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  1. #1
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    Trip to San Juans this summer, what bike?

    If you've been to the San Juans, whats should I bring and whats should I ride?
    Thanks

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    Bring plenty of water bottles. Some parts of the island are isolated from stores (Lopez at least used to be that way in the 90's). Bring plenty of cash for the ferry fees. Understand the ferry schedule as you could get stuck for sometime if you miss. Plan your riding time around the ferry schedules to limit waiting time. Other than that, pretty much what you would bring on any other ride of comparable distance.

    Bainbridge/Winslow (they do the Chilly Hilly there) is nice as is Vashon. Whidbey was nice but only in parts. I don't know about Camano. I imagine Blake would be nice. I never went to San Juan Island but many liked it there. Anacortes will get you to the San Juans. Other ferries for Vashon, Blake, Bainbridge are out of Seattle.

    Nice time of year to do the ride.

  3. #3
    Ameture Racing Cyclist racingpain's Avatar
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    Orcas Island is also nice. It is a forest island and has lots of big hills to climb.
    "Finally, the last thing I'll say for the people who don't believe in cycling -- the cynics, the skeptics -- I'm sorry for you, I'm sorry you can't dream big and I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles. But this is one hell of a race, this is a great sporting event and you should stand around and believe." - Lance Armstrong

  4. #4
    newfish
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    you only have to pay to get onto the ferry once (to get to the islands). getting off the islands is free on a bike, and going between islands on the ferry on a bike is free. just make sure you know the schedule good, you can easily get stuck on an island if you're not watching the route correctly

    san juan island is the most populated and has the most services. great place to start.

    you can ride any type of bike you'd like. ive done it on a cyclecross and a mountain bike many times. i just had some friends go up there for 4 days on track bikes. you could do the islands on a beach cruiser if you wanted to.

    i love it up there, i try and go every summer

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    Good ferry info derrickito. I had forgotten that part of the island ferry traffic. I don't recall if the same is true on all routes for foot and bicycle traffic (pay in west bound direction only)? It has been a long time since I lived there.

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    Thanks for info, what are the trails like?

    I appreciate the useful info on ferries, etc. What are the trails like there? i.e., is it worth it to buy some hybrid tires/slicks; any off road? about how many tubes should I bring if i'm doing about 200 miles, island hopping for a week? Also, my mtb has rear suspension, should I try to lock the spring out somehow for the more efficiency? (on mt.constitution)
    Thanks

  7. #7
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    When I used to ride up there it was all on roads. I'm not aware of any trails, though I'm probably wrong. One thing to note is that all the ferry docks are at sea level (duh), but many of the islands are hilly. So you pretty much always get off the ferry and are faced with a steep hill. The good news is that you can coast back down to the front of the line.

    That's the greatest thing about riding bikes onto the islands. The car traffic gets in line and waits until there's space on the ferry. I remember coming back from Lopez on a busy weekend. We sat in line for hours and didn't get on a ferry until around midnight. There were only a few available spaces each time, and the line moved slowly. Bikes and pedestrians, however, go right to the front of the line, and there's always room on the ferry. I think the longest wait between ferries is about an hour.

    Another nice thing is that there's a surge in car traffic on the islands right around ferry time - people driving to get off the islands or new people who just got off the ferry - and the rest of the time traffic is light, especially on Lopez. San Juan is a lot busier. I've never ridden my bike on Orcas or Shaw.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by arcturus
    If you've been to the San Juans, whats should I bring and whats should I ride?
    Thanks
    Take a good sleeping bag. It can get into the 50's at night, even in the summer. Ditto some warm clothes. Probably won't rain too much, its the dry season.

    Carry enough food, water and snacks. On the isolated stretches stores can be hard to find.

    Mosquito repellant.

    Maybe a rope to hang your food, so the the coons don't get it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    Closer than the San Juans, you can take the Edmonds ferry to Kingston & start just North of the Bainbridge/Winslow area to find some good cycling. They do the Fall "Color Classic" ride in this area. Also be sure to visit Kingston Classic Cycles before you head out. Don

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