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Route from California to Canada - WIND DIRECTION?!

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Hi there,

I am new to this forum and very excited about the discussion and information from you "cycling friends and experts".

Next year in June and July we plan to cycle from the South-West of the US to Canada. We would like to start in the beginning of June in the South (either in San Francisco or somewhere in the southern part of Oregon) and cycle in 3-4 weeks to the Canadian border. However, we already read in the book "Bicycling the Pacific Coast" that due to strong winds coming from North-West it is not recommended to go from South to North along the coast. Now we are thinking about cycling the "Sierra Cascades"-Trail which leads from Woodfords (CA) - Truckee (CA) - Lassen Vulcanic NP (CA) - Mt. Shasha (CA) - Ashland (OR) - Crater Lake NP (OR) - Bend (OR) - Sisters (OR) - Hord River (OR) - to Yakima or Seattle. Unfortunately, we did not find any information so far about the wind strength and direction in this area in June. We hope that it is not too strong since it is away from the coast.

However, we would like to make sure and get some information from an "cycling expert" or local before booking the flights and plan everything in detail.

Does anybody know this route and has information about the wind and other aspects to regard? Thanks a lot for your help and advice!
Greetings from Germany

The Sierra Cascades is an incredibly beautiful route, at least the southern half was and I expect it all is.

Wind direction is a crap shoot on that route and given how mountainous the route is would likely be the least of your worries any way.

I advise being sure you are willing to deal with a lot of climbing and possibly some very hot weather.  When we were there (about the same time of year) it got to 110 F in the Mojave.   Also this route is constant steep climbing and descending with hardly a flat spot anywhere.  That said it is extremely scenic and very beautiful.

It isn't unusual for there to still be snow closures up until July and occasionally beyond.  Tioga Pass is likely to be closed until then and Yosemite National Park had all services on the route outside of the Yosemite Valley closed when we were there.  They did open more on July 1st, but were were through there by then.

The Yosemite Valley is well worth spending some time in so I advise allowing time for that.  There is a limit for your stay there (7 days maybe?) and it is worth taking that time.

John Nettles:
I have no experience with the Sierra Cascades (SC), but do have a rhetorical question.  Why not just book the flight say into Vancouver or Seattle and head south?  Assuming your preferred route is the Pacific Coast (PC) and not the SC, unless you are continuing on with your journey when you reach Canada, i.e. Banff to Jasper and flying back to Germany from Edmonton the benefits of going south to north are not as strong.

No matter which route you choose, enjoy the ride!

BTW, I did the PC south to north many moons ago and can verify it is not the preferred way to go.  However, it is doable.

Thanks John, for your reply. We also thought about doing the route from North to South. However our favorite months are June and July (more daylight, no holiday time, less people) and we would like to combine the US and Canada. Starting in June in Canada might be very cold and still some snow in the mountains.

We also think about taking a train, bus or flight but that might be complicated (and expensive) with the bikes. Does anybody has experiences with that?

The North to South mantra is said so often that it must be true.  The funny thing is that when I rode the Pacific Coast (N-S) there wasn't all that much wind.  Yes there were a few tail winds, but nothing like I was expecting.  There were also days with headwinds.  I am not sure if it was just an anomaly or if it was because I tended to start out at the crack of dawn and finish very early in the afternoon.  Perhaps I was just lucky or the winds didn't kick up until afternoon when I was in camp.


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