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Cyclists for Cultural Exchange

California 2020

Join us on this spectacularly scenic tour through selected regions of the Golden State, including Santa Cruz, Sacramento and San Francisco

California 2020

Sorry, this program had to be cancelled due to the corona virus situation.


Our bicycle adventure will take us to Sacramento, coastal California and San Francisco. We will start our tour in Sacramento, exploring the American River and other nearby highlights, ride through the Sacramento Delta, catch a ferry to San Francisco, then continue down to Half Moon Bay and back to Santa Cruz. The final day in Santa Cruz is for clean up and a farewell dinner with some free time to explore.  ​

We hope to conduct this program again in 2021.

Christine Bowen


Covered by CCE.  Participants will be required to do volunteer work for Strawberry Fields Forever FUNdraiser for our exchange programs and also to work during the program in the kitchen, loading, setting up, and everything needed to make the trip successful.  Participants will pay for transportation costs to and from San Francisco area (flights), and will need money for incidentals like eating out, shopping or drinks.

Indoor hostel and hotel for 8 nights, camping for 1 night during the bike tour, and homestay while in Santa Cruz.  We will provide camping equipment; it is not new.


We borrow loaner bikes for participants; they are not new and may not be exactly what you are familiar with. We try to find everyone a bike they are happy with. You can bring your own bike if you wish.

Start and finish

Santa Cruz/Watsonville, California.


On the coast is common to have cool, foggy, drizzle in the mornings with sun in the afternoons.  Lows average 10–12°C and highs average 16–18°C. In the Sacramento Valley, late spring is much warmer and drier than the coast. Lows average 11–13°C and highs average 27–29°C. Any weather is possible. 


Participants will arrive on Friday, May 15, depart on Saturday, May 31. For the first 3 days, participants will be in Santa Cruz helping to prepare for, run and clean up after the Strawberry Fields Forever FUNdraiser, which is an organized Century ride. This is the volunteer effort that supports our program. There may be homestays or tent camping during the first 4 nights.

This is not a beginners bike tour! It will be a hard ride.  Ride days will be up to 110 kilometers and 900 meters of climbing at an average pace of at least 16 km/h.  After riding you will have to help set up, help cook, clean up etc. To be accepted you must have been on a bicycle tour before and ridden 80 km a day for several days in a row. In the past we have had participants who claimed to be able to do the ride, but could not. Please do not apply if you cannot keep up! You will be unhappy and we will be unhappy too.

Daily schedule (tentative) 

Friday, May 15
Arrival at SFO San Francisco International Airport or SJC San Jose airport. Sleep in Santa Cruz/Watsonville, camping or homestay.

Saturday, May 16
Volunteer work for SFF event, bicycle fit, program presentation. Sleep in Santa Cruz/Watsonville, camping or homestay.

Sunday, May 17
Volunteer work at the SFF event. Sleep in Santa Cruz/Watsonville, camping or homestay.

Monday, May 18
Clean up,  local bike ride. Sleep in Santa Cruz/Watsonville, camping or homestay.

Tuesday, May 19
Bicycle tour begins. Must leave early in the morning. Public transport to Sacramento. We will take a bus and/or train to Sacramento.  From the station, it is a short ride to our stay at Hosteling International Sacramento

Wednesday, May 20
Ride to explore the American River Trail.  There will be a few options for shorter distances.  The longest route will take us up to Folsom Lake and along the new Johnny Cash Trail. Sleep at Hosteling International Sacramento.

Thursday, May 21
Ride along the Sacramento Delta.  This route leads us south along the Sacramento Delta to the Cosumnes River Preserve. The Preserve includes over 20,000 hectares of wildlife habitat and agricultural land that supports wildlife including birds that migrate throughout the Pacific Flyway.  On our way back up to Sacramento, we will stop by the Old Sugar Mill – a 1930s sugar mill converted to host multiple local winery tasting rooms.  Sleep at Hosteling International Sacramento.



Friday, May 22
Day off to explore downtown and midtown Sacramento. Optional river raft float on the Lower American River. Evening concert at the park. Sleep at Hosteling International Sacramento.


Saturday, May 23

Ride to Davis. Visit the US Bicycling Hall of Fame.  Enjoy the local Saturday Market. Sleep at Hosteling International Sacramento.



Sunday, May 24
Leave Sacramento for Vacaville. Sleep at Holiday Inn Express hotel

Monday, May 25
Leave Vacaville for San Francisco.  Stop at popular Jelly Belly candy factory and take ferry across the bay from Vallejo to San Francisco. Sleep at Hosteling International San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf

Tuesday, May 26
Tour of San Francisco by bike. Sleep at Hosteling International San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf

Wednesday, May 27 
Ride from San Francisco along the coast to Half Moon Bay. Camp at Half Moon Bay State Beach


Thursday, May 28
Ride to Santa Cruz or Watsonville. Sleep in Santa Cruz/Watsonville, camping or homestay.  


Friday, May 29
Clean up,  farewell dinner. Sleep in Santa Cruz/Watsonville, camping or homestay.

Saturday, May 30

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