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Old 12-21-12, 11:01 AM   #1
BoomerTx
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Seattle Area Tour

I'm going to be in Seattle area in mid May this year with 4-5 days available to take a bike tour! I've decided to focus my tour plans on the San Juan Islands. I'm getting ready to contact some of the local tour operators for advice, but was hoping for some other feedback as well. Questions:

1. Mid May seems to be a bit early for really good weather. Is there a better area near Seattle to focus for this time of year?

2. I'm trying to generate some interest with friends to join me on the bike trip. Are there any particular recommendations for tour operators in this area?

3. I might end up on my own and unsupported. Are there any recommendations for touring bike and pannier rentals in the area?

thanks!
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Old 12-21-12, 05:48 PM   #2
adventurepdx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoomerTx View Post
1. Mid May seems to be a bit early for really good weather. Is there a better area near Seattle to focus for this time of year?
Yep, mid-May is iffy in the West-of-Cascades Northwest. You can get some real nice days, sunny, highs in the 70s. Or you can get rained on with highs in the 50s to 60s (which will definitely feel colder when you're wet.) Since I live in the Northwest I haven't let it stopped me from touring in May. However, if you really want to bet on drier weather, I'd recommend going east of the Cascades. Though saying that, my last two east-of-Cascades tours in May/early June did see significant amounts of rain. Be prepared for rain no matter where you end up in this part of the world.
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Old 12-21-12, 06:19 PM   #3
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The San Juans can be beautiful in May. They sit behind Vancouver Island which creates what we in the NW call a "banana belt." I have both biked and kayaked that time of year and driven through rain from Seattle to the ferry dock, spent 3 to 4 days in the sun only to return to the rain on the drive home. No guarantees

Be sure to camp in the county park on the west side of San Juan Island. Orca whales come by very close to the shore near sunup most mornings.
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Old 12-22-12, 07:54 AM   #4
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In college I spent a couple of spring breaks on bike trips in the San Juans. We had good weather both times. The San Juans really are the banana belt of the northwest. That said, you could still get two weeks of straight rain. It's the northwest. It's nice if you can watch the weather forecast up until the last minute and delay the start of your ride if necessary until the forecast is promising.
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Old 12-22-12, 10:48 AM   #5
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i think it's a great idea. you can spend a couple of days en route to the san juans starting in downtown Seattle.

hop a ferry to Bainbridge island, ride to and spend a day in Port Townsend (one of the cooler waterfront towns on the west coast), ferry to Whidbey island, ride to the san juan ferry terminal in Anacortes, ferry to San Juans.

I lived in seattle until fairly recently, and can't think of either a touring bike rental or a tour operator out of Seattle......you're pretty much going to be on your own and buying panniers, i strongly doubt you'll going to be able to rent them.

maybe REI, Seattle's flagship store and the headquarters, might, just might be able to help out.
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Old 12-22-12, 04:52 PM   #6
BoomerTx
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Thanks for the feedback! Looks like I'll be buying some heavier duty rain gear! Weather is Texas allows us to be a little more selective in when we ride! I appreciate the ride route tips! I'm hoping to not have to ship my bike for just 4 days of dedicated unsupported riding. More ideas are certainly welcome!
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