Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

PDX->SFO best time to ride

Notices
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.

PDX->SFO best time to ride

Old 11-24-17, 05:55 PM
  #1  
pdxsforider
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
PDX->SFO best time to ride

I bought a touring bike, REI Safari about 10 years ago with this trip as my goal, but life got in the way and I never did it. This year I had planned on doing this ride in September but had a conflict so it did not work out. I thought about doing the ride in October, but the forecast was wet, short day light, and winds apparently blow predominantly north to south in the summer and south to north in the winter, so bottom line is I am not into a sufferfest so that idea died. My compromise was to bring my bike down to SFO, an ride SFO-> Big Sur & back over 4 days. That was my 1st bike tour so what was actually really good as I learned a lot about how I want to do this ride I ended up only going to Monterrey. My initial plan was way to fast. It is about the journey and not the destination, so my target is ~50-60 miles a day, which means ~14 days to SFO ~ 700 miles. Throw in a few extra days to give you more options. That gives you ample time to explore each area as you ride.

For the ride I just did. I started at Half Moon Bay from there I rode to Capitola and camped at New Brighton State Park, the next day I rode to Monterrey camped at Veterans Memorial Park, and then rode back to New Brighton, and finally the last day rode from Capitola to Daily City Bart station, about ~260 miles over 4 days. ~ 60 miles a day once you throw in rides around the city, the final day was ~80 miles. I think I averaged ~ 13 mph or so. That allowed me to get to each area early enough that I could explore it on my bike. So rode around Sana Cruz boardwalk etc. Did the 17 mile drive on my bike in Monterrey. I camped, carried all my gear, back packing stove, tent sleeping bag, food etc. That allowed me the flexibility to cook at camp or go grab something if I wanted to. Anyway that is how I am thinking of doing PDX->SFO, ie self supported, casual ride.

Which brings me to my question when is the best time to do this ride- taking into consideration weather, traffic, crowds etc? I am thinking either May/June or September. I like the longer days in May/June but it can be pretty wet, so I am leaning towards September.

Also in terms of my bike, I had switched to thin tires since I was primarily riding on the road, for touring is a fatter tier better?


Any thoughts would be appreciated. I am putting it on my calendar in PEN, in 2018 this is going to happen!

Thanks
pdxsforider is offline  
Old 11-24-17, 06:32 PM
  #2  
mrveloman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Tucker, GA USA
Posts: 133
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I did this same research for my recent Portland-SFO trip. I think September is a great time to ride it. I am sure others with more experience than me will chime in as well.

I flew into Portland this past Aug 29th and took 13 days to ride. I rode directly to Tillamook from Hillsboro along Hwys 8 and 6 (took the tram from the airport) . I ended up skipping about 200 miles due to smoke from the fire in Brookings (fortunately my son was joining me at Humbug Mtn SP so his girlfriend just drove us to Ferndale, CA on her way back to Berkeley where they live. Was a great trip and I want to do it again, maybe riding to Astoria instead of Tillamook. Weather was perfect and it did not rain on me the entire trip.
mrveloman is offline  
Old 11-24-17, 09:53 PM
  #3  
B. Carfree
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 7,048
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 502 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
If you must have tail winds and dry weather, the only time those are guaranteed is July and August. (Of course someone will chime in who has been rained on in August, but I'll just say s/he should have bought a lottery ticket.) Not surprisingly, that's peak tourist time on the coast. That's not necessarily a bad thing: every motorist who passes you has passed ten other cyclists already that day and when you get to the campgrounds you'll have lots of cyclist company, if you're into that sort of thing (I'm not).

If you find lower traffic and fewer folks in the campgrounds to be as important as the weather issues, perhaps starting about a week into September is what you want. I've rarely been rained on in the many trips I've taken down the coast in September (October and November are different stories).

You've still got twelve hour days of light (actually a bit more) if you're afraid of the dark since you'll finish before the equinox. If you really want to have low traffic, consider bringing some quality lights and doing some riding before sunrise. Do your trip a bit later in the month and you might get to enjoy a nice full moon setting on the breaking surf if you do some night riding (full moon isn't until Sept 25 in 2018, so you'll be chancing a bit of rain/headwind). That's one of my favorite things about riding down the coast.
B. Carfree is offline  
Old 11-24-17, 10:06 PM
  #4  
B. Carfree
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 7,048
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 502 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by mrveloman View Post
I did this same research for my recent Portland-SFO trip. I think September is a great time to ride it. I am sure others with more experience than me will chime in as well.

I flew into Portland this past Aug 29th and took 13 days to ride. I rode directly to Tillamook from Hillsboro along Hwys 8 and 6 (took the tram from the airport) . I ended up skipping about 200 miles due to smoke from the fire in Brookings (fortunately my son was joining me at Humbug Mtn SP so
his girlfriend just drove us to Ferndale, CA on her way back to Berkeley where they live. Was a great trip and I want to do it again, maybe riding to Astoria instead of Tillamook. Weather was perfect and it did not rain on me the entire trip.
Ah, Ferndale, gateway to the Lost Coast. No ride down the Pacific coast is as wonderful as it can be without routing into the Lost Coast. While the name Avenue of the Giants sounds nice, it's just not as enjoyable to me as Wilder Ridge Rd or Usul Rd. Besides, the Newton B. Drury Pkwy is much nicer in terms of riding through the tall trees; the Avenue is a letdown after Drury. Also, while the Lost Coast does mean doing a bit of dirt road (at the least, Usul is 24 miles of dirt, and more can be added), it does let you avoid that horrid section of hwy 101 at Richardson Grove.

Of course, if one finds hills to be unpleasant, the Lost Coast isn't going to be any fun. At least there aren't hordes of motorists being annoying while you slowly climb the relatively steep climbs.
B. Carfree is offline  
Old 11-25-17, 10:21 AM
  #5  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,396

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6908 Post(s)
Liked 240 Times in 198 Posts
On Pacific coast, you'll have lots of company of other tourists, cycling and otherwise, June to September,

Numbers drop off when school starts..







....
fietsbob is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
CEPP1
Touring
11
06-27-18 04:55 AM
Chombi
Classic & Vintage
27
06-20-16 06:36 PM
CNC2204
Road Cycling
53
09-21-15 12:55 PM
BBChallenge
Northern California
0
07-21-09 05:33 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.