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  1. #1
    thebigmrT thebigmrT's Avatar
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    Touring Northern Cali

    First off, I'm a newb to touring, but my friend and I have gotten the great idea to fly out to Cali and do a long ride from around the red woods up north, down to San Fransico for two weeks this summer.
    I'll take any advice but I'm really curious about flying bikes across the country: Is it usually better to ship separately or to pay extra to have it fly with you?
    and about suggestions for panniers: I was looking at the Nashbar ( http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=6997 ) ones, I know they are cheap, but are they pretty decent for what you pay for?
    and how about any good route/hostel/campground information for getting from around North to San Fran staying relatively close to the shore?
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigmrT
    and how about any good route/hostel/campground information for getting from around North to San Fran staying relatively close to the shore?
    Thanks
    The book Cycling The Pacific Coast by Kirkendall and Spring will answer all your questons.

  3. #3
    Dead Men Assume...
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    I did a few days north of SF a long time ago up to Half Moon Bay. Gorgeous area but hilly as anything. Saw herds of cattle and llamas.

  4. #4
    thebigmrT thebigmrT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul2
    The book Cycling The Pacific Coast by Kirkendall and Spring will answer all your questons.
    awesome i'll go check it out

  5. #5
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    I'd try to avoid hwy 1. Accedent waiting to happen.

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    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigmrT
    <snip>
    and about suggestions for panniers: I was looking at the Nashbar ( http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=6997 ) ones, I know they are cheap, but are they pretty decent for what you pay for?
    </snip>
    I toured with someone in February who had used those panniers. There are big, fit nice, and definitely waterproof. The only (very minor) downside she indicated was since they are a single compartment, it made getting small items (snacks, camera, wallet, etc) more of a chore than if they had side pockets. To me, it seemed to be a terrific value for the money.

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    In light of what the airlines are charging now ($80. one way from many carriers), I would price out DHL, FedEx, and UPS. I have had bikes shipped (new) to me from dealers and they have arrived in good condition across the country. If you can find a Trek bike box, they seem to use a heavier cardboard. Most shops throw them away. Key word here: bubble wrap...lots. You might want to consider shipping to a LBS where you plan to start, maybe even have them do a quick check to make sure everything is ok. Bike arrives, throw box away, ride. Departure, LBS for box, ship it home.
    BTW, I am in N. Ca., and I would suggest a hybrid or at least go to as wide as tire possible on your roadie. The roads are not in great shape due to record rain fall.
    Enjoy you ride and bring a digi camera with lots of memory.

  8. #8
    Senior Member kesroberts's Avatar
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    I am doing the exact same thing in 3 weeks. Check out these recent threads for good info:

    http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php...ght=california

    http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php...ght=california

    http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php...ght=california

    I have the book others mentioned, but am leaving it at home. The Krebs and Adventure Cyling maps look like they have all the info needed - check them out.

  9. #9
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    A fabulous two week trip is to fly into Eugene Oregon, (my fair city), ride 60 miles to coast at Florence Oregon, then to San Francisco. Not only do you see the best of the northern California coast and redwoods country, but also the lower half of the Oregon coast too. This is a comfortable two week ride, fly home out of San Francisco. Late July, August or September are dry and nice all along the coast, and you'll have a tail wind all the way.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

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    First, Half Moon Bay is South of S.F. (a beautiful area also). 2nd, you can't avoid Hwy 1 if you want to see the Pacific Coast, and while narrow, there are a lot of bicycle tourers going down this hwy. By the way, be sure to travel north to south due to the prevailing winds. Finally, Eugene, OR to San Fran. is a lot of miles for 2 weeks, check it out.

  11. #11
    thebigmrT thebigmrT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvernea
    By the way, be sure to travel north to south due to the prevailing winds. Finally, Eugene, OR to San Fran. is a lot of miles for 2 weeks, check it out.
    Yeah my friend and i were trying to figure out a way to get to the north and come down without having to go all the way into Oregon, because we are planning on a some what relaxed touring schedule because this will be our first big one. We looked into Grey Hound but that doesn't even get us into Arcata. Any other suggestions on how to get there? We thought about just going there and riding north for a day or two.

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    Senior Member kesroberts's Avatar
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    Re: Getting north from SF - It's not my preference, but we're renting a car one way to Crescent City. Costs around $80.

  13. #13
    thebigmrT thebigmrT's Avatar
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    hmm...yeah thats what i would definitely like to do, but my riding partner and I are both 20.. thanks though

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    Rather than flying into Eugene, you could fly into Medord, Oregon. You can get there through Portland or SF. It is two days to Crescent City, over the Coastal Range. You can easily make it to SF in two weeks. Also I agree with the wider tires. And Cycling the Pacific Coast is a great resource for this trip, as are the Adventure Cycling maps. I have used both of these resources in tandem, and they work well. Note if you are going south of SF, Devils Slide (between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay) appars to be closed, based on another thread on this forum.

    I would definitely send your bike ahead to a LBS, using DHL, UPS, etc. Almost any LBS store will assemble your bike, for a fee of course.

    Have a great trip. I have done it twice, and it's great cycling.

  15. #15
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvernea
    Eugene, OR to San Fran. is a lot of miles for 2 weeks, check it out.
    I've done this ride with two days off the bike, one along the Avenue of the Giants south of Eureka, and one in Guernville, made it with in the two weeks and my airline reservation. I had two 95 mile days and the rest were less. United and Delta both fly into Eugene, United from Denver Delta from Salt Lake City hubs. Oregon coast and the California coast to Mendecino is the best of the ride, don't want to miss the best part!
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  16. #16
    thebigmrT thebigmrT's Avatar
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    Flying into Oregon was definitely a thought, but it's mine and my riding partners first tour and we're trying not to force us to have to do too many miles, we've been looking at around averaging 30-35 miles a day so that we can have some 60-70 mile days and some 0 mile days

    as of now the plan is to fly into San Fran, take a Greyhound up to Arcata and spend a day riding north into the red woods, camping out for a day and then starting the ride back to San Fransisco

  17. #17
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigmrT
    Flying into Oregon was definitely a thought, but it's mine and my riding partners first tour and we're trying not to force us to have to do too many miles, we've been looking at around averaging 30-35 miles a day so that we can have some 60-70 mile days and some 0 mile days

    as of now the plan is to fly into San Fran, take a Greyhound up to Arcata and spend a day riding north into the red woods, camping out for a day and then starting the ride back to San Fransisco
    That's a great plan, are you going up as far as Prairie Creek Redwoods Park? That is beautiful and excellent camping facilities. You shouldn't have to go further north than that.
    Have a great trip, you are going to love this area, plan plenty of time along the Avenue of the Giants, it's spectacular!
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

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    Quote Originally Posted by kesroberts
    I am doing the exact same thing in 3 weeks.
    Good call Kes. The weather is improving rapidly and you should find nearly perfect conditions. Be absolutely certain to bring and use some good sunscreen.

    The best I've used, but it's hard to find, is Johnson and Johnson Horizons 15. They also make a 30 but it's sort of greasy feeling. The 15 disappears into your skin like a good hand lotion.

  19. #19
    Senior Member kesroberts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    Good call Kes. The weather is improving rapidly and you should find nearly perfect conditions. Be absolutely certain to bring and use some good sunscreen.

    The best I've used, but it's hard to find, is Johnson and Johnson Horizons 15. They also make a 30 but it's sort of greasy feeling. The 15 disappears into your skin like a good hand lotion.

    Excellent - What are the nighttime temps like up that way in late May / early June? Trying to decide whether to take the tiny ultralight 45deg sleeping bag or the 20 deg bag on this trip. (As if those ratings mean anything...)

    Thanks.

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    I think that you can expect nighttime temperatures to be around the 45-50 degree mark but be sure and use a tent because it rains under the redwoods as they condense out the mist in the mornings.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvernea
    2nd, you can't avoid Hwy 1 if you want to see the Pacific Coast, and while narrow, there are a lot of bicycle tourers going down this hwy.
    Oh, i can't stand riding 1. One direction, cars run me into a cliff the other they nearly run me off a cliff. Done it a number of times, never again.
    Breaking bike parts for more than 20 years
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