Author Topic: Best Pacific Route  (Read 2392 times)

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Offline jdstirewalt

Best Pacific Route
« on: March 11, 2011, 01:17:41 pm »
I'm taking a one month sabatical and would like to ride the Pacific coast.  What is the best route?  How many days should I anticipate?

Offline aggie

Re: Best Pacific Route
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2011, 05:28:28 pm »
The ride from SF to Santa Barbara is awesome and it is an easy 1 week ride. 

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Best Pacific Route
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 06:21:47 pm »
I liked all parts of California, but thought the very best were from Crescent city to about Bodega Bay and Carmel to Lompoc.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline whittierider

Re: Best Pacific Route
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 06:59:38 pm »
Just follow the ACA maps.  It's mostly PCH (Pacific Coast Hwy).  In the summer you'll have a great tail wind if you go south.

Offline Grumpybear

Re: Best Pacific Route
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2011, 05:13:27 pm »
How about Seattle to San Francisco!
I do not know your abilities or where you live, but, at around 50 to 55 miles per day you should be able to complete that route in 22 days. That would give you extra time for flying in and out of the cities as well as rest and or shorter mileage days during the trip.

Offline tanslacks

Re: Best Pacific Route
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2011, 09:59:25 pm »
If I had a month and I was looking for a section of the coast. I would definitely do Oregon. I'm from California and I have never seen coast like I have seen on the North coast. Besides, everything north of California has the nicest campgrounds, the nicest hike-n-bikes, the safest shoulders and the warmest showers... for free! Of course if you are a crusher, doing big miles every day, you could do the entire coast. I didn't kill myself and I went from Astoria to LA in 26 days

I did cry sometimes :D

Offline litespeed

Re: Best Pacific Route
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2011, 10:54:15 am »
The Pacific coast is bicycling paradise most of the way south - spectacular scenery, great tail winds (if headed south) challenging climbs, plenty of places to pitch your tent, interesting company (fellow cyclists) and plenty of interesting side trips and places to stop. But I have one quibble and one major complaint:

The quibble is the lack of places to get a cheap, hearty meal. Too many hippie and high-end restaurants serving expensive little frou-frou meals. I would have given anything for a good, truck stop meat loaf special. If you pack your own food this is not a problem.

The major complaint is the increasing number of winos ("homeless persons" if you want to be PC) in the campgrounds as you go south in California. They are a nuisance at best and real trouble at worst. I got sick of dealing with them along about Guadalupe and headed inland. By then I figured most of the good scenery was behind me anyway.

As tanslacks says, Oregon parks and campgrounds are much better than California's.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2011, 11:11:27 am by litespeed »

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Best Pacific Route
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2011, 08:07:10 pm »

As tanslacks says, Oregon parks and campgrounds are much better than California's.

Not my experience in 2005.  I thought the northern 2/3 of Oregon was wrecked due to sprawl, for miles on either side of the cities (except Cannon City, where it looked like they had at least heard of zoning, etc).  I was very disappointed in much of this area.  From about Coos Bay south, it seemed much less impacted and more pristine.  Some parts of California were way nicer, like the northern half and the area around Big Sur. California camps in 2005 were the equal of Oregon's and I liked them better because they often seemed to be in lighter areas, whereas Oregon's were very often in drippy, dark woods.

Just my experience, opinions, etc.........
May the wind be at your back!

Offline jeff s

Re: Best Pacific Route
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2011, 06:48:22 pm »
I'm biased as an Oregonian, but the coast here is fairly spectacular - though not without it's sprawl-damaged portions, as Johnsondaw points out. The main points to avoid IMO are the very north coast (Seaside-Astoria) and the Lincoln City area.  The mid/south coast has lighter traffic, at least to Brookings. And, as an earlier poster pointed out, most all the State campgrounds have hiker/biker campsites for $5, hot shower of unlimited length included.

Check out the Oregon coast bike map:
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/maps.shtml

Northern California seems nice, too -- haven't ridden far south of Crescent City so can't really say much - the Washington Coast is sort of interesting, but it's not especially spectacular like the Oregon coast. 

Offline MrBent

Re: Best Pacific Route
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2011, 11:28:18 am »
Just one nay vote--a voice crying in the wilderness--against the Oregon coast.  I'm crazy, I know, but I found the traffic load during the summer to be pretty ridiculous on many sections of the Oregon coast.  We went during July, so sub-optimal I'm sure, but our experience was so negative, we vowed never to return.  Up to about 10am, things were pretty nice.  Afternoon riding was horrible with virtually constant traffic, thousands of cars, noise, etc.  Scenery, towns, camping, indeed all excellent, but for actual riding, the cars ruined it for us.  This is largely because there is only one way down, Hwy 101.  In California, some stretches are indeed noxious, but I've ridden from Sonoma County to Santa Barbara three times, and much of this route is on Hwy 1 and other, quieter secondary roads, so the bulk of commercial traffic is on Hwy 101 a bit further east.

Obviously, lots and lots of people love the Oregon coast, but if you go in summer, you must be ready for some truly amazing traffic loads.

Scott

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Best Pacific Route
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2011, 02:31:53 pm »
Just one nay vote--a voice crying in the wilderness--against the Oregon coast. 
Obviously, lots and lots of people love the Oregon coast, but if you go in summer, you must be ready for some truly amazing traffic loads.

Scott

You are not the only one, Scott.  As I noted earlier in this thread, I found the Oregon coast to be disappointing.  Althought the traffic was heavy at times, my main gripe was that the northern 2/3 of the ride was wrecked by random, uncontrolled development.  It retained very little of its charm of decades ago.  I remember it well from the 60s and 70s, and the formed ambiance is pretty well gone.  This is true of a lot of places if the powers that be haven't been vigilant about maintaining quality of life and have just let money and developers rule.  We've been fighting this for 35 years inour little piece of the Washington Cascades.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline Norsman

Re: Best Pacific Route
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2011, 04:00:19 am »
I road the coast from BC to San Diego two years ago and loved the whole route.  If I had one month to ride I would start in Astoria or a bit further south in Oregon and try to get as far as Santa Barbara.  It is certainly easily doable and it takes in all of the best parts of the route.  To lessen the traffic problem, do as I did, start in September.  The traffic volume is much lower and the weather is still very nice.  I finished in mid-October and only had two days of serious rain for the whole ride.  The Oregon Parks were a bit nicer but I liked the California Coast more.  Mostly I think because once you get on Highway 1 you have constant views of the ocean.  Oregon's 101 is a bit more inland but when you pop out to the ocean it is spectacular.  The one must is to ride north to south.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Best Pacific Route
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2011, 07:21:35 pm »
I also did the Pacific Coast in September-October (Tillamook OR-Cambria CA) and can say that starting after Labor Day is a good way to avoid the heavy traffic and still retain good weather.  You'll have a shorter amount of daylight, though.  I didn't find the northern 2/3s of the Oregon Coast to be overly sprawl-tastic, but then again if I was around in the 60s/70s to see it in a less spoiled state, I might have a differing opinion.  At least the "meh" section from Astoria to Seaside can be bypassed.  Lincoln City, however, cannot.

And maybe it's just me, but I sometimes like wet, drippy campgrounds.  Maybe because I'm an Oregonian?