Author Topic: Winter Pacific Coast tour  (Read 4199 times)

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Offline jeffref

Winter Pacific Coast tour
« on: January 03, 2009, 01:45:19 am »
A friend and I are planning a tour starting mid February from Seattle to San Diego, We're aware this is not the best time to do it but I was just wondering what kind of advice people have regarding rainy/possibly stormy touring/camping.  Also, how much more dangerous is this going to be than if we did it in the Spring for example?  We know there will be less traffic, which is a bonus.  Any thoughts?

Offline litespeed

Winter Pacific Coast tour
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2009, 11:05:30 am »
There is no way to predict the weather but that is the rainy season and you will probably be dealing with storms rolling through at the rate of two a week. Not fun. You might get lucky and get a break in the weather but you should bring good rain gear and a good tent.

I rode Petaluma to Guadalupe CA at the end of October and got hit with two storms (bringing low temperatures) and a lot of rain.

This message was edited by litespeed on 1-3-09 @ 8:11 AM

Offline DaveB

Winter Pacific Coast tour
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2009, 01:17:33 pm »
Have you seen the news pics of Seattle from this past week? Tons of snow and winter has just begun.  I just looked at the page for Seattle and the current temperature is 31° with a predicted high of 37 and rain.

There is a very good chance of a repeat in February.  If traffic is lower in February, there is a good reason.  

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Winter Pacific Coast tour
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2009, 02:34:04 am »
I have considered doing the PCBR in winter too. I looked up the winter weather, and got some word from people who know weather conditions in that region in winter. The general consensus was---don't do it in winter. Can you do it? Yes, most likely. There may be numerous setbacks due to stormy, wet, cold weather, and snow, but it can be done. They say some really severe storms can sweep in.

Offline MrBent

Re: Winter Pacific Coast tour
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2009, 08:46:19 pm »
Oh, yeah, you can do it.  The question is how much discomfort are you comfortable with?  The southern part of the route could be very nice, but WA and OR? Oy.  I saw a blog of a Norwegian riding across CANADA in the winter, so anything is possible.  As a challenging lark? Go for it, but avoid all natural fibers.  Make sure you've got totally waterproof panniers like Ortliebs or something similar with roll-top closures.  Definitely get a synthetic sleeping bag, and be okay with riding in, setting up and taking down camp in the rain.  Truly stormy conditions will likely necessitate lay-overs.  Being on the road with traffic in pouring rain and high winds is not recommended.

If having fun is more important, go later in the year.  To avoid traffic, skip the Oregon coast and take the Willamette valley through Eugene and such.  Lots of nice, lightly traveled roads through there, although getting back to the coast is a little tricky.  A good study of maps should help.  I suggest taking a short stretch of I 5 from OR to CA then, at Yreka, riding along the Klamath River and out to the coast that way.  Check it out.  Some awesome country in there.  I wouldn't do it in Feb., however.  Too much snow likely.

If you want to do a long tour at that time of year, why not the Southern Tier?  That's a perfect time to start!  Warm desert in the spring--sweet!



Offline gregg

Re: Winter Pacific Coast tour
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2009, 09:15:04 pm »
One more thing to consider is the headwinds (when going from North to South), they can be fierce that time of year. They normally don't shift to tailwinds until sometime in May.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Winter Pacific Coast tour
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2009, 12:13:26 pm »
I know I would not do it in winter. Not after what I found out. The S-tier is good in winter, definitely, but the northern part of the PCBR in winter?
No. Not to be redundant, but you are being advised against doing it.

Offline WesternFlyer

Re: Winter Pacific Coast tour
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2009, 03:03:33 am »
If you are ready for some high adventure go for it.  You will need a four season tent that can handle some real wind.  Storms with gusts in excess of 100 mph come in once or twice a year on the Oregon coast.  A good credit card that can handle a few days hold up in a motel is probably mandatory too.  You will need real rain gear that you will be comfortable in all day long day after day.  You will be sharing the state parks with the surfers and seals (a nice lot).  Some the Oregon state parks have yurts with heaters.  I think even in the winter they need to be reserved in advance (check online).

I have been stuck on islands in Washington and Canada with my kayak this time of year.  As long as I have a good fire and good food it has been great.
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Winter Pacific Coast tour
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2009, 10:04:31 pm »
Cycling the PCBR in winter is a choice one has to make. It is an individual thing. Sure, it can be done. In my own personal point of view I think against doing it in winter. For someone else it might be just the thing to do. After reading some descriptions here of what to expect on such a tour I am confirmed in my opinion that, if I ever do the PCBR again, it should not be in winter.

With the right and appropriate equipment you can do it.