Author Topic: Pacific Coast Northbound advice wanted  (Read 2157 times)

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Offline aden1956

Pacific Coast Northbound advice wanted
« on: September 28, 2017, 09:16:30 pm »
1st time newbie...not sure where to start...

Any info or resources on northbound PCH ? Besides headwinds and using the standard southbound guides "backward"?

I live in San Luis Obispo and heading to Vancouver Washington to see the grandkids.
Mostly motels but will carry minimal camping gear as a backup.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Pacific Coast Northbound advice wanted
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2017, 01:50:34 pm »
The wind is the most-oft cited reason for going southbound, but there are other significant reasons too.

The wind favors southbound travel, but not by a huge amount. And it varies by season. The summer winds are more commonly coming off the ocean from the west, but occasionally from the northwest. I think, from a wind perspective, it's entirely feasible to go north, although it will slow you down a bit.

The Washington, Oregon and California DOT know that southbound cycling is much more common than northbound cycling. So they have invested most of their cycling infrastructure resources towards southbound travel. E.g., the southbound shoulder is wider than the northbound shoulder.

Furthermore, the view is better from the southbound shoulder. Also, because automobile drivers will be looking west at the beautiful scenery, they are much more likely to see you on the ocean side of the road. Also, almost all of the pullouts are on the ocean side of the road, so northbound riders will have to cross the road every time they want to stop.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Pacific Coast Northbound advice wanted
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2017, 07:41:51 am »
John covered most of what I would have said, but I found there was more often a NW component than John's post implies.  On the other hand there can be a lot of variation and winds may even be out of the S or SW when a front rolls through.

When I rode the PCH I found that I missed the worst of the wind by getting on the road very early in the morning.  The wind will be a bigger issue for those who roll out of camp mid day than those who roll out at the crack of dawn.

One other advantage to southbound riding on the PCH is that you will typically meet others traveling the same direction.  I know that I made quite a few friends and camped with a fun group most nights.  I still chose to ride alone, but having friends in camp was a big plus.