Author Topic: Best source of information on Pacific coast route?  (Read 1509 times)

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Offline Mark Manley

Best source of information on Pacific coast route?
« on: March 16, 2011, 03:48:20 pm »
I am considering riding the Pacific coast route later this year and was wondering which was the best map/guide to the route. The choices I have so far are the Pacific coast bicycle route map, available from this site and bicycling the Pacific coast handbook which seems to get good reviews.
What do other members think? are there any other choices. If I make this trip it will be during September/October, is this a good time of the year to be doing this? any other advice on this proposed trip?

Offline whittierider

Re: Best source of information on Pacific coast route?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2011, 04:10:52 pm »
The book is good, but the ACA maps are updated more often.  September gets you out of August's vacationers' traffic (RVs, trailers, and more traffic volume) since the kids have to be back in school, but there's a small chance of rain in October.  As a caveat: I've only looked at Monterey south, so others will be much more qualified to answer about other parts.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Best source of information on Pacific coast route?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2011, 06:21:56 pm »
Yes the book is good but probably getting a bit out of date wrt services (the latest one was published in 2005).  The AC maps are almost certainly good too (I have not used these particular maps, but have used a lot of their other maps) and the on line addenda are up to the minute.

Either would get you there.  In fact you could make it without maps if you were determined to.  Me, I'd buy the AC maps.  The book is a good read to get a feel for the trip though.

Offline Patco

Re: Best source of information on Pacific coast route?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2011, 07:19:19 pm »
I have biked from Seattle to the Bay Area a half dozen times during the time period you are contemplating, and I used the Vicki Spring/ Tom Kirkendall book. Oregon also produces a very good and informative coast bike route map. The Oregon Department of Transportation Pedestrian and Bicycle Program distributes the map for free (or at least they did distribute for free - things change). While the book may be outdated, the route suggestions are not. I suggest you take advantage of those suggested routes that take you off of U.S. 101, particularly the section south of Tillamook on the Oregon Coast and through Coos Bay. Crossing the Astoria Bridge over the Columbia from Washington isn't fun (no shoulders, narrow traffic lane, and no sidewalks). The two tunnels on the Oregon Coast are not a problem, but be sure to activate the "Bicylists in Tunnel" lights, and don't dally. In general, the Oregon coast route is great - good shoulders, good scenery, good state parks. California is a challenge and not as bike friendly as Oregon. U.S. 1 in California, particularly in Mendocino, Sonoma, and Marin counties, can be narrow, no shoulders, and a great deal of RV traffic. Be sure to use the suggested alternate routes throught the Redwoods in Northern California (Avenue of the Giants as an example). Washington is also a friendly biking state. As to the weather during September/October - September is a good month; October can be iffy if you like to ride without layering.

Offline cgarch

Re: Best source of information on Pacific coast route?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2011, 09:13:13 pm »
Well, it is really a great route with easy services. I've mentioned before and will do again, some of the best information on riding the coast is going to be found in journals at crazyguyonabike.com and specifically in the Pacific Coast section - http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/categories/?o=RrzKj&category_id=10&doctype=journal. Look that over  - you ought to find a lot of your questions get answered.

Craig
Pacific Coast in 2009

Edit - note too that there is now a road closure on CA 1 in Big Sur. In that area there are no detours other than to inland or see if you squeak through the trouble spots. Given the recent weather, the closure could last a while.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 01:34:53 pm by cgarch »

Offline aggie

Re: Best source of information on Pacific coast route?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2011, 09:49:06 pm »
I have the book and the ACA maps.  I only use the book as a reference that I looked at before the day started and after it ended.  It is a bit cumbersome to be checking the book for directions while riding.  I use the ACA maps while riding as they could either go in a map case or in my rear jersey pocket.  Since the maps are somewhat 'weatherized" I didn't have to worry about them getting soaked from rain or sweat.

If you only have money for one I'd vote for the ACA maps.

Offline arickrick

Re: Best source of information on Pacific coast route?
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2011, 06:08:22 pm »
I have driven the Pacific Coast route many times, and plan to ride the Oregon section this September. I think the combination of the ACA maps and the free Oregon maps will do you well for that portion.  You can order the free map online at:

http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/maps.shtml

Good luck, and have fun.

Offline Patco

Re: Best source of information on Pacific coast route?
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2011, 08:19:13 pm »
For those planning on traveling U.S.1 from Carmel to Big Sur, the southbound roadway slid into the ocean today (3/17) and there are reports the northbound lane is also being undermined. Plan accordingly.