Author Topic: Seattle to San Francisco  (Read 4396 times)

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Offline AndrewC

Seattle to San Francisco
« on: June 29, 2008, 07:10:45 pm »
Hi there, my first post on this site so please be gentle.

I've been touring for the last 10 years in the UK & Europe, last year I did Manali to Leh in India but have never been to the US.

I'm thinking about having a go at a portion of the Pacific Coast route, Seattle to San Francisco. This may happen later this year or sometime next year.

If this year what is the latest month I'd have a chance of reasonable weather ? September or October ?

Is there any period when the campsites close ?

Would approx 3 weeks be a reasonable time to complete it, hopefully allowing for rests & some sightseeing ?



Offline wanderingwheel

Seattle to San Francisco
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2008, 11:12:44 pm »
I want to hear about your trip to India.  A few years ago I listened to Willie Wier talk about his trip through India and now it's on the top of my list for international destinations.

As for the Pacific Coast, what do you consider reasonable weather?  Since you're following the coast the weather will generally be milder than it would be inland.  In Seattle and the northern areas in Washington you can get snow flurries in the dead of winter (December, January, February), but most of the time it will be in the 40's and 50's F (hope you can convert to C).  Add 10 to 20 deg (F again, sorry) for the middle of summer, so the temperature will be pretty constant.  Expect more rain in the beginning of the year, but expect rain year-round.  If it were me, I would avoid leaving Seattle from mid-November until the end of February or mid-March (depending on that year's weather).

Expect traffic to die down significantly after Labor Day (beginning of September), but I don't know of any seasonal campgrounds off-hand.

Three weeks for 1200 miles sounds maybe a touch quick for me.  Physically reasonable, but not much wiggle room.  If you can manage 3 1/2 or 4 weeks it should remove any time pressures from your tour and allow you to linger a day or two in interesting places.  With your experience, think of good pavement, no excessive climbing, and favorable winds, and budget you time accordingly.

Let me know if you need a hand packing up once you reach San Francisco as I live in the Bay Area.


Offline AndrewC

Seattle to San Francisco
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2008, 05:26:55 am »
Thanks Sean,  re the India trip

Here's what I posted at another site, I still haven't done a full write up!
Manali to Leh - brief trip report & photos«

Last Saturday I got back to the UK after riding between Manali & Leh in the Indian Himlalya. This was an organised trip led by Cass Gilbert & Cara Coolbaugh of Out There Biking

I'll do a full report when I get my diary typed up but in the meantime here are a few pictures:

I'd told Cass when discussing the trip that I was a slow rider, and would probably be at the back all the time. This was prophetic, everyone else seemed to be wearing T shirts proclaiming their participation in various mountain marathons or MTB races (2nd place in the Trans-Scotland team category!)

Cass & Cara are both wonderful people and worked very hard to make sure everyone had a good time. The support team of 2 drivers, cook and assisant were also first rate. Nobody went hungry on this trip!!

The trip was on "roads". This word covers everything from smooth tarmac to rutted, potholed jeeptracks that some people described as "technical". There was a river crossing or two as well....

Highest altitude was measured at approx 5300M on the Khardung La pass, our highest campsite was just below this at 4800M.

I was on my new Thorn Nomad which had Magura sus forks fitted for the trip. The bike performed very well and I had no mechanicals to speak of. Most of the others were riding front-sus MTB's although one chap was on a rigid 700C alloy tourer and Cass was riding an On-One 29er with Rohloff.

We had good weather for most of the route, althought the descent off Taglang La was a bit cool, there was a build-up of snow & ice on my mitts!

All in all it was a wonderful trip although quite the hardest riding I've ever done. They sent a jeep out to pick me up on the Wari La as I was so late, telling the driver I was determined to finish the days ride took quite a bit of willpower!

In total we did 700Km of riding and 12000M of climbing in 14 days riding.

There were 11 riders in total, 9 "guests" plus Cass & Cara.  Phunchok, Tsering, Norbu and another guy on the jeeps.

Ages from late 20's to mid 40's on this trip. Apparently their oldest rider has been 68....

They were originally planning to do this as a "self supported" tour, i.e. no jeeps  :-o  I'm very, very glad they changed their minds!

Offline mdxix

Seattle to San Francisco
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2008, 02:01:34 pm »
Did you keep a GPS track of the route for the trip India?

This message was edited by mdxix on 7-7-08 @ 10:02 AM

Offline Robertc

Seattle to San Francisco
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2008, 01:55:28 am »
Andrew, I rode the coast route from Seattle to San Francisco in Sept and loved it.  Lots of hills (45,000 ft cumulative)   Only one day of rain. Temp was cool and the days are a little short on light. Traffic was minimal.  It took me two weeks to travel the 1,000 miles but I rode with a group with a support vehicle.  The American Lung Association does a supported ride in Sept every year.  You may want to reach out to them for advice.

Offline litespeed

Seattle to San Francisco
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2008, 08:41:39 pm »
You should finish the Seattle-SanFrancisco ride before the middle of October. That's when the storms start rolling through. You also should allow yourself a few days to take in San Francisco. There is no place like it.

Offline krisgodard

Seattle to San Francisco
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2008, 02:44:34 am »
Hi Andrew! Your trip sounds great and i am planning to ride(w. road bike) the route myself this fall (san francisco to seattle). Maybe you can help me out with some questions?
1.Was it alot of hills on the way?
2.I have been training alot and hope to bike up to 100 miles a day, is that too pretentious ? Im not to familiar with the landscape..
3. Have did you organize the accommodation ? (i want to bring as less baggage as possible, so im looking for cheap hostels etc..)
4. Do you know a service where i can get free maps?

Any advice will be gladly appriciated.
Thanks and keep on the good work:)