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Old 04-13-12, 07:51 AM   #1
dzeccola
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Leaving to do the Pacific Coast tour tomorrow. Any words of advice?

Leaving tomorrow to fly to Seattle and strike down the coast to San Diego / Tiajuana. Any words of advice from people who have done it?
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Old 04-13-12, 08:16 AM   #2
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Great route from Astoria on. I wasn't crazy about the AC route from the Seattle area to Astoria. If I were doing it again I'd probably just start in Astoria and skip Washington altogether. If that wasn't an option I'd try a more coastal route in Washington.

Not sure what the weather is usually like that time of year, but I am guessing you better plan for wet weather.
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Old 04-13-12, 10:42 AM   #3
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Forecast for the Oregon coast next week is rain, rain, harder rain, hard rain, and rain. It doesn't sound so good for bike touring, still a bit early for Washington and Oregon.
http://weatherspark.com/#!dashboard;q=Astoria,+OR,+USA
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Old 04-13-12, 10:55 AM   #4
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Your going to get wet......Beats working.....Have fun!
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Old 04-13-12, 10:58 AM   #5
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I would cross over the inlet to Port Orchard just north of the airport and head down and over to the coast rather than ride through Seattle and south, especially if it is likely to be raining hard, to avoid the heavy vehicle traffic.
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Old 04-13-12, 11:40 AM   #6
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Wave as You Go By..
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Old 04-13-12, 11:58 AM   #7
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You know, if you want to see the best of washington you have to go INLAND, not towards the coast, at least in my opinion. That said, it is a little early in the season for this. Anyone that has time to do a little detour into inland washington should consider heading to Mount Rainier then to the eastside of Mount St. Helens, dropping down to the columbia before heading to the coast.

Something like this:
http://g.co/maps/unfae

Be aware though, that route has 15,000 ft of climbing Absolutely worth it though...

Washington rules, you just gotta know where to go
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Old 04-13-12, 11:59 AM   #8
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Then again, there are a couple of interesting things over on the peninsula

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Old 04-13-12, 02:13 PM   #9
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Advice? Yes, don't forget your rain gear, and don't expect day after day of tailwinds.

But have a great time anyway and enjoy the beauty. It's really stunning. One advantage of going now is you'll almost certainly have less traffic than summer/fall, a huge plus in my book.
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Old 04-13-12, 03:34 PM   #10
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I have done the coast from Astroia to San Diego twice, some parts three times. If you are using the Kirkendall Book and the Adventure Cycling Maps, I would always follow the AC maps, they tend to get you out of traffic. Most of the time,they follow the same route, though.

Also, there is a GREAT bicycle store in Newport, Oregon, about one block west of the highway. They actually have a place for cyclists to rest with a tv. They wanted to put in sleeping facilities for bike tourists, but, as of two years ago, they hadn't done that. Definitely worth the time to stop.

And one last thing, just past the Pfeiffer Camping ground in Big Sur, as you climb the hill going south, there is a little place with a great restaurant cafe overlooking the ocean. It is called Nepenthe. Great place for a meal or just a cup of java and pastry.

Have a great time. Are you on CGOAB?
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Old 04-13-12, 08:08 PM   #11
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Give yourself some extra time to savor Nepenthe, including the fires and the views.
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Old 04-13-12, 09:07 PM   #12
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I have done the coast from Astroia to San Diego twice, some parts three times. If you are using the Kirkendall Book and the Adventure Cycling Maps, I would always follow the AC maps, they tend to get you out of traffic. Most of the time,they follow the same route, though.

Also, there is a GREAT bicycle store in Newport, Oregon, about one block west of the highway. They actually have a place for cyclists to rest with a tv. They wanted to put in sleeping facilities for bike tourists, but, as of two years ago, they hadn't done that. Definitely worth the time to stop.

And one last thing, just past the Pfeiffer Camping ground in Big Sur, as you climb the hill going south, there is a little place with a great restaurant cafe overlooking the ocean. It is called Nepenthe. Great place for a meal or just a cup of java and pastry.

Have a great time. Are you on CGOAB?
and just down the road from that, on the left, is a tony B&B where i had the second best breakfast ever. very rustic. it had a fire too, and cat...
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Old 04-13-12, 09:36 PM   #13
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I'm leaving May 1st to do this exact trip. Flying out to Seattle and headed to the border of Mexico. Good luck! Are you going to be blogging about the trip at all? I would love to follow along if so.

I'm also debating on which route to take. Straight out to the coast from Seattle or south to Portland then out to the coast. HMMMMM!

-First time tourer here I should add...
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Old 04-13-12, 10:27 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the advice everybody. Here some answers to questions that got posted.

1) Yes we are prepared for rain. We have shower pass rain covers for shoes, gore text pans, and gore text jackets, helmet covers and pannier covers. I just re-waterproofed the floor of our tent and we just made a brand new Silnylon waterproof tarp to have a little extra dry space at our campsites. Also planning on buying a stack of trash compactor bags to line all my panniers and stuff sacks. We don't love rain more than sunshine, but hey, this is the time we have and it just seemed like the right time to do it. I hope my new touring bike is up for the challenge, it's a new one to me and hopefully it is ready to take on the wet roads of oregon.

2) From seattle we are taking the Ferry to bremerton and then out to Aberdeen before heading down the coast.

3) Guy from NW oregon (fietsbob), are you on warmshowers? want to host two wet and happy cyclotourists? I don't think we have anywhere lined up for the astoria area yet.

4) We are not yet on CGOAB, but probably will be soon. I would like to blog about it but I'm not sure how seeing as we won't have a computer / internet connection for much of the trip.

5) Pausethemoment, whats your general itinerary? We are spending a bit of time in seattle before striking out and if you are riding long distances you may overtake us since we are doing probably no more than 65 miles / day. Maybe we could share a yurt along the oregon coast or something.

6) We will be stopping at EVERY restaurant on highway 1 from seattle to SD. We bike so that we can eat. No really, we plan to stop at a lot of places. I haven't heard of Nepenthe yet, but I have a cookbook from a place called the "Big Sur Bakery" that I like very much, I'll have to check out Nepenthe.

7) No constant tailwind? I want my money back!
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Old 04-13-12, 11:53 PM   #15
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Be sure and say Hi when you come thru Sonoma County!
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Old 04-14-12, 12:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
are you on warmshowers?
not on the list, just a small cluttered apartment..
recommendations:
Hostel in Seaside is good, Camp, Ft Stevens and a KOA. north of 101/Warrenton
Norblad is an in-town hostel but its a 2nd floor place ..
and the town in general .. its got abundant motel rooms..


Quote:
7) No constant tailwind? I want my money back!
That weather system ..'stable' high,.. does not really sort itself out until July.

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-14-12 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 04-14-12, 01:24 AM   #17
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7) No constant tailwind? I want my money back!
Not only no tailwind, you'll likely have a fair amount of headwinds throughout at least the OR portion.

If you've had enough of the traffic on hwy101 by the time you get into NorCal and you don't mind a bit of chain-snapping climbing and a short stretch of dirt road, you might consider climbing on over to the Lost Coast. You can go over the wall at Ferndale (don't forget to check out the Kinetic Sculpture Museum), or wait until you have gone part-way down the Avenue of the Giants and climb over to Honeydew, or just do the flatter part by taking Briceland-Thorn Rd to Usal Rd. Usal Rd is 25 miles of dirt to hwy1. It ends 30 miles north of Ft. Bragg and there is a campground six miles from the south end of Usal Rd. (primitive). On Usal Rd. you have a wilderness area on your west side and a private hunting preserve on your east side. Other than the occasional motorcycle, there is no traffic at all on Usal. When you see it, you'll know why.
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Old 04-14-12, 06:19 AM   #18
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There is a great little bakery in Pt. Reyes Station, at the tip of the bay (Marin County, north of San Francisco).

Good food in Pescadero, just off Hwy 1, between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz. And if you enjoy camping among the redwoods, Butano is a small gem of a campground nearby.
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Old 04-14-12, 07:13 AM   #19
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Have a great time, reading all the comments makes me want to do that trip again....
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Old 04-14-12, 07:23 AM   #20
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I was going to suggest the ferry to Bremerton, then follow Hood Canal. I did this same route in 1992. I stopped at Twanoh State Park the first night. It was an easy day - 26 miles? - but it was my first day and it seemed long. That was my first big tour. It turned out wonderfully!

I hope you have money for motels. If you get as much rain as everyone (including me) thinks you might, you may wish to hide out in a warm motel a few times, rather than camp in the rain.

Are you going across the long bridge into Astoria?
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Old 04-14-12, 07:46 AM   #21
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6) We will be stopping at EVERY restaurant on highway 1 from seattle to SD.
Don't miss the seafood place in Bandon. I think it was Tony's Crab Shack.
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Old 04-14-12, 09:25 AM   #22
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Pausethemoment, whats your general itinerary? We are spending a bit of time in seattle before striking out and if you are riding long distances you may overtake us since we are doing probably no more than 65 miles / day. Maybe we could share a yurt along the oregon coast or something.
Nothing set in stone as of yet but I think we'll take the ferry to Bremerton on 5/1, stay overnight with some friends and then take off on the morning of the 2nd. I think we'll head straight for the coast from Bremerton. Not in one shot obviously, but we're headed that way. Since it's our first tour we really don't know what to expect as far as mileage goes. Wish I could be more accurate! Let's keep in touch though. Msg me with your email.
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Old 04-14-12, 09:52 AM   #23
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I was going to suggest the ferry to Bremerton, then follow Hood Canal. I did this same route in 1992. I stopped at Twanoh State Park the first night. It was an easy day - 26 miles? - but it was my first day and it seemed long. That was my first big tour. It turned out wonderfully!

I hope you have money for motels. If you get as much rain as everyone (including me) thinks you might, you may wish to hide out in a warm motel a few times, rather than camp in the rain.

Are you going across the long bridge into Astoria?
I think out plan right now is to go to Potlatch SP on first night out of bremerton
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Old 04-14-12, 11:23 AM   #24
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No constant tailwind? I want my money back!
Sorry, no refunds. It's in the fine print.

Sounds like you're well equipped for wet weather. You should have a great time. Enjoy!
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Old 04-14-12, 12:15 PM   #25
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As for distance per day, I'd recommend what MrToe has brought up in the past- that if possible, plan for shorter days for a day or two, as riding with a fair weight is tough at first.
Even without knowing how much you ride and what shape you are in, the "shorter first few days" recommendation is a good one and nice if there are campgrounds within 30, 40, 50 miles at first. It's just nice for the legs to get used to being a mule train.
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