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  1. #1
    Directionally Challenged Lost again's Avatar
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    Portland to San Diego

    Considering this is probably the most traveled route in the U.S. I'm sure it's been posted before, but I'm a little lazy and I'm looking for a shortcut on how to get touring info for this route. I have about 2 to 3 weeks in order to do this. I'll be pulling a BOB and a front rack. I plan on starting in late June or maybe the July 4th weekend. I do a lot of long distance riding (centuries and doubles), but not on a fully loaded bike like this. So in a nutshell where would you suggest I get the best info for this trip. I'll be riding solo.

    Looking for maps
    What to pack
    Camping sites
    Money per day
    Any other hints
    aka Pain Freak
    I ride,therefor I am
    and you ain't.

  2. #2
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Get the book:
    Bicycling the Pacific Coast (Paperback)
    by Tom KirKendall (Author), Vicky Spring (Author)
    http://www.amazon.com/Bicycling-Paci.../dp/0898860814
    It has all the answers.

    Another option is to get the Adventure Cycling maps for the route.

    You can find journals for folks who have done it on the Crazy Guy on a Bike web page.
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com

  3. #3
    Training Wheel Graduate twodeadpoets's Avatar
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    A couple of other but similar books are the more updated Bicycling The Pacific Coast: A Complete Route Guide, Canada To Mexico (Paperback) by the same authors as the before mentioned and Lonely Planet Cycling USA: West Coast (Lonely Planet Cycling Guides) (Paperback).
    "Ride Like an Orca!" ~tdp
    "People who enjoy waving flags, don't deserve to have one" ~Banksy


  4. #4
    Senior Member slowjoe66's Avatar
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    Here is Oregon's coast cycling map online. You can get a paper copy at some of the visitors centers in Oregon. It is really helpful, but most helpful in conjunction with other sources.

    http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEP..._WEB_FINAL.pdf
    I don't have a solution but I admire the problem!

  5. #5
    Bike touring webrarian
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    I'd recommend you check out www.biketouringtips.com . It has lots of information about everything question you listed.

    Ray
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  6. #6
    Bike4Peace Vernon Huffman's Avatar
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    Covert Camping Sometimes it's more convenient for the frugal traveler to sleep outdoors in a location closer to the road than most official campgrounds. That's why many of us, particularly bicycle tourists like myself, practice stealth camping. Please note that I am not encouraging you to trespass or do anything illegal. I never camp on posted land, break into buildings, or knowingly break the law. Much of my camping is carried out within transportation easements and is as legal as a motorist pulling off the road to take a nap. I use stealthy methods because, for one thing, I don't like to be observed when I'm sleeping. It's uncertain whether other people share my interpretation of the law. Some folks seem downright offended by those of us who live on less money. When I'm tired I don't want anything but a comfortable place to sleep. It's so easy to find such places. In rural areas, US highways frequently parallel railroads, with a nice forested area in between. I've slept on the fringes of public parks and playgrounds in many cities and even within sight of the US Capitol itself. I have slept under overpasses, but don't recommend the hard concrete. The medians of Interstate interchanges, inside the cloverleaf, can be quite accommodating, if you have good earplugs or a high tolerance for noise. Bicyclists who stealth camp need to be quick change artists. The transition from high visibility required for road safety to low visibility prerequisite for privacy takes a bit of practice. At this point, I've gotten fairly good at it. Let me describe my process. I usually start looking before sundown, but sometimes need to find places in the dark. Luckily, my bike has good lights. My ideal spot is easily accessible with the bike, high enough to be dry, surrounded by bushes, with a clearing where the sun rising in the east will dry my gear. I look for solid trees close enough to lean my rig against where it won't be easy to see. Complete invisibility is nice, but not essential. People only see what they're looking for. Sometimes the best place is where nobody expects you. Before I pull completely out of the roadway, I extinguish my lights and slip one flashlight into the pocket of a soft, dark, fleece jacket with which I cover my bright clothing. This cushy piece is comfortable after a day's ride and later will serve as my pillow. Sometimes I park the bike and clear a path to the campsite, but often I just crash through to find out what's there. Thorns are often unavoidable, so it's good to be prepared. In some areas, I need to be extra cautious about puncturing bike tires, but usually my high pressure aramid tires can defend themselves if I carefully push the worst offenders out of the way. I take my time to clear all obstructions from a nice flat sleeping space, after I've secured my bike. To prevent the destructive nature of moisture on the bicycle, as well as lower the visibility of all my bright bags and panniers, I cover the whole rig with a dark cover I obtained from a bike shop for this purpose. I imagine a tarp could easily be laced up to serve the same function. In North America I like to sleep in a tent, although I've used a hammock with a big rain poncho when traveling in the tropics. I know cyclists who are happy in a bivy sack. More power to them. Bugs alone are reason enough for me to prefer my tent. I enjoy the comfort of my Sierra Designs Clip Flashlite. This small tent can hold two people who are very good friends. It sets up or folds up quickly and has a low profile. Although it isn't freestanding, I've assembled it very hard ground, using rocks in place of stakes. Set up properly, the Flashlite will withstand high winds, a drenching downpour, or heavy snow. The small airspace warms quickly on the chilliest nights and it's got enough room to cook my supper or breakfast in bed. I carry the one pannier that contains all I need into the tent with me. The bags that contained my tent, mummy bag, and 3/4 Thermarest pad remain in the vestibule with my shoes. The rain cover of the tent is a subtle greenish brown that blends into most forests well. Though I often hear people and traffic outside, I feel as if I'm in a cloak of invisibility. Nobody has ever disturbed me while I was stealth camping. Though most of the foods I carry on my bike can be mixed with cold water and eaten, it can be nice to boil water, especially for the Turkish coffee with which I love to start my day. I also boil water for my Dr. Bronner's washcloth bath (always toward the heart, like it says on the bottle), an operation that is easily performed with sterno in the vestibule of the tent. I suspect some of the new solid fuel might be more efficient and intend to test it at my next opportunity. It's fun to commune with nature, even when you're in the middle of a city. While not as comfortable as a motel, stealth camping is considerably cheaper. I recommend it to all adventure travelers not encumbered with cars, as long as I don't find you in my spot.
    ---------------------------------------------+
    | __o CONTINENTAL CRITICAL MASS
    | _`\;,_ plan to ride from home
    | (*)/ (*) CONVERGE ON WASHINGTON, DC
    | 22 SEPT - World Car-Free Day
    |
    | b4p.bbnow.org/
    ---------------------------------------------+

  7. #7
    Banned wagathon's Avatar
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    re what to pack: assuming you may be using campbrounds and hiker-biker areas, what became my preferred routine was to shower using half of a small paper-covered soap that you find in hotels, e.g., just 7-10 little white bars for the entire 2-3 weeks.

    Finding the perfect towel was always worth the search, e.g., a chocolate brown terry (white gets too disgusting), that is not too big or small, and has a light nap for ease of drying when hanging off the back of the bike (perhaps with a spare pair of riding shorts). Plastic garbage liners--that you can line your paniers with in case of rain--may come in handy too.

    Sounds like you'd be doing 70 to 100 mpd. Quite a long haul that you have planned but going from north to south with the wind at your back is definitely in the right direction.

    Last edited by wagathon; 02-05-08 at 11:42 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wagathon View Post
    ...a chocolate brown terry (white gets too disgusting...
    Yes. Dark clothing stays cleaner longer. Good to know on a long bike tour.

  9. #9
    Directionally Challenged Lost again's Avatar
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    Lots of good info here. Thanks folks this will all help. I do plan on some stealth camping, but at the same time I'm not adverse to spending a few bucks for a campsite with showers. Nutrition is still something I'm working on. I have a difficult time eating solid food on the bike and prefer to take liquid calories like Hammer nutrition products. I'm still wrestling with what to pack. I bought the book that was recommended, but haven't received it yet.
    aka Pain Freak
    I ride,therefor I am
    and you ain't.

  10. #10
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost again View Post
    Lots of good info here. Thanks folks this will all help. I do plan on some stealth camping, but at the same time I'm not adverse to spending a few bucks for a campsite with showers. Nutrition is still something I'm working on. I have a difficult time eating solid food on the bike and prefer to take liquid calories like Hammer nutrition products. I'm still wrestling with what to pack. I bought the book that was recommended, but haven't received it yet.
    Have a great trip.

    On the stealth camping...
    I personally wouldn't expect this to be the kind of route where that is needed or particularly desirable. There are nice, cheap hiker biker sites where you can hang out with other bike tourists. For me the people that I meet are a big part of the trip so I never feel the desire or need to stealth camp in a place where campsites are reasonably priced and I will have other bike tourists to rub elbows with.

    On other routes in areas with no campgrounds that suit me, my preference would be to talk to the locals and get permission to camp in someones yard, or in a city park, or at the local fire department. This usually works out well and sometimes even leads to invitations to stay in people's homes or to join them for dinner.

  11. #11
    Directionally Challenged Lost again's Avatar
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    It's finally taking shape as I've decided on dates and distance.

    Starting point: Portland, Oregon

    Starting Date : July 3rd, 2008

    Finish date: (approximate) July 18th

    Distance: 1000 miles

    What I'm still deciding on is how to pack/ride for this tour. Do I use panniers or my newly purchased BOB trailer? The BOB will have lots of extra room in it and I'm not sure I need it. The plan is to ride for two days then hotel it, get cleaned up and ride again for another two days so every third day will be a room. Almost all food will be purchased along the way so again I don't think I'll need the BOB. I will be carrying a tent, pad, sleeping bag, toiletries, some food such as bars and perpetuem (liquid calories) lighting, a guide book, maps, clothes all riding types and maybe a pair of regular shorts, first aid box, shoes, and a bunch of small stuff. I hope to ride around 75 miles a day as I want to "smell the roses", but I'm not going to lock myself into any set mileage. I've got a few routes that have been emailed to me, but like I said, I won't be locked into any set route for time or distance. I have an additional 3 days to play with so if the ride for some reason went a little longer, no big deal.

    One of the bigger problems: How the heck am I going to charge my Ipod?

    The cell should hold up for the two days in between.

    Is there a bike store that anyone would recommend that I could send my bike to then pick it up at? Close to the airport would be ideal.

    Man, am I getting excited.
    aka Pain Freak
    I ride,therefor I am
    and you ain't.

  12. #12
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost again View Post
    It's finally taking shape as I've decided on dates and distance.

    Starting point: Portland, Oregon

    Starting Date : July 3rd, 2008

    Finish date: (approximate) July 18th

    Distance: 1000 miles

    What I'm still deciding on is how to pack/ride for this tour. Do I use panniers or my newly purchased BOB trailer? The BOB will have lots of extra room in it and I'm not sure I need it.
    This is an old argument: panniers vs. BOB. I bought a Bob and tried it on a tour over the North Cascades last summer. In the end I decided I prefer panniers, but the Bob was good also. The difference wasn't that great.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost again View Post
    The plan is to ride for two days then hotel it, get cleaned up and ride again for another two days so every third day will be a room. Almost all food will be purchased along the way so again I don't think I'll need the BOB. I will be carrying a tent, pad, sleeping bag, toiletries, some food such as bars and perpetuem (liquid calories) lighting, a guide book, maps, clothes all riding types and maybe a pair of regular shorts, first aid box, shoes, and a bunch of small stuff.
    This is a wonderful route for many reasons - one of which is the availability of services. There are grocery stores all along the way, bike shops, bookstores, etc. There are also a TON of good campgrounds, most with hiker/biker sites. When I rode from Seattle to Santa Cruz I stayed in two county parks, two KOA's and the rest of the time in state parks with hiker/biker sites. I didn't have to stay in a motel at all. My daily routine was:
    • Get up, have coffee and "first breakfast" - oatmeal or bagels with cream cheese
    • Ride 10-20 miles to a restaurant and stop for "second breakfast" - something hearty!
    • Ride until lunchtime, then stop at either a restaurant or grocery with a deli
    • Ride until the last grocery store before the campground, where I'd buy food for dinner and maybe tomorrow's "first breakfast"
    • Ride past the "campground full" sign, right up to the kiosk where I'd say, "Hiker/Biker please" and pay my $4 or $5.
    • Pick a site, set up camp, go take a shower and wash my bike clothes from the day.
    • Read, relax, nap, drink coffee, and eat until it was time to go to bed.

    On that route you don't have to buy several days' food in advance, or worry about stocking up on water. It's all available along the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost again View Post
    I hope to ride around 75 miles a day as I want to "smell the roses", but I'm not going to lock myself into any set mileage. I've got a few routes that have been emailed to me, but like I said, I won't be locked into any set route for time or distance. I have an additional 3 days to play with so if the ride for some reason went a little longer, no big deal.
    This seems a little ambitious. I followed the route in the "Bicycling the Pacific Coast" book and averaged about 55 miles a day. There are a lot of hills. I know people who ride further each day than I do, so maybe you'll be able to do 75 miles a day and still have fun - maybe even have time to "smell the roses".

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost again View Post
    One of the bigger problems: How the heck am I going to charge my Ipod?

    The cell should hold up for the two days in between.
    I brought along an mp3 player and cell phone on my last tour, and chargers for both. When I stopped at a restaurant I'd make sure I was seated by an outlet. I'd always ask if they minded if I plugged in my chargers. They always said yes. I also stopped at libraries a couple of times to go online. While I was there I plugged in my chargers. One time I camped at a state park that had full-service campsites (though I was in a hiker/biker). I just walked over to a vacant site, plugged my charger into the outlet on the post, and sat and read for half an hour.

    My mp3 player uses flash memory, rather than a hard drive, so a charge will last several days. That's one reason I bought it. It has 8gb of internal memory, and a slot for memory cards. I never felt like I needed more capacity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost again View Post
    Man, am I getting excited.
    With good reason! I love that route! Not only is it wonderful, but there are also a ton of tourers. You'll meet some great people! Enjoy.

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