Author Topic: Wintertime Pacific coast OR Sierra C?  (Read 3116 times)

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Offline heravanwillick

Wintertime Pacific coast OR Sierra C?
« on: July 02, 2016, 08:11:03 pm »
Hi!
I'm a cyclist from Holland riding from Alaska to (?) probably south America... but no plan is definite.
I expect to arrive at the US border from Canada at the end of november.

I'm looking at the Pacific Coast route and the Sierra Cascades.
I'd very much like to hear from you what your experiences are on these routes?
How do they compare?

How would Sierra Cascades be in wintertime?
I can take quite a bit of cold.. but HOW cold should I expect? Lot of snowy roads?

Hope some of you can provide me some info!!

Thanks

www.heravanwillick.nl

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Wintertime Pacific coast OR Sierra C?
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2016, 08:31:53 pm »
The Sierra Cascades are a mountain range.  They get snow and ice in the winter.  Maybe not as much as the Rockies or Alps.  But they do get snow.  And its below 32 Fahrenheit, Freezing, in the winter.  Otherwise the snow melts to water.  I don't believe the Cascades are awful horrible during the winter.  But they are mountains.  Either side of the Cascades, the Pacific Coast, or Napa Valley/Central Valley are fine in winter, sort of.  They are OK and rideable I suppose.  But not super duper pleasant in the winter.  You could manage but might not be happy.

On the Pacific Coast, look into which direction the wind blows in the winter.  I know in summer the wind is out of the north along the coast.  Not sure if that is the prevailing direction in the winter too.  Check the prevailing wind direction on the coast in the winter.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 08:34:36 pm by RussSeaton »

Offline John Nelson

Re: Wintertime Pacific coast OR Sierra C?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2016, 11:39:34 pm »
On the Pacific Coast, look into which direction the wind blows in the winter.  I know in summer the wind is out of the north along the coast.  Not sure if that is the prevailing direction in the winter too.  Check the prevailing wind direction on the coast in the winter.
Take San Francisco as representative. In July, winds are almost exclusively out of the west and northwest. In January, the winds pretty much come from all directions, but more often out of the WNW and SE. Also, the winter winds are generally not quite as strong as summer winds. So although the winter winds won't help you like the summer winds would, it's not a show-stopper.

Offline Patco

Re: Wintertime Pacific coast OR Sierra C?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2016, 12:52:01 pm »
Take the Pacific Coast route. It may be wet, but roads will be open; services will be available; and temperature will not be extreme. The Sierra Cascades, in the winter, is not recommended. Closed roads because of snow; very cold temperatures; and closed campgrounds and services.

Offline heravanwillick

Re: Wintertime Pacific coast OR Sierra C?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2016, 01:03:14 pm »
Thanks for the replies!

Anyone cycled the coast??? Is it beautiful? and 'entertaining' for the whole stretch? It's a lot of coastline :)..

Offline John Nelson

Re: Wintertime Pacific coast OR Sierra C?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2016, 05:50:37 pm »
The Pacific Coast is the most beautiful route I've ridden. Stunning views at every turn, especially the Oregon Coast and Big Sur.

Offline heravanwillick

Re: Wintertime Pacific coast OR Sierra C?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2016, 06:20:13 pm »
Wow! Really?!? Sounds good! And I guess you cycled a lot of routes  :D?

Offline John Nelson

Re: Wintertime Pacific coast OR Sierra C?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2016, 10:31:42 pm »
Other routes have spectacular sections. E.g., the Northern Tier has the incomparable Going To The Sun Road. But the Pacific Coast is most consistently jaw dropping.

Offline jamawani

Re: Wintertime Pacific coast OR Sierra C?
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2016, 05:14:45 pm »
Pardon?

Are you timing this trip correctly?
Most people who live in Oregon and N. Cal would answer your question, "Neither."

If you are actually arriving on the U.S. border in November -
Many sections of the Sierra Cascades will be closed by snow.
The Pacific Coast route will be extremely wet - especially in Wash. & Oregon -
Plus, the prevailing wind becomes southwest - i.e. headwinds.
Nothing like a soaking wet ride at 46F (8C) with headwinds to make you happy.

November is chilly with some early snow, but pretty dry overall in the High Plains.
There are no satisfactory November routes - the the High Plains are probably best.
Plus - - the days are extremely short.

You should plan to start the Dalton Hwy in June - not September.

Offline heravanwillick

Re: Wintertime Pacific coast OR Sierra C?
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2016, 08:33:54 pm »
Who says I'm starting in September? or that I'm riding Dalton Highway?
I'm already in Alaska.. but I'm not heading straight down.. I just go all around the state first.. then I take a lot of time in Canada.. I'm not in any rush. I'm not timing my trip.. I'm riding it :).

And since the timing isn't very good maybe to have an enjoyable ride south.. I might fly south and cycle back up :).

Thanks anyway for your advise! Seen the replies I got here and there.. I think I might indeed fly south from Vancouver and cycle back up to do the Great Divide in late spring south-north :).