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  1. #1
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Pacific Coast, flying in to SeaTac?

    Any suggestions of how best to join the Pacific Coast route if flying into SeaTac?

    I am not necessarily all that concerned with riding all of the PC route and also don't mind riding an alternate route south from SeaTac to join the PC a good way south if that makes sense. I do not know the area at all until I get down into Oregon a ways, so am not sure what makes sense.

    I am not all that averse to using some form of public transportation to get to a better starting point, but I do get a kick out of riding right out of the airport.

    BTW, I tentatively plan to start at the end of August and have started a journal at:
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Eating

  2. #2
    Bike touring webrarian
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    I'm planning a similar trip for about the same time.

    I have friends in Bellingham, WA and south of Portland, which will be my endpoints.

    I'm thinking about the ACA Washington Parks route (goes around Olympic NP) to where it meets the Pacific Trail in the south.

    While I know you don't like getting long lists of links that may not be directly on point, here are some links to information about bike touring in Washington. Six of them deal with Seattle, directly.

    Maybe see you on the road!

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

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Ferry across the sound, you can meet US 101, and loop over the Olympic peninsula,
    or take US12 directly to the Coast, at Gray's Harbor, you meet 101 again at Aberdeen.

    They, WA, have pretty low cost busses , a bus to Raymond gets close ,
    change there and there's another that comes to Astoria

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Here's map of my ride with a buddy, Tacoma to Astoria and beyond. Worked fine for us.

    I did ride out of SeaTac to host in Tacoma. Other than some insane climbs, and spots of traffic, had no trouble. Climbs were to host home, not to ferry.

    Not to discount 101, but if you have the time, the Columbia River Gorge is not to be missed.

    Neoair ordered.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    True,
    Seattle to Portland Bike event run's annually , their route online I expect..

    Lots of the Scenic parts of the Columbia Gorge lay east of Portland.

    Highway WA4 follows the North side of the river, more traffic at Longview
    crosses the bridge, there, to the Oregon side , to go west. on OR 30.

  6. #6
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Thanks to all for the advice.

    I am a point to point kind of guy so riding north to hit the PC is probably not going to happen. Taking a bus, plane, or ferry maybe.

    What is the STP like? I am considering taking it to Centralia and picking up the PC there. Given the huge crowd the organized ride there draws I have to assume it is a nice ride, right?

    I'd also possibly consider just flying into Portland, but wanted to do at least a bit of Washington.

    Btw, we did drive a bit of the Columbia gorge before we started the TA and it was quite scenic.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    Not to discount 101, but if you have the time, the Columbia River Gorge is not to be missed.
    Oh no do NOT ride the Columbia Gorge westbound. Wind. wind wind wind wind wind.

    I think i did this - take US12 directly to the Coast, at Gray's Harbor - from Port Orchard to the coast, but someone else was in charge of the map on that trip, so I'm not sure.
    ...

  8. #8
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    Flying on to Bellingham connecting in Seatac is often cheaper than terminating at Seatac. Bellingham is the start of the ACA Pacific Coast route.

  9. #9
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    You can take the light rail with your bike into Seattle and then take a ferry from there to Bremerton. From Bremerton you can make your way over to the Olympic peninsula. IMO it might be worth it to take the loop around the peninsula and spend some time hiking in the Olympics, visit the Hoh rain forest, etc.

    The area around sea-tac is a freaking mess, and not doesn't seem that great to ride around, though I haven't tried. Personally I think the light rail/ferry is the best option, plus the ferry ride is a pleasure.
    Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

  10. #10
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    Looking at the route it seems to skip some very nice sections of the coast, mainly the olympic peninsula coast. To me it would be a shame to miss that!
    Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

  11. #11
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
    Flying on to Bellingham connecting in Seatac is often cheaper than terminating at Seatac. Bellingham is the start of the ACA Pacific Coast route.
    Good to know. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Southwest or Frontier fly there. I try to use them when I can because they seem to have about the only equitable bicycle as baggage policy. Not an absolute show stopper though.

  12. #12
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoltani View Post
    You can take the light rail with your bike into Seattle and then take a ferry from there to Bremerton. From Bremerton you can make your way over to the Olympic peninsula.
    The light rail/ferry combo sounds interesting. Any particular recommended route from Bremerton? My bias is toward a somewhat direct route.

    Other than where I stop for the day, I am likely to limit off bike excursions to an hour here and a couple hours there.

  13. #13
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    Well it looks to me that the ACA route goes right through Bremerton, so I'd say that taking the light rail/ferry is a pretty direct route!


    That's the info I can give you. I know bikes are allowed on the light rail and the ferry, but I'm also new to the area so I can't give specific directions from Bremerton. That said, if the ACA route indeed passes through Bremerton then the directions should be on there and somewhat straight forward.

    I'm still sticking with my original statement that you might be missing something to not loop around the Olympics. If you have an extra 5-7 days it would be worth it IMO.
    Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    +1 to the Ferry idea to Bremerton. Then I'd suggest taking the south shore road along Hood Canal from Belfair over to highway 101, at which point you could decide whether to follow it north and around down the coast. Or just take back roads to Aberdeen. Have fun.

  15. #15
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    i would also STRONGLY recommend taking the light rail to downtown, then a ferry to bainbridge or bremerton island, wa, to start the coast ride. you will be riding country roads within an hour of getting to downtown utilizing the ferries to cross over to the woodsy side. seatac to centralia, i can't recommend the scenery or the traffic, to be honest.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  16. #16
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    if you want all the coast, take the bainbridge island ferry instead of the bremerton ferry, they both leave from the same dock downtown, the banbridge boat is also only a half hour trip, not an hour.

    its a nicer ride to the counterclockwise from Bainbridge on the 101 around the olympics.

    the ferry is shorter, and there's a lot better riding and amenities heading out of banbridge versus the bremerton route. trust me.


    road cues to get you to the Pacific Coast route. not all the roads, but main ones you can connect the dots on.

    From Bainbridge, thru the town, High School Road, Fletcher, Miller, Manzanita roads to the Agate Pass Bridge, Lemolo shores road to Pouslbo, bakeries in Poulsbo!!!!

    Big Valley Road, camping at Kitsap Memorial State Park very near Hood Canal Bridge day 1- about 20 miles from the boat terminal if that, maybe only 16?
    good distance for a half day from airport) . 104, to the 101 the next day, great camping just outside of Port Angeles at Salt Creek County Park. also camping at Sequim Bay state park (kind of dreary, salt creeks much better)

    from Salt Creek, you can ride over the hill to Lake Crescent thru Joyce (stop at Joyce Country store fer sure!) or along the 112/113 for more of the coast and reconnect with the 101 at Sappho. from Sappho you are onto Forks and the standard campsites for bicyclists along the pacific coast (Kalaloch, the beaches, etc)...


    otherwise, south out of bremerton to the south end of hood canal, and decide on north or south on the 101 at that point if you're pressed for time. either will be scads better than riding out of seatac thru pugetopolis suburbia.... blech.

    have a great time!!!
    Last edited by Bekologist; 06-17-11 at 07:01 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  17. #17
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    south out of bremerton to the south end of hood canal, and decide on north or south on the 101 at that point if you're pressed for time. either will be scads better than riding out of seatac thru pugetopolis suburbia
    I agree , But Bekologist isn't the traffic from Bainbridge Island to the Hood Canal Bridge a bit heavy as well. It's been a long time since I've been in that area. I tend to favor the route from Belfair to Potlach as way to get to highway 101. Having said that highway 3 to belfair is loaded with cars a lot of time as well. In any case IMO I agree that the Ferry is the way to get out of Seattle if heading west.

  18. #18
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    no, the backroads out of bainbridge as i described the key ones are absolutely pastoral. and low traffic. Best route to the coast route north across the Olympic Peninsula out of Seattle is via Bainbridge.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  19. #19
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    no, the backroads out of bainbridge as i described the key ones are absolutely pastoral. and low traffic.
    Thanks, I'll give it a try myself fairly soon.

  20. #20
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    ...here's a video of some of the back road route off of Bainbridge and onto the Pacific Coast 101 counterclockwise.




    this is about 3 miles from where the ferry drops you off, after just a half hour boat ride from Seattle.

    This way to the coast is MUCH nicer than riding thru Tacoma!!!
    Last edited by Bekologist; 06-17-11 at 10:50 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  21. #21
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    And the boat ride is definitely worth it to someone visiting the area the first time, as its beautiful as well.

  22. #22
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    ^^ Yep. I live near Centralia. You want to take the ferry out of Seattle and go West. Seattle to Olympia is all pretty much urban these days.
    - Solo Attack: When you attack, let the sprint group lead you out. You take no points. But when they sit up, you put your head down and hold threshold. Remember: When you see Jesus you are still about 2 minutes from blacking out. Hang on.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    Scrockern8r: Have they finished that rails to trail project out of Chehalis along highway 6 that goes through Pe Ell to the coast? If they have or ever do, it'll be a great way to make it to the ocean.

  24. #24
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Pete,

    Bekologist's recommendations are 100% correct. I've ridden in and around almost all the Seattle-area routes being discussed here, and he is right:

    1. Take the light rail from SEATAC to downtown.
    2. Then take the ferry to Bremerton or Bainbridge.
    - Take the Bainbridge ferry if you're headed up and around the Olympic Peninsula
    - Take the Bremerton ferry if you just want to head south/southwest toward the coast out of Seattle.



    If you are scheduling to stay overnight in downtown Seattle, let me know. There is a hostel right across the street from the light rail stop in downtown Seattle, or every other hotel option you can think of. I'll give you restaurant recommendations as well and maybe buy you a beer depending on your schedule.


    By the way, I was just glancing at the ACA map you posted on your journal at CGOAB. I really don't understand why the ACA routes people from Elma, Washington, over to Centralia and then straight south before headed west to Astoria. If it were me, from Elma I'd head west toward the coast, and then down toward Astoria. I've not done those roads on a bike, but have in a car, and I don't really think the scenery along the ACA-recommended route is any better than heading toward the coast, and its 50 extra miles or so. Maybe Bekologist or someone else knows; I don't get it.
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 06-17-11 at 10:57 PM.

  25. #25
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    does the ACA Route avoid the Astoria bridge and put people over at Longview? the astoria bridge would be that reason, i think. the Longview bridge is much more tolerable for bicyclists.

    if you're going south out of bremerton to connect direct to the 101 and the pacific coast in oregon, there's really very few alternatives except the Old Belfair Valley Road just at the tail end of the bay at Bremerton, then the option to Elma out of Shelton on the satsop-cloquallum roads and on Elma backroads, then on to the 101 to Astoria.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 06-18-11 at 01:20 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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