Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: kenwil on July 27, 2008, 12:09:14 pm

Title: Pacific Coast Route Advice
Post by: kenwil on July 27, 2008, 12:09:14 pm
Hi all, me again with another question on the Pacific Coast route, all booked now but one question that I would appreciste some advice on...I'm starting from Seattle and intend to take the Fauntleroy ferry across to Southworth and then head down through Belfair , Shelton, Elma. There seems to be a choice here to get to Astoria 1) take the Adventure Assoc maps inland route through Centralia, Toledo, Cathlamet to Astoria OR 2) follow the Spring and Kirkendail coastal route through Aberdeen, Raymond, Long Beach.
Both seem attractive and any advice on the best way to go would be appreciated by this confused Brit !!
I will kick off on 29th August, not without some trepidation, and a good clean start would set me up..  

Title: Pacific Coast Route Advice
Post by: whittierider on July 27, 2008, 10:15:22 pm
There doesn't seem to be any good way to get through the Long Beach / Wilmington area.  I recently tried Sepulveda Blvd / Willow St. to the north of PCH, and although it was a nicer street in terms of surface (which was newly repaved) and more-attractive surroundings, there were more ignorant drivers who thought they had time to turn in front of me and right lanes with no room for a car to pass a bike.  Years ago I tried Anaheim St. to the south, but didn't like that either.  So, I'm back to PCH.  There's a section of PCH though there that is no fun (and Spring and Kirkendall mention this) but it is doable.  I definitely recommend mirrors.  Being fresh is good too, but at least you'll have a good tailwind if it's in the afternoon.  Depending on when you arrive in the area and whether you have a phone with you, there's a small chance I'd be available to accompany you through there.  Depending on where we meet, it would take me an hour and a half to two hours to get to you from home.  When you get out of Long Beach and into Seal Beach, it's easy and pleasant again, and there are very few tricks until you're practically into San Diego.

Edit: Now that I see WesternFlyer's response in the other place you put the same post, I gather that Long Beach is also a place in the northwest, and that you didn't mean the one in the Los Angeles area.  My apologies, but hopefully the info here will still be of use to you or someone.

This message was edited by whittierider on 7-27-08 @ 11:18 PM
Title: Pacific Coast Route Advice
Post by: kenwil on July 28, 2008, 11:04:27 am
Hi..thanks for your reply...never mind the confusion, as you say it'll be useful anyway...

Title: Pacific Coast Route Advice
Post by: erniegrillo on July 30, 2008, 10:02:19 pm
I would vote for the Raymond / Willapa Bay route. I took this route a few years ago on my way to California. Also, I took the Seattle - Bremerton ferry and rode to Shelton from there. The Washington coast is scenic and in some places as scenic as the Oregon Coast. The Willapa Bay is one of the best preserved estuaries on the coast. The roads have low to moderate traffic with good shoulders most of the way. The towns along the way and nice too. An added bonus is riding across the 5 mile long Astoria Bridge. It looks intimidating but is an easy, adventurous scenic crossing. Try to make it to Tokeland, the old hotel restaurant is worth the visit and stop for oysters in South Bend. The inland route is rural and has low traffic roads but you just don't have the water views. I just love looking out at that big expanse of water........

Title: Pacific Coast Route Advice
Post by: kenwil on November 03, 2008, 05:42:48 pm
Hi Kenwil here reporting an absolutely fantastic ride from Seattle to Mexico in September. Thanks to all for the advice. I did take my own bike from the UK (no problem), I did go North to South (prevailing winds good), I did take the direct route to the coast from Seattle via Aberdeen and I did go in September (virtually empty roads at least until Monterey  south...well nearly)So 1800 miles in 28 days including a couple of days off and some tactical stops ahead of major obstacles (e.g. Leggett Hill) and wilderness areas etc. It wasn't so hard..and I'm no racer, and the Washington and Oregan coasts were simply stunning, sunny all the while. Sorry to say but in such amazing company California (which I love) was a runner up (apart from Big Sur of course)3 punctures is all ...God bless Highway 101 and PCH 1 wonderful, absolutely wonderful. Any UK cyclists wondering whether to do this route, don't hesitate. the Oregan coast with it's deserted beaches, Redwood forests and lovely fishing ports is longer than the British Isles !!
Anyone know where I can get Highway 101 decals for my bike??
Thanks again everyone!

Title: Pacific Coast Route Advice
Post by: Westinghouse on November 05, 2008, 04:16:43 pm
I don't remember.

Title: Pacific Coast Route Advice
Post by: WesternFlyer on November 06, 2008, 02:37:37 am
Try Cafe Press they have both highway 101 and highway 1 stickers.
Title: Pacific Coast Route Advice
Post by: Westinghouse on November 06, 2008, 10:47:53 am
I do remember the great scenery on the PCBR. Stunning, majestic, and magnificent are three words that come to mind. It was the best or second best tour I had ever been on to that point, and it remains that today. Traffic picks up south of San Francisco. Some cyclists told me they would cycle only as far south as San Francisco because of the many traffic incidents between cyclists and motor vehicles south of the big city. I got through unscathed, but there was definitely an incident between me and people driving truck-mobile home combinations south of San Francisco. Other than that one incident, nothing else very dangerous happened.

Title: Pacific Coast Route Advice
Post by: johnsondasw on November 06, 2008, 11:42:16 pm
Don't miss the part south of San Francisc!I rode Montesano, WA to Santa Monica in 2005 (summer) and thought the best day was Big Sur to San Simion.  It was absolutely spectacular, and the hills melted away for us after all the riding from the northwest. I think this was one of the top 5 days in my touring career of almost 30 years.    

May the wind be at your back!
Title: Pacific Coast Route Advice
Post by: kenwil on November 08, 2008, 05:18:59 pm
Thanks for the message re 'cafe press', great  souvenirs that I couldn't get in the US...ordered far too much 101 and Highway 1 stuff....brilliant.
Thanks again everyone for the advice for a memorable trip...probably do Europe in 2009 and maybe back to the US in 2010 for the horizontal trip !! Will be back for advice for that one!