Author Topic: Pacific coast season  (Read 1347 times)

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Offline horses60

Pacific coast season
« on: June 30, 2022, 07:53:45 pm »
Hello,
I would like to know if is a good season to start in Vancouver or Seattle at beginning of August.
Thank-you very much

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Pacific coast season
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2022, 08:22:51 pm »
If you Google for average temperatures and rainfall for that time of year, you should get some telling information. That's what I do.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Pacific coast season
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2022, 07:14:28 am »
Sounds good to me.  The traffic gets a better after labor day when the RV traffic dies down, but It shouldn't be a huge deal unless you are particularly traffic sensitive.  There will likely be fog now and then that can blow in at any time of day.  I think that is true any tine of year.  Be sure to have some hi viz clothing and a blinkie light for those ocasions.

The Oregon and Northern California coasts are really beautiful.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Pacific coast season
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2022, 09:47:06 am »
I started August 17, and finished September 17, and I thought that the weather was just about perfect. And it’s better not to get to Southern California before school starts.

Offline horses60

Re: Pacific coast season
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2022, 03:35:59 pm »
Hello,
Thanks to all!
I would like to leave the second week of August from Seattle or Vancouver, I was a little afraid of the high temperatures, but with @John's answer I am more reassured.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Pacific coast season
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2022, 06:54:34 pm »
I did an August to September trip on the Pacific Coast Highway. If I could have asked for better weather, I cannot possibly imagine what it might have been. It warmed up a bit in Southern California, but so what. Temperatures from north to south were cool on the coastal Road. Perfect for cycling.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Pacific coast season
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2022, 06:26:44 am »
I was a little afraid of the high temperatures, but with @John's answer I am more reassured.
I don't know exactly what route you plan to take, but I know that in some places it could be nice and cool on the coast and hot a very few miles away inland.  I recall that mostly from California, but it may apply further up the coast as well.  I'd be on the coast and it would be delightful, but would meet folks who would have driven over the hills just a bit from where it was 90-100F.  On the coast I'd expect it to be nice and cool.

I didn't much care for the portion of my ride that was in the more inland part of Washington.  I started in Seattle and took the ferry to Bremmerton before riding to Astoria by a more inland route to head down the coast from there.  After that trip I decided that if riding the coast again I'd either start in Oregon or try a more coastal route in Washington.  I mentioned that preference to avoid the portion of Washington I had just ridden to some guys who were riding the coast and they said, "We live in Washington and we start in Oregon".

I think a lot of folks avoid the coastal choice because they don't want to ride the 101 bridge to Astoria, but I have a pretty high traffic tolerance and don't think it looks that bad.  YMMV on that, but worst case you could probably hitch a ride across.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Pacific coast season
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2022, 02:44:13 pm »
My two cents:

August is a great time of year, weather wise in the Pacific Northwest. So you'll have ideal weather if you start then.

But if I was doing the tour, I'd start in September, right after Labor Day. September is still a good weather time on the coast, though later in the month you might see a bit of rain. Early October can be good too. And the traffic drops off quite a bit too, and things are less busy all around.

The traffic gets a better after labor day when the RV traffic dies down, but It shouldn't be a huge deal unless you are particularly traffic sensitive.

I don't consider myself "particularly traffic sensitive" as I ride my bike most days in a city and have done tours in high traffic areas. But traffic on US 101, especially in Oregon, can be thick. I did a tour of the Oregon coast last August and this is what I had to say about it afterwards:

What gets old, and what brings down the rating (of this tour) is the riding experience. If there was ever a popular touring route with the biggest dichotomy between destinations and the ride, it’s gotta be the Pacific Coast Route. There are some truly sublime moments of biking, but most of the ride (in Oregon, at least) is on US 101, the only coastal through-route. It’s busy enough in the winter, but in the middle of summer it’s basically a wall of traffic. There is usually a wide shoulder, but the constant drone of passing vehicles can wear. Then there’s the moments where that shoulder disappears and you hope the vehicles can pass safely…In any case, it’s touring like this which makes one consider off-road bikepacking instead.

Now I don't want to scare of the OP or anyone considering this tour, but traffic on the Pacific Coast Route is definitely a thing, especially these last few years due to pandemic. That's why I recommend going a bit after peak season. But if you do ride during the middle of summer, I'd highly recommend getting of 101 or 1 where you can.


Offline staehpj1

Re: Pacific coast season
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2022, 05:58:20 pm »
Now I don't want to scare of the OP or anyone considering this tour, but traffic on the Pacific Coast Route is definitely a thing, especially these last few years due to pandemic. That's why I recommend going a bit after peak season. But if you do ride during the middle of summer, I'd highly recommend getting of 101 or 1 where you can.
I rode the coast straddling the Labor day weekend so I saw both before and after.  Traffic was lighter after than before.  I really didn't find it that bad in either case though.  That was 10 or so years ago though so traffic is probably a bit heavier now.  I generally preferred to stay on 101 where possible unless there was some specific reason to do otherwise.  A couple places where I was advised to take a more scenic route I regretted it when it wasn't particularly scenic, just more indirect and or hillier.  In at least one case it probably was scenic at one time, but the trees apparently grew up obscuring the overlooks over time.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Pacific coast season
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2022, 06:10:56 pm »

I rode the coast straddling the Labor day weekend so I saw both before and after.  Traffic was lighter after than before.  I really didn't find it that bad in either case though.  That was 10 or so years ago though so traffic is probably a bit heavier now.

Traffic has gotten worse in ten years, especially since pandemic. There were a lot of RVs and the like on the road the last two summers.

I generally preferred to stay on 101 where possible unless there was some specific reason to do otherwise.  A couple places where I was advised to take a more scenic route I regretted it when it wasn't particularly scenic, just more indirect and or hillier.  In at least one case it probably was scenic at one time, but the trees apparently grew up obscuring the overlooks over time.

I can't think of many instances (at least on the northern/central Oregon coast) where I would have preferred to stay on 101 instead of the alternate. Even in Lincoln City, where the "preferred alternative" is indeed hilly--101 here was thick with aggressive traffic that did not appreciate me cycling through. (Going mostly east of Lincoln City via the east side of Devil's Lake is the best option, but if you have lodging in Lincoln City you might not be able to do that.)

Yeah, taking Slab Creek Road (old 101) instead of new 101 over Cascade Head is more indirect and you don't get an epic view, but neither do you on new 101. Instead I got a peaceful ride on a quiet road through a nice forest. There's not many alternates like this, but I appreciate what I get. But to each their own.