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Messages - cgarch

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Routes / Re: Best route from Vallejo to San Francisco
« on: February 04, 2014, 06:32:16 pm »
In my view the best route is to actually take the ferry to SF. Consider riding out to the Golden Gate Bridge and hang out on it and ride back. Otherwise . . . CA 37 or CA 12. Details . . .

You would head north out of Vallejo before heading west on 37. 37 is a busy two lane with lots of heavy truck traffic. It has fairly broad shoulders and traverses the impressive San Pablo Bay Marsh. And I can say I have seen touring cyclists out here. While scenic, the traffic is not much fun (especially after traversing US 50 . . ). Once it returns to land at Sears Point, the road changes to a 4 lane highway. Shoulders continue to be fairly good, but as you reach US 101 you will be directed to side streets in Novato. The route from Novato to Sausalito is convoluted at best. Consider ordering the Marin County Bike Coalition map of the area to plan that. There are some dedicated bike trails on what remains of the former railroad right-of-way from Larkspur south.

You could also consider CA 12, a bit further north. Not much better though for the same reasons - scenic but heavy traffic. And there are stretches with zero shoulder forcing you to side roads which are great, but convoluted. And you're further north making it a longer run to rejoin the route to Sausalito.

Feel free to ask for any more detail on the area.

Santa Rosa, CA

Addendum: if you Google 'Vallejo to Sausalito' and select the bike route option, drag it over to 37 (it defaults to the ferry) it will take you to a logical bike route. From Sausalito you would continue on to the bridge and into the city.

Yeah, I kinda get it. But I've wondered why routes on the left coast don't start with 1 and finish in the 90s on the right coast, sort of left to right. S'pose this is could be confusing dodging on and off of CA 1. But then why isn't the route numbered 99, given that the right coast starts with corridor 1? Or is there hope for a Corridor 99 in Hawaii? The similarity to the US highway numbering system is hard to miss (in contrast to the Interstate numbering system). Good for a beer fueled discussion . .

General Discussion / Re: Advice or Feedback for Pacific Highway Cycle 2014
« on: November 07, 2013, 11:33:53 am »
. . . You still need to cut in (East) to the official route to cross the Columbia unless you brave the Astoria Bridge which is scary when cars / trucks lose patience with you. 

The Astoria bridge is a daunting prospect, but not for the traffic. There is adequate shoulder to ride on the bridge and when we rode it (tandem and bob) we had no issues with the traffic, and they had none with us. More problematic is the onshore wind that can be a little rough as you try to stay in your lane - the side wind makes navigating a loaded bike a little tough. Southbound the first 3 miles are relatively flat, but at the rise for the ship channel, the grade bumps to 6+% and that part really puts you up in the wind. Once you're over the top, simply take the lane and make the horseshoe onto Oregon terra firma and you're good. The seagull that hovered about 6-8' up wind had me concerned that it might target us but guess we were lucky - no white splats sent our way. You can do it - just be careful and pay attention.

Santa Rosa, CA

I'd have to agree with Raybo. If you aren't that pressed for time, take the 101 loop around Olympic Park. We did it in 2009 - journal here -> Have given considerable thought to doing this area again, and here's some of what I would change. From Fairhaven, consider stopping at Bogachiel and touring into the Hoh rain forest. Stay a day or two at Kalaloch. After Lake Quinault, consider going out towards Copalis before heading into Hoquiam and Aberdeen (no ferry across the mouth yet.). After that it's a pretty much a straight run to Oregon and the coast. To me the inland route in Washington is not appealing. There is the factor of rain which has a stronger presence on the WA coast. Best.


Routes / Re: Pacific coast
« on: October 02, 2013, 02:27:27 am »
Again, sticking to the ACA routes will generally keep cyclists off the highways, even the ones with wide shoulders. There are spots with nil shoulders that simply cannot be avoided e.g. 101 south of Crescent City. My experience has been that motorists, whether they like it or not, will be as accommodating as possible. While it may seem daunting, it just is not that bad. Cyclists that are visible and that ride sensibly will have little trouble. It sure beats staying at home. If you're going to worry about this, then no amount of words here are going to assuage you. Like I said earlier, there are hundreds of cyclists that ride this route every year in sun and rain. There's very little to worry about.

Routes / Re: Pacific coast
« on: September 30, 2013, 04:32:09 pm »
Given the hundreds of cyclists on the Pacific Coast route, I'd say it is one of the safest and best routes around. ODOT has worked to improve the shoulders on the southbound side of 101 for cyclists. In Oregon it's pretty much a no brainer. California is a different story. I'd be more concerned about CA than OR. CA varies from no shoulders to huge shoulders. But in general cyclists have been riding this route for years with few problems. Follow the ACA route and they should be safe. If you want to know more about the route, please check out the journals on CGOAB.


I'm all for a reasonably light but strong bike for touring. We tour with our CF tandem (Calfee if you must know) with a Bob and a few panniers. Works perfectly fine. If I ever get around to my next single bike it will be a CF (custom) with the additional goodies for touring (eyelets, etc.).

California / Re: hwy 101 Orick to Cresent City
« on: June 24, 2013, 04:25:47 pm »
Of course you should stay on the Prairie SP scenic Dr. It has far less climbing and far less traffic than 101. And easy enough to do.

Routes / Re: Recommended Route San Jose to ACA Pacific Coast Route
« on: June 21, 2013, 11:12:33 am »
CA 92 to Half Moon Bay generally has heavy traffic. Riding it on a Sunday morning was probably wise. There are better ways to cross the Santa Cruz Mtn spine.


Routes / Re: Cycling the Pacific Coast Highway this summer
« on: June 11, 2013, 05:36:34 pm »
Most of the CA state parks are open. I second the recommendation to use the KOA at Manchester Beach - the state park might be one of the worst I've ever seen (a real embarrassment to the park system in my book). That part of the coast, Pt. Arena, seems to have a constant wind and the shelter of the trees in the KOA is welcome (not to mention the cooler with beer . .). The state park is completely exposed. As you get near the Sonoma Coasts, the county parks are quite nice - Stillwater Cove Regional Park is good logical stop before reaching Bodega Bay. Also there are lots of 1-way traffic controls through this area.


Routes / Re: Recommended Route San Jose to ACA Pacific Coast Route
« on: June 11, 2013, 05:27:09 pm »
If you didn't mind adding possibly a day to the route, go up to Portola Valley and pick up Old La Honda Road to the summit. Cross Skyline and continue on over to 84 and out to the coast. Old La Honda I believe is the lowest point crossing the Santa Cruz Mountains and has low traffic. And you get the bonus of a nice part of the coast and a superb tailwind (usually).

Page Mill is not the best if you're loaded - it's steep for long sections. 152 (Hecker Pass) is probably a bad idea and a non-starter. Looking at Google Maps there is a bicycle must exit sign at CA 129 west exit, so bikes are allowed between the 101 x 25 junction and 129. Granted it won't be fun . .  Otherwise it is the Los Gatos Creek trail as Bclayden has noted. Eureka Canyon is very nice and you can stop to fuel up at the Corralitos Market.


There's not much you can do. Having been in exactly that situation, make sure that you get far as you can and if you see traffic headed towards you, start waving at least one hand. Optimally the bike button will give you a longer green light but I know it isn't easy. If you can at least see the other end of the traffic control zone it will help oncoming drivers to recognize your predicament.

General Discussion / Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
« on: March 21, 2013, 04:38:39 pm »

3. ...This amounts to 80 miles/day. With your time plan, you need to cover 80-90 miles/day.       

Atozzi, you haven't spec'd whether you're camping or moteling . . If you take Western Express and expect to land at a town, your choices though Nevada and part of Utah are either 60-70 miles/day or 120 miles/day. Most of the towns across NV on US50 are just about 60 miles apart with nothing (I repeat Nothing) in between - no water, no shade, nada (and I-80 is actually not much different).

As for wide-open spaces, the Western Express can't be beat, but you will find plenty of similar wide-open terrain in Eastern Oregon. Don't be fooled into thinking E. Oregon is like the coast - not even close.


General Discussion / Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
« on: March 20, 2013, 04:17:19 pm »
Agreed. Traveling along Interstate 80, while possible, is not the preferred choice. But let's not forget that eastern Oregon can be mighty hot too at that time of year.

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