Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - Norsman

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4
Routes / Re: Jasper, Golden, Kamloops loop
« on: January 05, 2014, 03:19:39 am »
I did this route starting in Kamloops in 2011. Even with crappy weather for virtually the whole trip it was great.  The Icefield Parkway is fabulous. Even the route along the Trans Canada Highway in this area is beautiful.  I particularly love the stretch alongside Shuswap Lake. You may run into some headwinds riding towards Kamloops but overall your route should be wind neutral or better. I think your decision to ride this route clockwise is the right one.

The TCH has decent shoulders except for the short bridges where you have to pick your time and ride quickly. The trickiest part of the TCH is getting through the snowsheds/tunnels around Rogers Pass.  I made it through or around them without too many problems but they can be a bit intimidating. The Parkway road has decent shoulders but quite a few cracks in the surface. So get used to little speed bumps.  But the view makes it all worthwhile.  Highway 5 also has decent shoulders. There is a fair amount of truck traffic on Hwy 5 but it is not a huge issue.  Hwy 5 and Hwy 16 to Jasper is fairly easy cycling.

Check out my journal of the ride for more detailed info.

Contact me through that site or this one if you have any other questions.

General Discussion / Re: Advice or Feedback for Pacific Highway Cycle 2014
« on: November 08, 2013, 04:27:58 am »
Maybe I was lucky but my trip across the Astoria Bridge was much nicer than I thought it would be. The first part is flat, with not much of a shoulder, but not that difficult to ride safely as long as you are prepared to pull over when the traffic gets a little tight.  However I did not have to contend with high winds so that may change things. The last part is a bit more challenging. However traffic lights at the north end of the bridge seemed to create nice gaps in the traffic flow.  I simply stopped and took pictures when the traffic was heavier and then cycled like mad when the flow stopped. It took me a little longer to cross but it was much less stressful.

A much more stressful bridge to ride on this route is the bridge over Coos Bay further south in Oregon.  It is steep, long and windy.  And the locals do not seem to appreciate cyclists holding them up.  A much better idea is offered by Steve Greene, who lives north of the bridge. He has posted an article on the CGOAB site that shows how to bypass this bridge and the towns of North Bend and Coos Bay.

I would recommend using his route.  Both the book and the ACA maps have you going over the bridge and then taking the Seven Devils Road Scenic Route to eventually link back up with Hwy 101. The bridge was just scary and the route was quite steep in parts and definitely not scenic unless you like logging operations.

I agree with the others to not take the ACA route through Washington.  If the book you are planning on getting is "Bicycling the Pacific Coast" by Kirkendall and Spring they have two better routes - on either side of the Olympic Peninsula. Oregon puts out a pretty good pamphlet on cycling their coast which I used and found very useful.  For California I used ACA Pacific Coast route maps. I think they were better than the book for that state.

As for starting in Vancouver it really depends on whether or not you come into the city.  If you fly into the airport you will actually land in Richmond and can start heading south immediately. The most direct route will entail loading your bike on a bus to get through the George Massey tunnel.

If you decide to spend some time in Vancouver then I think you can't do better than Stanley Park as a starting point for your trip. If you have the time, a ride around the Park along the seawall would be a great way to start a tour of the west coast. Even if you decide not to do the full tour around the park the seawall bike path connects to routes to get you started south. There has been a great deal of work done in Vancouver over the last 4-5 years so it is now much easier and safer to get out of the downtown area. I doubt that either the book or ACA maps are fully updated on the newest routes in the city.

The following link shows most of the bike routes for the greater Vancouver area.

This link gets you info on cycling in Oregon.  Use the link to order a hard copy of the Oregon Coast Bike Route.

Routes / Re: Pacific coast
« on: October 01, 2013, 01:41:13 pm »
I agree that the California section of the ride is more of a problem than Oregon. However I used the ACA maps and found them to be excellent. You are still going to have some issues but again this a a route that many cyclists have traveled safely.  They are going at the best time possible. The summer rush is over and generally speaking the weather should be pretty good. Tell them to check the California State parks website to make sure campgrounds they plan to go to are open. It is my understanding that some them close at the end of September.

Routes / Re: How do I get a copy Cycling British Columbia? Please help.
« on: October 01, 2013, 01:34:00 am »
Chapters/Indigo bookstores appear to have some copies at $18.20.  But they say it will take 3 to 5 weeks to ship.  That seems like a long time to wait for a book.  If you check the following link you can also check on supplies in individual stores. There are stores in Vancouver and Victoria that have 1 or 2 copies each. If you know anyone in either of these cities perhaps you can get a copy a little earlier.

Connecting ACA Routes / St. Augustine to Cave-in-Rock
« on: September 30, 2013, 04:48:52 pm »
As part of a corner to corner ride of the US I planned to ride the Atlantic route north to St. Augustine and then the Southern Tier to join with the Underground Railway near Mobile and then north to link with TransAmerica route at Cave-in-Rock.

However if there is a better route, say through Georgia, that is a bit more direct and is just as scenic I would appreciate the information.

Routes / Re: Pacific coast
« on: September 30, 2013, 03:10:08 am »
When I did the Pacific Coast route in 2009 I used the Oregon Coastal bike route and found it very good. It gets you off Hwy 101 as much as possible. I took most of the suggested bypasses and would recommend most of them. I would hesitate to recommend the Three Capes Route. I did not take it because others had told me it was too difficult. I would also not recommend the Seven Devils Road, which I took and found not worth the bother.

A better route has been designed around North Bend. Check the following link.

Generally the riding in Oregon, even along Hwy 101, is quite good.  The drivers are very used to cyclists.

Routes / Re: Canada: Any cross country routes?
« on: August 30, 2013, 12:13:28 am »
Frankly I think the route around Lake Superior is a Canadian embarrassment. The shoulder varies from decent to awful, it never gets to good.  Even in areas where it would not be difficult or expensive to put in a decent shoulder they don't bother. An example of that is the section between Thunder Bay and Nipigon.  When I rode through there last year I was shocked at the poor condition of the road.  Unfortunately I was not shocked when I heard that two people, doing a cross Canada ride, were killed just west of Nipigon a few weeks ago. In many parts of our country the Trans Canada Highway in a dangerous place to be on a bike.  When there are decent alternative routes that may not be a major concern but around Lake Superior the TCH is the only option. It is time that the federal and provincial governments agreed to a set of minimum set of standards for this highway that includes a safe shoulder for cyclists.

Routes / Re: Canada: Any cross country routes?
« on: August 13, 2013, 04:49:33 pm »
Langston's blog and book is the closest to a cross Canada route that anyone has published.  However, when I planned my route across the country, I found that there were many issues with his route. Most strange was his decision to exclude PEI, even though he went right by the province in his ride through New Brunswick. He also decided to take the long route through Newfoundland.  Most people start their ride in Newfoundland at Argentia, not Port aux Basques.

Most of the rest of his route is reasonable enough. For example I think his route through Manitoba was much better than the southern route I chose. Also be aware that what was open when he rode across Canada may now be closed.  There were a shocking number of restaurants and stores closed along my route.

A very good source of information is the website. On the left side of the home page under Journals by Category choose Routes - North America then Canada then Cross Canada.  There are 125 journals listed. I used many of these to help with my planning.

Routes / Re: Riding west to east along the northern tier
« on: June 12, 2013, 06:35:45 pm »
if you don't mind crossing the border you can have a slightly easier start to your trip.  Fly into Vancouver or even better Victoria and make your way east to Hope.  This first part is very flat and can easily be done in two days.  From Hope to Princeton the climbing can be difficult but it can also be divided into three parts to get through the Cascade Mountains.  The toughest part is Hope to Hope Slide (Sunshine Valley). You climb about 2300 feet in just over 10 miles, with the last 3.5 miles being the toughest at a steady 7+%.  There is a brand new, probably expensive, RV site at Sunshine Valley.  The next day you begin by losing a few hundred feet of elevation over an 8-9 mile warm-up ride before the climb to Alison Pass begins. You again climb about 2300ft but over about 15 miles this time so not as difficult.

A little past the summit there is Manning Park Lodge where you can get something to eat and buy some groceries (not a great selection).  You can stay at the lodge or one of the campsites in the park if you want to take this slowly.  Energetic types carry on to Princeton.  However between the park and Princeton there is one more significant climb, Sunday Summit.

From the Lodge you once again lose some elevation, this time about 750 ft over 10 miles before the climb to the summit begins. This again is fairly steep but not too long; about 950ft over 4.25 miles.  After the summit there are a couple of little hills and then downhill to Princeton, which has motels, campgrounds and groceries.  These are three pretty short days. 13, 29 and 42 miles.  When I did a cross Canada ride I divided the climbing this way over three days but I tacked the first day's climb on to the end of a ride from Chilliwack and on the third day I went well past Princeton.

From Princeton to Tonasket, through the Nighthawk border crossing,  it is a relatively easy ride of 90 miles and about 1300 ft total elevation made up mostly of rollers. This route gets you past Rainy, Washington and Loup Loup passes but of course does not get around the next passes on the route. The two main benefits are less climbing, about 2200ft, and no long gaps between places with at least basic facilities.  However you will probably add some mileage to your ride depending on where you start.

I assume you have already begun your journey from Montreal but if you have not here are some suggestions.  Use the Waterfront Trail along the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario from Quebec to Niagara Falls.  At Niagara Falls use the Underground Railway ACA route, it travels nicely southwest, to get you to the TransAmerica trail.  They meet just north of Marion, Kentucky.

I second the recommendation about the crazyguyonabike site. It is more of a site to post journals but if you find a journal that covers some of the same areas that you are interested in most of the authors would be happy to answer questions posted in the guestbook section. Bike Forums at can also be useful for specific questions.

Routes / Re: Riding west to east along the northern tier
« on: June 11, 2013, 06:52:48 pm »
I have only ridden a small part of this so I can't give any info on the eastern parts.  The section I rode between Sedro-Wooley and Tonasket is beautiful but can also be very difficult. But first a tip to save some time.  The ACA maps have you using an alternate route to Hwy 20 between Sedro-Wooley and Concrete and another between Rockport and Marblemount.  You can certainly use the alternates routes, and other may say they are great, but I found the ride along Hwy 20 to be easy and very enjoyable.  There were some shoulder issues between Rockport and Marblemount but the traffic was so light that it did not become an issue.

It is after Marblemount that things become more difficult.  Some stop there and ride the passes in one day.  I wouldn't suggest that, you are still about 90 kilometres from the top with a great deal of tough climbing to do. I stocked up on food and continued 40 kilometres to Colonial Creek Campground at Diablo Lake.  The next day I took on Rainy and Washington passes.  They are seriously tough climbing.  I have mountain bike gearing on my Trek 520 and used the granny gear all day.  Make sure you have enough food and water for this climb.  I ran out of water well before the top and had to get it from the streams coming off the mountain, luckily without any issues.  Loup Loup Pass next day was a bit of a challenge but not as difficult.

If you are planning on doing this during the summer be prepared for hot weather in the Okanogan region of Washington.

One final piece of advice.  If you have not already visited the crazyguyonabike site do so.  Search for Northern Tier and you will find lots of journal entries.

Routes / Re: Cycling the Pacific Coast Highway this summer
« on: June 11, 2013, 12:39:14 am »
If you get to an area that does not have a state park there are many county parks as well.  They are a little harder to find but are often very good.  You will even get some decent deals from private campgrounds.  I stayed at Manchester Beach State Park, which was awful, and then found out later that the KOA next door had a $10 hiker/biker rate.

Routes / Re: Across North America
« on: May 06, 2013, 07:29:54 pm »
- go to Ottawa, ON on the Trans Canada Trail (300 miles)...

- and finish with the Trans Canada Trail again that will take us to Vancouver (720 miles)

I did a cross Canada ride last year and found the Trans Canada Trail to be almost useless.  For the ride to Ottawa I would use Route Verte. I did some riding on the Waterfront Trail and found the road sections to be quite good.  The actual trail sections that I rode on were not as well maintained as Route Verte in Quebec. I used information from Brian Hedney for the trail but cannot get the link to him to work anymore. The official Waterfront Trail site ( is decent but I found his site more useful.

I live in BC and would definitely not try to get from Jasper to Vancouver using the TCT. There are sections between Kamloops and Hope that only exist on paper. I recommend that you use Highway 16 and 5 to get you to Kamloops. This route is relatively quiet and has some beautiful scenery. From Kamloops I would use the Trans Canada Highway (Hwy 1) to Hope. It can be busy at times but most people use the Coquihalla (Hwy 5) for this portion of the route so the ride along Hwy 1 is less busy, quite enjoyable, and has great scenery. There is a series of tunnels between Boston Bar and Hope but only two of them are long and they each have warning lights. If you are worried about riding through these tunnels you can walk your bikes on the narrow walkways at the side of the road.  Just before Hope I would turn onto the Lougheed Highway (Hwy 7) and use it to get to Vancouver. It doesn't get very busy until you get to Maple Ridge. Check on Bike Forums - Western Canada to find a good route into Vancouver. They have done lots to make cycling in the greater Vancouver area safer and more enjoyable but I haven't ridden in the area so have no recommendations.

Routes / Re: Eastbound from Washington/Oregon
« on: March 06, 2013, 05:16:31 pm »
Last, we have read about the difficulties biking through North Dakota; is anybody using an alternate route up through Canada instead of the Bismarck reroute?
I would not suggest that you go north through Canada. I did a cross Canada ride last summer and the route through southern Manitoba was the worst riding conditions of the whole route.  The roads are crappy and, because of a boom in oil and natural gas drilling, busy with trucks in a hurry.  It is my understanding that the same drilling is happening in northern North Dakota.

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4