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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 08-07-07, 12:07 AM   #1
mNod
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San Diego 2 Seattle. Possible?

Hello, I just wanted to get some basic opinions on if it would be possible to complete a 1350 mile ride in 14 or so days. 1 century per day. Right now a century is no problem for me but i have never done them back to back. I would be doing this ride around Christmas time so I would have around 3 months to train.

I will provide some more info if needed but what are your opinions?

Thanks
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Old 08-07-07, 10:11 AM   #2
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I can't offer any nutrition/training hints, but I can tell you this much: Watch the weather. If you're planning this around December/January, you're talking about hitting some of the worst weather that the PNW has to offer. The variability of conditions you may hit can range from dry and upper 20s, to 7 days of persistent rain at just above freezing, to lasting snow and ice at altitudes as low as 1500'. Last winter we had 2 snowstorms at sea-level, which although unusual, isn't unheard of.
Make sure you're prepared to get drenched, and remember that lighting up here is essential because between the rain and the northern location, winter daylight might only be 9 hours at the most.
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Old 08-07-07, 10:32 AM   #3
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Expect a lot of wind and rain. You could get lucky and get some strong tail winds, but heavy crosswinds and headwinds are also a real possibility.

You will get drenched. While that might not sound like a problem, spending all day every day in very cold rain is going to be tough. I ride in this stuff all the time, but there's a huge difference between riding a couple hours and riding all day. The good news is you can pull into a hotel if you really need a break.

Riding a century in a storm on a loaded bike is much harder than riding one in good weather on a road bike. Build time into your plan so you can take longer if you need to and definitely bring lights.
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Old 08-07-07, 10:46 AM   #4
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It can certainly be done. Can you do it? That's for you to determine. It depends on your conditioning, the route, and how much you load the bike. 100 mi/day with a 75 lb bike plus gear would be a challenge for anyone.

What's your fallback plan if you get behind schedule or decide to punt? Can you take 21 days, if need be? Have someone pick you up? Hop a train? You need to have some options.

Is there a burning reason to undertake this in winter? it seems that you are layering on extra challenges. could you wait and do it in early summer? That would give you plenty of time to train and give you better weather.
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Old 08-07-07, 11:00 AM   #5
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It can certainly be done. Can you do it? That's for you to determine. It depends on your conditioning, the route, and how much you load the bike. 100 mi/day with a 75 lb bike plus gear would be a challenge for anyone.
Challenges are good, but make sure it will be fun for you. At the health club I used to go to, one of the guys mentioned he used to ride. His final ride was from Florida to Oregon and he was so sick of riding that 3 years after arriving he still doesn't use his bike anymore.
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Old 08-08-07, 03:31 PM   #6
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as has been mentioned many times before in touring threads, it'll be a lot easier going south rather than north
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Old 08-08-07, 04:39 PM   #7
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as has been mentioned many times before in touring threads, it'll be a lot easier going south rather than north
Winter is always a crapshoot. At least in my neck of the woods, winter storms are frequently accompanied by strong winds from the south. The situation may be different in California and Washington, but if I were riding at that time, I'd rather go north than south. When the weather improves, the winds go from north to south more often.

With no rest days built into the OP's plan, this will be a pretty tough ride no matter what.
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Old 08-08-07, 05:03 PM   #8
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What's your fallback plan if you get behind schedule or decide to punt? Can you take 21 days, if need be? Have someone pick you up? Hop a train? You need to have some options.
If you can get as far Eugene, then you always have the option of bailing out to Amtrak. The Cascades train is one of the few Amtrak trains that still have bike racks and runs from Eugene to Seattle and tickets only run $42.

Also log me in the cautiously ambivalent (neither optimistic/pessimistic) column. 100 miles a day on a tour is a lot of riding. It's do-able, but you need to have rest days interspersed between your long days.

out of curiosity, how fast is your typical century? That might give us an idea of how well you can handle doing multiple ones back-to-back.
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Old 08-08-07, 10:06 PM   #9
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If you can get as far Eugene, then you always have the option of bailing out to Amtrak. The Cascades train is one of the few Amtrak trains that still have bike racks and runs from Eugene to Seattle and tickets only run $42.
Now you're talking. I think you can put your bike on any train so long as you box it up and put it in the baggage car. If you get on a decent train like the Coast Starlight, you can watch the scenery and guzzle wine for the rest of the trip.

As much as I like bikes, the OP's winter trip sounds much more fun on a train....
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Old 08-08-07, 11:36 PM   #10
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In Winter, Western Washington prevailing weather & wind tracks from the SoutWest to the NorthEast, so the OP would likely have tail winds as he traveled North. Sounds like a very challenging ride even if he spent nights in motels drying out.
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Old 08-09-07, 09:46 AM   #11
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In Winter, Western Washington prevailing weather & wind tracks from the SoutWest to the NorthEast, so the OP would likely have tail winds as he traveled North. Sounds like a very challenging ride even if he spent nights in motels drying out.
This would definitely be neoprene and booties weather. Even with a chance to dry out overnight in a hotel, it might still be damp in the morning. Shoes would almost certainly be damp because they don't dry out as fast and motels put vents on the ceiling rather than the floor. Ain't nothing like donning cold, wet clothes when you're tired
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Old 08-14-07, 12:22 AM   #12
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i did portland to sf in 8 days --100 miles a day for 8 days... no one leg is particularly harder than another, but i began to feel the cumulative total of days and miles without rest after about the 3rd day. i've wondered if i could have done the 'full push' --vancouver, bc to the mexican border 100 miles a day? i think about riders in the tour taking rest days in their 21 days on the road. granted, you or i would not be racing, but the added weight of a backpack and no road support counts for something as well...

as some of the other posters have mentioned, heading north up the coast is alleged to be way more difficult due to wind and the fact that the northbound lane has no shoulder.

i rode the distance in a manner somewhere between touring and full race mode, opting to carry my gear in a small(ish) 20 pound backpack. the others i passed along the way were straining under the weight of 70+ pounds of gear on various racks and in paniers --not my idea of fun in the 80 degree heat. i spoke with a lot of cyclists with 70 pounds of gear, and they seemed to manage 50 to 70 miles a day.

of course, camping along the way means carrying a tent/sleeping bag, etc., whereas i spent nights in motels along the way.

here's a link to some photos:

http://blog.honeyee.com/mashsf/archi.../04/index.html

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Old 08-14-07, 12:26 AM   #13
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I would be doing this ride around Christmas time...

oh, i missed this fact...

given the weather that time of year, i think 100 miles a day isn't entirely realistic. i got one full day of rain at the oregon/california border and it all but killed my motivation to continue for that day. i imagine that back to back days of rain and cold would mean more time spent in the hotel than on the road.

why not wait for fall, or better, spring/early summer?!
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Old 08-14-07, 12:47 AM   #14
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Thanks for all of the input guys. Every year I head up to Seattle to be with family for Christmas. I think I am going to try a 7 day back to back 100 miles a day and see how it feels (the conditions would be very diffrent)
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Old 08-17-07, 10:51 AM   #15
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Very possible. I did the San Diego to Santa Barbara last week, with a trailer that had a tent, two sleeping bags, thermarest, and it was a mtn bike

Check my blog: http://chadfbrown.blogspot.com/
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Old 08-17-07, 11:11 AM   #16
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Expect VERY unpredictable weather. In Oregon winter is storm time on the coast, so it's quite possible you will have to hole up in a motel for a day or two as some serious weather passes. Also, the wind can come out of pretty much any direction. Even East, in some places (that's when it's dry and cold) but that should be more of an issue inland. Chinook winds are warm/wet. Most others are cold/wet .

I do think it can be done, however, you'll have to be pretty flexible with your schedule. or you could get lucky and have great weather the whole way.

Double Butted, Credit Card touring like you did would be the way to go, probably, but in the winter a backpack still would most likely not suffice. There's mor eof a need to be able to stash winter clothing/ emergency gear. You could do it with two small-mid sized panniers though.
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