Touring - Route recommendations from Seattle to Northern California?
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04-07-07, 12:36 PM
Going to be biking from Seattle to northern California (north bay area) in a couple of months, and am trying to get some ideas for route planning. I know that there are a lot of people who have made this trip, or a trip like it before... I'm tempted to opt for a pacific coast type route, but would ultimately prefer something inland... Any ideas, recommendations or linkies? Thanks again!
04-07-07, 12:56 PM
Depends on when you are going and what you are riding - -
An inland route can be really sweet - far less traffic - lots of free camping. But roads at Crater Lake and Mount Lassen don't open until late June, even July. This year might be a little earlier. Also, a mountain bike allows you many, many more options on the interior route. I have found that, although the riding is easy in the Willamette and Sacramento valleys, the scenery is only so-so and camping can be hard to find and expensive. (i.e. Winnebagoland) The east side is MUCH better, but avoid US 97.
A real nice route would be Mt. Ranier, Mt Adams, Hood RIver, Bend, Mt Batchelor Loop, Crater Lake, Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen, then cutting thru Chico, Colusa, Calistoga to end up at Golden Gate Bridge.
04-07-07, 02:43 PM
That sounds awesome! I actually just picked up a brand new Novara Safari about two weeks ago, and that's gonna be the bike to do it on. I live about an hour north of the Golden Gate bridge, and about 20 mins from Calistoga. The time frame that I'm looking at is about mid june-ish to early July, so hopefully those roads might be open by then. I'm also looking at about a two to a two and a half week time frame for the return trip... I don't know how much longer a route like that would take... Any other ideas?
04-07-07, 04:25 PM
Are you biking both ways?
If so you should bike north inland and south on the coast.
Both routes would be about the same length - but two weeks is pushing it.
We're talking about 900+ miles here.
6 days at 66 miles per day is 400 miles per week.
That leaves only one day per week for bad weather, illness, breakdowns, etc.
04-07-07, 04:48 PM
No, taking a train to Seattle, and spending a week tootling around there. Two weeks allocated for return trip only... If necessary, the return trip can be fudged a couple of days...
04-07-07, 05:33 PM
I love trains and have worked hard to keep Amtrak - - - but.
And it's a big butt.
Hopefully Amtrak's service on the Cascade will be better this summer.
Last summer they were running 8 to 12 hours late every day.
Also, if you check you bike - make sure the destination tag is correct.
They sent my bike once to a different station.
Otherwise, enjoy the trip - it's really a beautiful ride.
I've done a rough guess at 70 miles per day - 2 1/2 weeks minimum.
That allows for two extra days for weather, mechanical, fun.
Also, it gives you the chance to do a half-day and stay somewhere awesome.
Otherwise you have to keep plugging along and camp in Winnebagoland.
04-09-07, 06:49 AM
We did the ride last summer and followed this route (http://www.vwvagabonds.com/Bike/BikeRouteWestCoast.html).
One thing I did not expect was the cold. The warmer inland weather draws in coastal clouds so the west coast was basically socked in all summer.
We started in Seattle in mid May and headed north to the islands then crossed into Canada for a short stretch before circling the Olympic Peninsula. The first month we had rain at some point nearly every day. It's funny how you can get used to it... and learn to actually enjoy pedaling in a shower.
The hiker/biker sites in the State Parks are wonderful and inexpensive.
Have a great trip.
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