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Seattle to San Francisco via the coast

Old 04-24-10, 03:02 PM
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Seattle to San Francisco via the coast

Anyone done it???

I've got break in July from school and am thinking about doing this, or some variation of it. Anyone have any experience or know of any events for this??? TIA
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Old 04-29-10, 10:30 PM
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Although I live in Eugene, I spent two decades riding around the CA coast and continue to regularly ride from Eugene to Davis via the coast, so I can offer some tips on the middle portion. First off, expect to be treated poorly on the roadway in Coos county. They can't help it and it won't pay to get mad. When you get to the bridge into North Bend, either pedal like a mad man or use the narrow sidewalk (you may have to walk it). Be sure to print out the maps from ODOT to avoid the worst of US101 in OR and target the campgrounds with showers ($4.00 gets you a camp site and a hot shower in OR). The campground in Brookings has a laundry facility, which I found to be rather a nice touch.

If you camp in Brookings, get an early start the next day. The earlier you make the climb out of Crescent City the better (not a difficult climb, but several areas of dangerously limited space, especially when traffic picks up). Once again, be sure to look at the CalTrans web site for the Pacific Coast Bike route. In CA, you will pay a bit more for the camp site (I can't remember if it went to $5 or $6 this year for hiker/biker) and you have to stock up on quarters for the showers. I think the state campgrounds are generally 2 quarters to start them, but when you reach Sonoma county it will take 6 quarters to get the showers going. The campground at Patrick's Point is quite nice, but the last ten miles to it involve some roadway that will test your nerves. This area is often foggy in the A.M., so plan accordingly. From Patrick's Point, stay off 101 to Trinidad and get on Scenic Drive through Trinidad. At the south end of Scenic, get on 101 for one exit (maybe two, I can't remember) and get off onto the frontage on the west of 101. This will become a bike path that will take you to Mckinleyville. There is only one odd place where it looks like it ends, but you just need to go west two blocks to get back on it.

South of Eureka, I always stay off of US101 as much as possible. Rather than stay with the PCBR, I make for Ferndale and take the route through the Lost Coast. The Lost Coast has almost no amenities (a bar in Petrolia and a small store in Honeydew). The climb out of Ferndale is brutally steep and quite long (it is the end of the Tour of the Unknown Coast in reverse, making this the backside of the Wall). Just when you think you are dropping to the ocean, you have one more short but very steep climb before dropping to the shoreline. Enjoy 5 miles of riding literally on the shoreline before heading inland (all up, of course). After chit-chatting in the bar in Petrolia it is only 8 miles to camp A.W. Way (no hot showers, but very nice riverfront). From camp AWWay, it is another 8 miles to Honeydew. From Honeydew go up Wilder Ridge, and I do mean up (I use a 24 tooth chain ring with a 27 tooth cog in the Lost Coast). There is a small (quarter mile) stretch of Wilder that is not paved, but is fully rideable on road tires (in the '80s, none of it was paved; very difficult climbs on gravel). Continue to Shelter Cove Highway and go West. Either go to the state campground at Shelter Cove or take the paved roadway (Briceland Rd) towards Whitethorn. After about 16 miles, you will hit a junction where west takes you to a dead-end at a lighthouse, north takes you to the campground at Shelter Cove and south takes you on Usal Road. Usal is 25 miles of hilly, water-carved red clay. I bring off-road tires for this portion. There is a campground 20 miles in (no amenities, not even water, so I bring a filter). Usal joins highway 1 at mile post 90, thirty miles from Fort Bragg. There are showers at the campground at Fort Bragg. Around mp 21 is Manchester Beach: hot tub and showers at the KOA, outhouses and water at the state campground. At the Sonoma/Mendocino border (on the Sonoma side, east of the hwy) is a Sonoma county campground along the Gualala river. There is another Sonoma county campground with showers somewhere near Jenner, but I haven't been there for two decades, so I don't remember much. There is also a nice campground at Bodega Bay, but again I haven't been there for many years.

I do this ride twice a year; it is fantastic. If you shy away from the brutal hills of the Lost Coast (I had three chain breaks there on one trip), you will pay the price in terms of traffic. Your choice. I would rather be challenged by climbs than cars. Just be sure to bring enough gear to take care of yourself because there is no one else there to help.
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Old 05-04-10, 01:17 AM
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I haven't done the ride, but there is a state campground south of Cannon Beach that is "da bomb". Just south of Manzanita. Great showers, nice site, one dune off one of the nicest beaches you will ever see. Book early or you won;t get in. They have yurts for rent as well.
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Old 05-04-10, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by MedStudentRidah
Anyone done it???

I've got break in July from school and am thinking about doing this, or some variation of it. Anyone have any experience or know of any events for this??? TIA
You could do worse than follow the Adventure Cycling maps: https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/pacificcoast.cfm
If you were going later, you could join their Oregon tour: https://www.adventurecycling.org/tour...V10&id=199&p=1
And there's probably plenty of commentary and possible variations available here: https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/

A smidgen of advice: whenever possible, get off of Highway 101. A bunch of friends and I get together every August at Fort Stevens State Park, just outside of Astoria. We use it for home base for a bunch of riding. One of our favorites goes south to Seaside, but we ride on Lewis & Clark Road instead of 101. In those 15 or so miles you'll see 3 cars on Lewis & Clark Road where you'll see 3,000 on Highway 101.
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