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  1. #1
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    Hwy 1 and 101 in OR and CA?

    I plan on riding from southern Oregon (near Coos Bay) to San Francisco, or maybe farther in August, and was wondering how many others have done it. I've heard that the wind the blows north to south in the summer, don't know if that's true or not, but it's a concern cause I'm slow to begin with. I plan on camping along the way untill I get to the bay area to save money since I'm on a limited budget. I've driven it before so I now how narrow and hilly it is, so I'll probably be pushing my bike some, but I have no time constraints so I can take as much time as I need.
    If anyone has any advice or things I should be concerned about I would appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    I cycled that section of road last summer as a part of a cross country ride. www.loa2004.crazyguyonabike.com

    The good; the camping in that area is great, nicely spaced out for easy cycling days and the scenery is awsome.

    The bad: the traffic is terrible and dangerous. I find it hard to believe that bikes are allowed on that route at all. Get a rearview mirror and practice bailing into the ditch, I got good at it when I was there. You already mentioned the hills, but they are only bad because of the traffic, the switch-backs are soooo tight that any vehicle can shove you into the ditch or guardrail. Sorry to be so negative, that stretch scared the sh*t out of me and I already had 5000 mile in by that part of my trip.

    If you have no time schedule, than cycle during the week and early mornings on weekends only. Avoid holidays altogether. There is plenty to do and see while you wait out the bad cycling times.

  3. #3
    Senior Member biodiesel's Avatar
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    dude, where do you ride that the traffic there is terrible or dangerous? You must live in a shangri-la where the traffic is made of cotton candy! I loved that tour. Did it last year from SF to Coos Bay then to Eugene. And yes, the wind blow solidly from north to south. All day. Every one of the 11 days i rode.

    Seriously the traffic was great. Most of 1 along the coast is two lane and the speed limits are usually under 45 so the cars are moderately paced. It is narrow in sections but no worse than most small roads. The switchbacks are tighter but most cars were forced to slow for them anyway.

    The coast route is one of the most popular long routes in the US, camping is great, hills are, for the most part, fairly easy and the weather is fairly predictable.

    (Oh and dude, not pickin on you at all, just my opinion, i had a great time. If you're not used to that traffic i need to move to your town... ) But "allowed on the route?" remember... public road. And there arn't alternatives unless someone outlaws cycling.

  4. #4
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biodiesel
    dude, where do you ride that the traffic there is terrible or dangerous? You must live in a shangri-la where the traffic is made of cotton candy! I loved that tour. Did it last year from SF to Coos Bay then to Eugene. And yes, the wind blow solidly from north to south. All day. Every one of the 11 days i rode.

    Seriously the traffic was great. Most of 1 along the coast is two lane and the speed limits are usually under 45 so the cars are moderately paced. It is narrow in sections but no worse than most small roads. The switchbacks are tighter but most cars were forced to slow for them anyway.

    The coast route is one of the most popular long routes in the US, camping is great, hills are, for the most part, fairly easy and the weather is fairly predictable.

    (Oh and dude, not pickin on you at all, just my opinion, i had a great time. If you're not used to that traffic i need to move to your town... ) But "allowed on the route?" remember... public road. And there arn't alternatives unless someone outlaws cycling.
    Like I said, I had just ridden across the country, and that was one of the worst traffic areas in the entire route. I was forced into the ditch by logging trucks no less than 4 times . Remember I had been cycling with these trucks since Missouri. Maybe I just was there at the wrong traffic karma time , it sounds like it. If any road in the US needs a shoulder, that one does! Oh, and I'm from Kentucky where there are no shoulders, the dogs run (chase) free and the traffic is cotton candy.

  5. #5
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregw
    Like I said, I had just ridden across the country, and that was one of the worst traffic areas in the entire route.
    You obviously didn't ride in the Northeast corridor ;-)

    Not only are many of the routes shoulderless and narrow, but they often follow old indian trails!

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    I have done all of the Orgeon and California coasts in three segments. My journal for the Eureka to San Francisco segment is here: http://www.roundtheworld.ca/other/norcal.htm.
    There is traffic, but it's not insane. The logging trucks were always very curteous, giving me a wide berth. I did this section in the last week in August. It's a great section to ride. Have fun.

  7. #7
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    Did you see any whales?

  8. #8
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by creepingdeath
    I plan on riding from southern Oregon (near Coos Bay) to San Francisco, or maybe farther in August, and was wondering how many others have done it. I've heard that the wind the blows north to south in the summer, don't know if that's true or not, but it's a concern cause I'm slow to begin with. I plan on camping along the way untill I get to the bay area to save money since I'm on a limited budget. I've driven it before so I now how narrow and hilly it is, so I'll probably be pushing my bike some, but I have no time constraints so I can take as much time as I need.
    If anyone has any advice or things I should be concerned about I would appreciate it.
    My experience goes back further, but to answer a couple questions. The wind does quarter on the northwest, so it will push you along. But the road winds alot so sometimes these will be cross winds, gusty, and so be careful.

    I don't understand the complaints about the traffic..i doubt if there is a section of roadway more popular with cyclists than this one, and I was constantly given thumbs up, welcome beeps, and smiles from trucks and cars of all sizes. Some of the tunnels have signals indicating cyclists are in them.

    Some cyclists just can't live with others on the road, I guess.

    In the summer the intense heat inland in California will pull the fogs into coastal areas; sometimes all day. Riding then can be tough. The hills ARE steep...if you are not a strong rider,sure you can walk...but pushing a bike isn't too efficient,either. See if a bike shop can install mega-granny gears for ya.

    roughstuff
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  9. #9
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregw
    Oh, and I'm from Kentucky where there are no shoulders, the dogs run (chase) free and the traffic is cotton candy.

    Hmmm..my rides in Kentucky have been great. I always say Kentucky is the "4H club:" hospitality, humidity, hounds, and horses. I didn't pay for a cup of coffee in the entire state..everyone kept buying me my coffee when i stopped in at a cafe. (They let me pay for my huge meals though..pancakes, eggs, bacon, homefries to push me another 65 miles that day). Sure there are still folks who sic' the coon hounds on passing cyclists, but I already have my rabies shot so if they try and bite me I just bite 'em back.

    roughstuff
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  10. #10
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    Well I'm a Kentucky boy too, and though Kentuckians are very friendly, gregw is right. Shoulders on roads that are open to cyclists are few and far between. Dogs in the country are rarely fenced or chained. It is still a great state to ride in, but if someone forces you off the road you are lucky if there is a ditch. I have driven on many roads in the mountains that lack any type of shoulder or guard rail that have a cliff or VERY steep hill as the only bail out options. These roads made my hands sweat just to drive them, and I don't want to even think about riding them.

    I have been chased by dogs many times, but usually once you are out of the dog's territory they give up. Most of the dogs are more into the chase than biting anyway. I did have a Cocker Spaniel, or all breeds, chase me for well over a mile on a country road in western KY. Every time I thought it has given up I would look over my shoulder and there it was. When it first started chasing me it took several snaps at my heel and barely missed.

    There are roads in Kentucky that have horrible traffic, along with no shoulder. Paris Pike between Lexington and Paris (before it was turned into a divided highway recently) comes to mind. Two narrow lanes, no shoulders, bumper to bumper traffic, and road raging commuters. Old Frankfort Pike between Lexington and US 60 near Frankfort is one of the most beautiful roads I have been on anywhere in the world though.

    I have driven Highway 1 in California, but nor ridden it. Parts of it were very mild, but it is very popular so I could see where there would be times of the year that traffic would be bad, especially in certain areas.
    Paul the Alloy Addict

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    I never saw any whales, but north of Santa Barbara I looked over and saw three dolphins swimming along in the ocean beside me. I did see whales while cycling in Baja.

  12. #12
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alloy Addict
    Well I'm a Kentucky boy too, and though Kentuckians are very friendly, gregw is right. Shoulders on roads that are open to cyclists are few and far between. Dogs in the country are rarely fenced or chained. It is still a great state to ride in, but if someone forces you off the road you are lucky if there is a ditch. I have driven on many roads in the mountains that lack any type of shoulder or guard rail that have a cliff or VERY steep hill as the only bail out options. These roads made my hands sweat just to drive them, and I don't want to even think about riding them.

    I have been chased by dogs many times, but usually once you are out of the dog's territory they give up. Most of the dogs are more into the chase than biting anyway...
    I don't remember any shoulders on the roads either, to be honest. Some were very very small roads where it would be tough for just two cars to pass, and it required alot of jiggerin' using my rear view mirror to adjust my pace so that I wasn't in the same place as two oncoming cars. I was always amazed at how rural some areas got..i would come to an intersection of five roads, rtes 1049, 1238, 4312, 5419, and 7552 or something like that! I figured, by definition i couldn't be lost, because I didn't have any destination.

    roughstuff
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  13. #13
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    I have done the whole coast. OR and No. CA is probably the best stretch. You are in for a treat. I highly recommend the Adventure Cycling maps as they detail camping and eating spots along the way, in addition to giving you a pretty solid route to follow. Have fun and take more pictures than you think you need. you'll appreciate them years later.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Super_Socks
    I have done the whole coast. OR and No. CA is probably the best stretch. You are in for a treat. I highly recommend the Adventure Cycling maps as they detail camping and eating spots along the way, in addition to giving you a pretty solid route to follow. Have fun and take more pictures than you think you need. you'll appreciate them years later.
    Another reference worth mentioning again..."Bicycling the Pacific Coast" by Spring and Kirkendall.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books

    Best $12 you'll spend for the trip.

  15. #15
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurdd50
    Did you see any whales?
    I saw whales each day that I was in Depot Bay, I was kind of stuck there for a few days. They came through in pods (I think that is the correct term) of three or four and came very close to the steep rock cliffs.

  16. #16
    Senior Member denisegoldberg's Avatar
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    I rode the Oregon coast back in 1999 - and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I rode it from north to south, and it's a good thing that I did. There was at least one day when the wind out of the north was so strong that I could barely stand up. Luckily that wind pushed me (and my bike) down the road, but if I had been heading north I probably would not have moved that day.

    You can read about my trip at denise1999nw.crazyguyonabike.com.

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