts, a statewide travel planning website that complements information on campgrounds, RV parks and resorts with activity information on bicycle tours, food and wine events and other outdoor activities across the state.
Sipe noted that growing number of campgrounds offer fully furnished park model cabins and other rental accommodations, so bicycling enthusiasts do not even need to have camping equipment to use them as base camps.

"Campgrounds are increasingly trying to accommodate everyone, whether you like to tent camp or spend the night in luxurious cabin or cottage with your own kitchen and bathroom," Sipe said.
Many campgrounds also have bicycle rentals for those who would like to simply explore the immediate vicinity of the campground. But for those who are contemplating more rigorous bicycle adventures, here's a sampling of websites with additional resources on upcoming bicycle tours.
Following is a sampling of upcoming bicycle tours along with nearby campgrounds that can be used as base camps:

— Central Coast Double Century, May 10, Paso Robles: This 211-mile ride starts and ends in Paso Robles and includes 14,000 feet of climbing. The route includes a section of scenic State Route One.

— Santa Margarita KOA in Santa Margarita, which has cabins, park models and yurts.

— Wine Country RV Resort in Paso Robles,

— Tour of the Unknown Coast, May 10, Ferndale: This event includes five different routes ranging from a 10-mile ride with no hills to a 100-mile ride that event promoters consider to be California's toughest century.

Neighboring campgrounds include:

— Redcrest Resort in Redcrest, which has one- and two-bedroom housekeeping cabins as well as a vacation home rental.

— Riverwalk RV Park & Campground in Fortuna, which has log cabin rentals.

— Motherlode Century Bike Ride, May 11, Coloma: The Motherlode is conveniently staged in the springtime foothills of California's Gold Country and offers five riding options from 28 leisurely to 97 challenging miles.There will be SAG support, meals, snacks and a riverside post-ride BBQ served along the American River. This ride helps support the American River Conservancy and El Dorado Trail.

Neighboring campgrounds include:

— Coloma Resort, Coloma: The park, located along the South Fork of the American River, includes RV and tent sites as well as park model cabins and safari tents.

— San Diego Tour de Cure, May 17, San Diego County: This is a fundraising event to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. Bicycle routes are 7, 26, 62 and 100 miles.

Neighboring campgrounds include:

— Mission Bay RV Resort, San Diego,

— Oceanside RV Park, Oceanside,

— Apple Blossom Bike Tour, May 18, Placerville: This event includes a family friendly route for ages 8 and up to a more difficult metric half century and a metric century ride with 7,000 feet of climbing.

Neighboring campgrounds include:

— Camp Lotus in Lotus, which has various cabin accommodations,

— Ponderosa RV Resort in Lotus, which has RV and park model rental accommodations,

— Strawberry Fields Forever, May 18, Watsonville: This event features 30, 65 and 100-mile bike rides through some of the most scenic areas of Santa Cruz County, including the region's strawberry fields.

Neighboring campgrounds include:

— Morgan Hill RV Resort in Morgan Hill, which includes furnished park model cottages and safari tents.

— Santa Cruz / Monterey Bay KOA in La Selva Beach, which includes park model cottages as well as an Airstream trailer rental.

— Cycle The Sierra, June 21 - 25, Grass Valley: This is a five-day, 300-mile loop through the northern Sierra Nevada mountains starting in Grass Valley and looping south and east to the June Lake area before heading north to South Lake Tahoe and Truckee and back to Grass Valley. Campgrounds are already arranged for bicyclists along the way. But recommendations are provide below for cyclists needing a place to stay before and after the event.

Neighboring campgrounds include:
— Lake of the Springs RV Resort, Oregon House: Camping options include park model cabins and trailers.

— Lake Francis RV Resort, Dobbins: Camping options include cabins, park models and a yurt.

— Best Buddies Challenge, Sept. 6, Carmel to Hearst Castle in San Simeon: This is a fundraising event for Best Buddies International, a global volunteer movement that helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This event includes four different rides along scenic State Route One of 15, 30, 62 and 100 miles.
Neighboring campgrounds include:
— Carmel by the River RV Park in Carmel: This park has 35 RV sites with a fun frog theme throughout the campground.

— Big Sur Campground & Cabins in Big Sur: This park has tent cabins as well as one- and two-bedroom cabins with gas fireplaces or wood burning stoves. Activities include river tubing.

— Fernwood Resort in Big Sur: This park has tent cabins, adventure tents and park model cabins as well as on onsite restaurant.

— Riverside Campground in Big Sur: This campground has 40 RV and tent sites plus 12 cabins.

— Lighthouse Century, Sept. 27, Morro Bay: This is a 100-mile loop that starts and ends at Morro Bay High School. Three different 100-mile routes are offered, all of which include portions of scenic State Route One.

Neighboring campgrounds include:
— Morro Dunes RV Park in Morro Bay: This park is located a few steps away from iconic Morro Rock and Atascadero Beach.

— Bike MS Bay to Bay Tour, Oct. 18 - 19, Irvine to San Diego: This two-day bike tour is designed to raise funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Neighboring campgrounds, from north to south, include:

— Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina, Newport Beach. Camping options include furnished park model cottages.

— Oceanside RV Park, Oceanside,

— Campland by the Bay, San Diego,

— San Diego KOA, Chula Vista. Camping options include furnished park model cottages.

— Malibu Seven Canyon Classic, March 21, 2015, in Malibu: This is a 102-mile ride with 10,200 feet of climbing.

Neighboring campgrounds include:

— Malibu Beach RV Park, Malibu,

For more information on bicycle tours in California, visit For additional information on things to see and do in California, including campgrounds with onsite rental accommodations and activities, please visit