Author Topic: Boston to Seattle to LA trip advice wanted  (Read 1851 times)

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Offline mucknort

Boston to Seattle to LA trip advice wanted
« on: July 29, 2009, 09:12:56 pm »
My wife and I used to tour a bunch before we had a kiddo. He's now 10 and we are finally planning a cross country tour for 2010. We plan to do a modified Northern Tier from Boston area to Seattle/Vancouver area then down the Pacific Coast to LA. We hope to depart next June and be at the grandparents in SoCal before Thanksgiving. Our son (who's a strong rider at 10) will turn 12 next fall, but we don't want to push the mileage too much.

Concerns at this point:

-My wife rode across the US twice back in the 80's. I rode the Pacific Coast around same time. (This was before we met). She (and I to a lesser extent) is quite anxious regarding riding on busy roads with our son. Can anyone comment on the Northern Tier and Pacific Coast routes at this point?

-Looking at doing 30 - 60 mile days. Wondering how early we need to get over the Rockies to avoid winter storms.

Thanks, Erik

Offline aggie

Re: Boston to Seattle to LA trip advice wanted
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2009, 11:47:59 pm »
There are some busy sections of the Pacific Coast route.  There seems to be constant traffic once you get on the 101 around Gaviota.  In almost all areas there is a wide shoulder.  If you want to avoid all the traffic in S. Ca. you take the train from Santa Barbara all the way to San Diego.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Boston to Seattle to LA trip advice wanted
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2009, 12:47:49 am »

Winter storms in the West can happen in Sept but are not usually prolonged until later in the fall.  The traffic on the NT route in WA is not a problem.  On the Pacific Coast, traffic can be bad around SF, especially on weekends.  We did not find traffic to be much a problem elsewhere, but riders should definitely be experienced at highway riding.  I think mirrors are essential.  Shoulders are good in Oregon, but in California, I thought they were poor in most places.  Most of the cars there seem used to bikers and fairly considerate. 

I think this sounds like a great adventure for a kid!  Have at it!
May the wind be at your back!

Offline mucknort

Re: Boston to Seattle to LA trip advice wanted
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2009, 10:06:04 am »
There are some busy sections of the Pacific Coast route.  There seems to be constant traffic once you get on the 101 around Gaviota.  In almost all areas there is a wide shoulder.

Winter storms in the West can happen in Sept but are not usually prolonged until later in the fall.  The traffic on the NT route in WA is not a problem.  On the Pacific Coast, traffic can be bad around SF, especially on weekends.  We did not find traffic to be much a problem elsewhere, but riders should definitely be experienced at highway riding.  I think mirrors are essential.  Shoulders are good in Oregon, but in California, I thought they were poor in most places.  Most of the cars there seem used to bikers and fairly considerate. 

I think this sounds like a great adventure for a kid!  Have at it!

I didn't think the coast situation would change. I remember that WA and OR had shoulders, CA not. A new concern is that the hiker/biker campgrounds in CA will be closed due to CA govt trashing of state parks w/ budget issues. We definitely are mirror users. With the proliferation of cell phone drivers, I find myself watching mirrors more closely these days. Thanks for comments!

Offline aggie

Re: Boston to Seattle to LA trip advice wanted
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2009, 10:34:43 am »
The latest word on the state parks is that 100 of the 279 will be closed.  It will be a little while before the list of closures is made.  I would expect the least visited to be closed but you can never tell.  This is the state website for the parks and I'm sure they will publish a list of parks that will be closed.  http://parks.ca.gov/