In 1959 The LA Wheelmen Bicycle Club, based in the Los Angeles California area, was the first organization to start hosting double century bicycle rides. This was the “LA Grand Tour Double Century”. When I rode this double century in 1983, they also hosted triple and quad versions of the ride. I met some guys who tried the quad, but didn’t complete it. Whether they hosted the triple and quad from the beginning in ’59, I’m not sure.
When I Rode the LA Grand Tour Double, I did the “Highland” version of the ride, which started in Thousand Oaks CA, went up the coast to Refugio State Park above Santa Barbara, and looped back through Simi Valley. There was also a lowland version of the ride that followed the same basic route, just skipped the hills and went along the coast. This was a beautiful ride, featuring the Pacific Ocean on one side, and the San Ysidro Mountains on the other. The Highland version gave us a closeup look at the Montecito Hills, and fantastic views of the ocean. It was well worth the extra effort. Below is my 1983 ride completion patch:
This is a different route than the route used today by the tour: See the blue route on the map below for the 1983 route. I reconstructed the route from memory, so if it isn’t exactly correct, please let me know!
The Lowland double century (the red route on the map below) spends the most time along the comfortably cool coast. It travels up Pacific Coast Highway to Port Hueneme in Ventura County, inland to Moorpark, back out to the coast at Ventura, inland to Ojai. From Ojai head directly out to Rincon point via scenic Lake Casitas, then south along the same route. Total elevation gain is about 6,500 feet.
Note: There is no “Highland” version this year.
1983(blue route) and 2017(red route) LA Grand Tour Route Map