Author Topic: Where to ride  (Read 440 times)

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Offline Kasabar

Where to ride
« on: May 27, 2024, 06:36:33 pm »
Hello everyone, or no one if no one reads this ;p
I have July 29th to August 22nd off, and I'm planning a trip, but the question is, where to ride? I am up in Washington state, so I have several ACA trails that either start or end here (depending on the direction of travel).
As of right now, I am thinking section 1 of Sierra cascades. Section 2 of the Pacific Coast, or the Washington Parks.
I don't have a miles per day set yet. Cause I'm kind of just wanna go casually, just kind of ride until I say no more for the day. 

Offline davidbonn

Re: Where to ride
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2024, 12:19:31 am »
A couple of thoughts...

One is that such a trip will be during peak vacation time, so a lot of areas will be pretty crowded and you should expect crowds and lots of traffic.  That might weigh into your considerations about where to go.  In particular the 101 on the Oregon Coast will have very heavy traffic that time of year.

The ACA routes should be considered a starting point and an inspiration for planning your own trip.  Don't be afraid to wing it and color outside of the lines.

Also, some inspiration and ideas that are outside of those lines:

Offline jamawani

Re: Where to ride
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2024, 07:20:20 am »
Given three weeks -
ACA's Northern Tier is a good option.
Anacortes, Washington to Glacier National Park -
Ending with Going to the Sun Road.

You can roll your bike onto Amtrak's Empire Builder
for an overnight trip back to Seattle.
From East Glacier, but if you don't get that far
other options are West Glacier or Whitefish.

Traffic is moderate to light - compared to heavy on US 101.
There is always the risk of smoke and fires in late summer in the Pac NW.
Most importantly, there is a great deal of climbing - starting on day 3.
So, you don't get much easy riding to warm up with.

Offline davidbonn

Re: Where to ride
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2024, 10:27:36 am »
Some other inspiration:

Elle Thalheimer's Cycling Sojourner series describes multiple short tours in WA and OR that can be used as a starting point for planning a more ambitious trip.  While I think they are out of print Powell's apparently has used copies:

The Palouse-to-Cascades State Park Rail Trail extends from North Bend all of the way to the Idaho border.  With a little bit of creative route planning you can claw your way free of Seattle all of the way to Eastern WA on bicycle infra.  Although I should note that the surface quality, availability of water, and resupply options decline rapidly east of Ellensburg.  Also you should be able to extend through Idaho on the Trail of the Cour d'Alenes and the Route of the Hiawatha, both worthwhile adventures on their own.  These trails are part of the proposed Great American Rail Trail.  Arguably this is the very best option for cycling over the Cascades in either Oregon or Washington, and is part of the XWA route for that very reason.

Oregon has designated a number of Scenic Bikeways that are excellent starting points or inspirations for longer tours:

One thing the ACA Pacific Coast route options often miss is the Olympic Discovery Trail, which traverses the northern part of the Olympic Peninsula.  The sections east of Port Angeles are substantially built up but west of the Elwha River bridge it is pretty lonely country.  In particular the Spruce Railroad section along the S side of Lake Crescent is very scenic and pleasant, in particular compared to the busy and dangerous 101 on the other side of the lake.  Also the section W of Lake Crescent is a blissful ride through quiet forests either on grade-separated bike paths or quiet forest roads.  The far eastern "section" of the ODT from Port Townsend is along the shoulderless, busy, and quite scary highway 20 -- a good alternative is to cut south to the village of Chimacum and take Center Road to WA-104, which while busy has an enormous shoulder and you can reconnect to the ODT at Discovery Bay.

Offline Kasabar

Re: Where to ride
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2024, 11:03:15 am »
Information overload! But seriously, thank you @davidbonn and @jamawani for all the great Resources and ideas! I now have even more research to do.
I rode the Palouse-to-Cascades State Park Rail Trail last year from North Bend to Ellensburg and back.

But thank you so much for all of the information. I now have 2 months to figure out where I went to go. I'll let everyone know how the trip goes, maybe I'll finally get that YouTube channel up.