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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 02-19-02, 02:38 AM   #1
zoroastr
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West Coast--Seattle to San Francisco: anyone done it?

Looking to pick the brain of any long-distance tourers who might have been down this particular road before. I've done plenty of middle-distance tours throughout Wahington State [two, three-day rides of a couple hundred miles or so], but have never attempted anything as long as this before. I race and train pretty hard and have placed well in local long-distance races. I anticipate taking no more than two weeks to do the Seattle-SanFran tour, and although I have high confidence in my legs, it's the question of routine, day-to-day survival and comfort that concerns me. I understand that this route is a popular one for bike touring and that it's well supported in terms of camping/supply options--i'm reading the book by Vicky Spring and some other author. Any tips on making the trip comfortable as well as adventurous would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-19-02, 12:54 PM   #2
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I wanna go.......

I dont know who vicky Sring is but this is a good read from a guy who did it and kept a daily log.
www.cycletourist.com/Travel.html
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Old 02-19-02, 05:54 PM   #3
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I haven't rode that route on a bike, but I've driven it in a car. You have got some very serious mountains to ride over. And much of that area is not overly populated so that you need to be very self sufficient. Allow yourself plenty of time.

The scenery will be incredible!
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Old 02-19-02, 06:26 PM   #4
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If you plan some of your trip on the Pacific Coast Highway be sure to ride from Seattle to San Francisco. Take advantage of the winds!

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Old 02-20-02, 08:14 AM   #5
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2 years ago i rode west accross the country and came out on the west coast at Florance Oregon. then headed south to L A this route is popular with cyclists. Summer months and weekends it has a lot of traffic cars rv's and trucks many places have a wide shoulder especialy in Oregon. Some places there is no shoulder some brifdges are narrow

the scenery is worth every pedal stroke. Many support facilities many camp sites. Some places in north Cal. are quite hilly but no real mountins on this route. I came through after labor day and traffic was much less than in summer the weather was great morning fog on some days the wind at that time was usually from the north to south and gave a bit of a push.

Some hilights were the of course the coast but in some places the route went inland just a bit and went through some valleys

The red woods Big Sur and crossing the Golden Gate bridge on a bicycle was a day to remember.

Most of this route you dont see any BIG cities so when you finially come down that last hill into marine county near sausalieto (sp?) you get this view od San Francisco sky line that is breth taking . Being a popular bike route you will see and meet riders from all parts of the world
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Old 02-20-02, 08:19 AM   #6
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I wanna go too.
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Old 02-20-02, 09:24 AM   #7
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Thanx for the replies and the interest in the trip from some of you. If you guys are serious, I'm planning to do the ride in mid June, but that's flexible. I've already made my return arrangements--a friend is meeting me in 'Frisco and we're heading over to climb Shasta before driving back home to Seattle. Hey, if we had like three or four riders, we could do the thing very cheaply as a "credit card tour." One person would buy a crappy motel room every night on a rotational basis and the others would pile in, sleeping on the floor or wherever--beats a tent. anyway, just a thought. The idea of going self-supported is purer, I suppose, but then you have to consider the extra weight, etc.
Anyway, my pace will average around 100 miles per day, sometimes slightly more, sometimes less, with plans for one or two rest days en route if i find a place worthy of extended exploration and need the day off. If this sounds like your kind of adventure, let me know. Also, if you live anywhwere around Seattle and want to hook up for some training rides, let's do it.
Thankx again for the useful info from all the posters.
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Old 03-01-02, 10:11 AM   #8
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I attempted the tour from Vancouver to Mexico along the coast in summer '99 with a friend. Unfortuantely we rode really hard and i had already done lots of XC training and developed tendonitis in my right knee and only made it to southern Washington... but my friend rode all the way to Mexico and loved it.

I think the book you have is the one with the route details along th coast - written by a couple i think - anyway, i think it's the same one we had and what we based our trip on although we/my friend did many more miles per day (about 90-100 which is a lot with full gear).. there's restaraunts and bike shops along the way if you need them...

anyway, there are tons of camping places along the way. i carried a Bob trailer and a small tent and sleeping bag and cook set, although i wish i had taken less...

the route is great and pretty well set up and all that... it was made an official route some time in the late 70s or early 80s and although it hasn't been 100% maintained, there are still lots of signs and special bike lanes or paths or crossing for bikes...

the route along the coast is NOT very hilly although if you do any inland tours it can be.

i can't remeber exactly, but i think my friend finished in a little over 2 weeks - but hauling *** and riding hard every day - i think Seattle to SF should be 6-15 days, but use the book to figure out - averaging 40 miles along the coast is easy, but 80 is tough and 100 or more is brutal... (i mean self-supported with gear)

the route is great and the scenery is great and you'll definitely meet some other riders along the way. it's not crowded or anything, but there are other people doing the same. My friend hooked up with 2 riders from Canada after i had to cut out b/c of my knee.

i totally recommend the trip - i think it's probably one of the best long distance tours in the US b/c it'S relatively flat but also interesting AND it has factilties for food and overnight (i.e. you don't go through the middle of nowhere)

for other types of trips, there are s few mountain bike routes set up - like the continental trail trip - which are supposed to be cool. many of these are gravel/fire roads but a few of the new ones have a lot of single track - of course, food and facilites are a problem

have fun - sounds like a great trip! (i'm planning a 7-10 day Alp crossing trip on mostly single-track trails this summer!)
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Old 03-23-02, 10:48 PM   #9
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Try the very good touring site www.kenkifer.com. In addition to Ken's huge knowledge base and experience, the site links to many others who have cycled the world, and many who have posted travelogues of their Seattle to S.F. trips.
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