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Oregon to Sacramento

Old 01-17-15, 01:45 PM
  #1  
kilbour
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Oregon to Sacramento

I'm planning a trip from Southern Oregon to Sacramento next summer. I'm looking at highway 89 down to highway 49 to Nevada City/Grass Valley. Does anyone have any thoughts on Highway 49? And any suggestions on roads from Grass Valley down to the Granite Bay area. I know 49 goes to Auburn but wondering about traffic. Thanks.
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Old 01-17-15, 06:02 PM
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My wife and I rode from The Willamette Valley down to Visalia, CA last summer, going through Sacramento on the way. We went up over the Cascades out of Eugene, and then took Hwy 97 to Weed. We took Hwy 89 out of Shasta City and into Lassen National Park. Then due to cold weather and high winds in the Park, we dove down into the Valley to Anderson. Then we just headed to Sacramento. If you are interested, I can get you our Mapmyride link with the details.

Where in southern Oregon are you starting?
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Old 01-17-15, 06:46 PM
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Yes. I'd like to see your ride details. I'm starting from the Medford area. Planning to head to KFalls and south from there. Also through Lassen Park. What time of summer did you go?
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Old 01-17-15, 08:11 PM
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sounds like a really nice trip. I'm planning on southern oregon to San Francisco next summer. Good Luck to you
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Old 01-17-15, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by kilbour View Post
Yes. I'd like to see your ride details. I'm starting from the Medford area. Planning to head to KFalls and south from there. Also through Lassen Park. What time of summer did you go?
We started September 19th. We were pushing the season a little, but we were heading for a mid-October wedding. It was 35 F with 35 mph winds in Lassen. However, it was still warm when we got down to the Central Valley.

Last edited by Doug64; 01-17-15 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 01-17-15, 10:47 PM
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Almost all of Highway 49 I've been on has NO shoulder and has a lot of curves.
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Old 01-17-15, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Louis Le Tour View Post
Almost all of Highway 49 I've been on has NO shoulder and has a lot of curves.
It's not the lack of shoulder or the curves or even the fact that most of it is up-and-down. It's the fact that the motorists who travel on it are generally hateful of people on bikes. This is a longstanding situation. (I've ridden the length of the damned thing, but vowed to never ride another inch of it after my sister-in-law was nearly killed right in front of my eyes.)

There aren't many places I won't ride, but Hwy 49 is one of them. Besides, there's so many better ways into Sac from the west. One can take the flat way along the river or go off into the Coast range and get some serious climbing in.
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Old 01-18-15, 12:35 AM
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Are you doing one-way, or round-trip?

Why not take 101, the Coastal Highway? I know it gets heavy traffic at times, but it would be a beautiful ride.
I'm not sure I've been on 199, but the Merlin, Galice, Agness, Gold Beach road would be nice. A bit narrow at times, but not too bad with the traffic.
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Old 01-18-15, 10:45 AM
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Looks like Hwy 49 is out. I hadn't really given 101 a thought but like the idea. In terms of traffic & shoulders, any suggestions as to routes to cut across from 101 to Sacramento? Hwy 128 or 20? I'm a newbie here so any and all suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 01-18-15, 02:24 PM
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Hwy 199 from Grant Pass to Smith River has some beautiful scenery. I have not cycled it, but drove it a lot when I worked in that area. A lot of the road is right along the smith River. It is pretty narrow and the shoulders are not very wide. However, roads always look less bike friendly in a car than they do on a bike.

I almost rode it once when I was going to ride from Roseburg to Smith River for a conference. I got as far as Grants Pass, and it was raining so hard, with winds; I called my wife and told her I'd buy her dinner if she would pick me up

The Coast Route is also a great ride, and worth considering.

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Old 01-18-15, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
Hwy 199 from Grant Pass to Smith River has some beautiful scenery. I have not cycled it, but drove it a lot when I worked in that area. A lot of the road is right along the smith River. It is pretty narrow and the shoulders are not very wide. However, roads always look less bike friendly in a car than they do on a bike. I almost rode it once when I was going to ride from Roseburg to Smith River for a conference. I got as far as Grants Pass, and it was raining so hard, with winds; I called my wife and told her I'd buy her dinner if she would pick me up The Coast Route is also a great ride, and worth considering.
I've driven from Grants Pass down 199 to the coast and decided I'd NEVER try it on a bike, that's just my very cautious take.
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Old 01-18-15, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by kilbour View Post
Looks like Hwy 49 is out. I hadn't really given 101 a thought but like the idea. In terms of traffic & shoulders, any suggestions as to routes to cut across from 101 to Sacramento? Hwy 128 or 20? I'm a newbie here so any and all suggestions are appreciated.
last fall i rode from the East Bay area up through Vacaville to Red Bluff, then over to the coast at Fortuna, down 101 and sideroads to 20 east. it runs along the north border of Clear lake, then right (SSW) on 16 to Woodland, from there it's a hop skip and a jump to Davis and Sac.

101 is not so great in places, but i've been on 49 all the way from Oregon the Auburn, and i agree with the other poster, not something i would want to ride my bike on.

and the coastal Oregon to Fortuna route is very nice as i recall ('96).
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Old 01-19-15, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by kilbour View Post
Looks like Hwy 49 is out. I hadn't really given 101 a thought but like the idea. In terms of traffic & shoulders, any suggestions as to routes to cut across from 101 to Sacramento? Hwy 128 or 20? I'm a newbie here so any and all suggestions are appreciated.
If you're going to hit the coast, go ahead and jump onto hwy 1. Don't try to ride in from the coast on hwy 128 or hwy 20. Stay on hwy 1 to the Russian River and then come east, either in the hills or up River Rd. Pick up hwy 128 in the Napa Valley and take it on over to Winters/Davis and ride on to Sac. on county roads. Bear in mind that there isn't much in the way of refreshment between the Napa Valley and Winters (one store open at Turtle Rock, just as you hit Lake Berryessa and one more just over Cardiac Hill, about a fifteen miles from Winters (you'll skip Winters by taking Putah Creek Rd). It's hot and dry in those grassy hills, so carry enough water. (Similar climate to Medford, so I'm sure you can deal.)

Yes, there's some traffic in Sonoma and Napa Counties, but you can pick your times and it's not bad (as in don't try to move between the two during the morning commute or on a Sunday evening). There can be some traffic on hwy 1 in Sonoma County as well, so I always try to do the portion into Jenner at some ridiculously early hour when no one's there but the bobcats; it's beautiful but a bit steep and narrow as you approach Jenner.

The portion of hwy 101 just north of hwy 1, approaching Leggett, kind of sucks at Richardson Grove, but that's only a couple of miles. Either ride this in the early morning on a weekend or go around it by riding the steep hills of the Lost Coast. The Lost Coast will mean a twenty-four mile dirt road (Usul Rd), but it's all super deserted. You will need some low gears, but it's a favorite place for my wife and me to ride.

Obviously, detouring all the way to the coast is going to add a lot of miles, but it's also going to add a lot of wonderful scenery and good riding. You can also stay on 101, many people do, but it's not as fun. From there, you can take almost anything east, including hwy 20 (although I'm not a big fan of the Clear Lake area). If you take hwy 20, head south at hwy 16 and then, from Esparto, just keep taking county roads south and then east to work your way to Davis. There's also routes down into the Valley and then along the western edge, but I can't remember them off the top of my head (it's been too many years since I did that).
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Old 01-22-15, 08:48 PM
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What part of 49 are you worked up about? The southern portions? As I remember, the section from Highway 89 to Nevada City is narrow and winding, but traffic is much lighter than from Grass Valley south, and I have lots of good memories of it. I do remember riding uphill S-N from Auburn to Grass Valley on 49, and it was fairly harrowing--unless the shoulderless road has been widened.

Checking Google Earth...huh--though busy, that section does have nice shoulders now. I'd go that way, then just down the Auburn-Folsom Road to Granite Bay.

Are you going to be camping? I'm stayed at a few along 89 and 49, so can give recommendations. For example, if you want to try climbing Lassen Peak, see if they still have the ranger station in the parking lot, and lock your bike in sight of the ranger. I stayed the night before at Summit Lake campground, no showers, but the lake was at 74 F, and great for swimming. After the climb, it's a fantastic downhill to 5000' out of the park, then flat to gently rolling to Chester and Lake Almanor, usually with a good tailwind.
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Old 01-27-15, 02:25 PM
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My wife and I have done the route on our way to the Auburn area. Head south to San Francisco and make a left on the Western Express Route.
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