07-04-08, 05:49 AM
I'm a MTBer, new to road. I'm planning on taking a touring trip at the end of the summer but don't really know how to go about mapping a good route. Does anyone know any good paths from Eugene, OR north to the San Juans or Canada or anywhere else really that general distance?
Maybe the Pacific Coast Highway would be best. Ride from town to Florence, then north on 101 to Astoria. From Astoria you can stay along the coast to Port Angeles, Port Townsend, then take ferries to the islands. The book Bicycling the Pacific Coast by Spring and Kirkendall details the route well.
Another option is to put your bike on the Amtrak Cascades (bike rack in baggage car), take the train to Bellingham, WA, then ride this route back to Eugene. You'll have a tail wind most of the way by traveling north to south.
07-05-08, 03:40 AM
In August of 1970, three other about-to-be high school juniors and I took our bikes north on the train from Eugene to Seattle. Got off, took ferry to Bainbridge Island, rode up to Port Townsend, ferry to Whidbey, rode to Anacortes, ferry through San Juans to Sidney BC, rode to Vancouver, ferry to Port Angeles, west around Olympic Peninsula, inland from Aberdeen toward Chehalis, south to Longview, up over Cornelius Pass and then down the west side of the Willamette Valley to Eugene. A great trip, despite the log trucks around the Olympic Peninsula. Those may be fewer now due to the drop-off in logging on federal timberlands.
Today? Well, I'd avoid riding up Cornelius Pass toward Beaverton. Way too much traffic now for comfort. The route from Aberdeen east was nice, though; a pretty low-level crossing of Washington's coast range.
Riding from north to south does have the prevailing wind advantage, generally.
You could stay on Amtrak (gotta coordinate schedules, there) to Mount Vernon, Washington and head west to Anacortes to start the trip. Lopez Island, first ferry stop, is bike-friendly and pretty flat, and the walk-in / bike-in spaces at Spencer Spit State Park give you a nice view out onto the water.
We stayed in campgrounds, mostly, except for one cheap hotel in Victoria BC and another in Longview, and a night at a relative's in Sherwood, Oregon before our last day / first century day for any of us, getting home to Eugene. Peugeot UO-8's and a Raleigh Gran Prix, start of the "bike boom".
You could also just go down the coast and ride in from Florence to Eugene.