Author Topic: Pacific Coast Route vs. TransAm  (Read 7075 times)

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Offline flounder

Pacific Coast Route vs. TransAm
« on: May 07, 2009, 09:00:43 pm »
Hi, we had planned to do the TransAm but we had to cut our travel time short so we're thinking about doing the Pacific Coast Route starting a week from now. Has anyone biked this route and what kind of advice to you guys give if different from doing another route?

We have all of our equipment ('cept for front racks)...but just wondering if there are different precautions to take than the TransAm.

Thanks!

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Pacific Coast Route vs. TransAm
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2009, 02:36:25 am »
I did the PCBR in 1993 from Portland to San Diego. In 1990 from Seattle to about a third of the way through Oregon. In 1987 from Seattle to Ana Cortes. It is a great route for cycling. Some people I spoke to said some cyclists would not cycle the route south of San Francisco because of all the traffic, and because of the many incidents between cyclists and motorists, mainly motorists driving those motor homes and campers.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Pacific Coast Route vs. TransAm
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2009, 06:53:49 am »
It is a beautiful route.  I have ridden some and driven some of it.  Either the AC maps or the Kirkendall and Spring book (or both) would be helpful.  The most recent version of the book is hard to find.  We used the book for a minor portion of the coast and found it useful.  AC maps are good (I haven't used those particular ones) and easier to find than a recent version of the book.

Services are more frequent and readily available on the PC than the TA.  Lots of stuff to see and do and lots of hiker/biker campsites.  Enjoy the trip!

Offline flounder

Re: Pacific Coast Route vs. TransAm
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2009, 12:26:58 pm »
I guess that's what I've heard, too many accidents and it is more of a dangerous route. Does anyone have other suggestions on routes? We only have about a month and a half but I want to make sure we're taking a good route, I know they all have their perks but I'm a little more hesitant to take the Pacific Coast one.

Offline valygrl

Re: Pacific Coast Route vs. TransAm
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2009, 05:22:33 pm »
Wow, I've done most of the Pacific Coast route in the last 5 years, and I would do it all over again and again and again, except for "Devils Slide" area just south of SF - about 30 minutes of unhappines, big deal! - and going through southern parts of LA/Long Beach - easy to skip by ending in LA or Santa Barbara.  The area between Santa Cruz and San Louis Obispo is particularly outstanding and you shouldn't miss it.

In fact, I've done some of it up to four times.

My only warning is the muscles in your face are going to get tired from the huge smile you'll have the whole time!

Especially now, before the summer vacation season is really started, traffic should not be a huge issue.  Do try not to ride Big Sur on the weekend, and holiday traffic will be a little heavy - Memorial Day might be a good day off the bike.

Camping is easy and cheap, services are close together, the weather and scenery are great - it's fantastic.

DO IT!!!!

Offline staehpj1

Re: Pacific Coast Route vs. TransAm
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2009, 06:36:33 pm »
I guess that's what I've heard, too many accidents and it is more of a dangerous route. Does anyone have other suggestions on routes? We only have about a month and a half but I want to make sure we're taking a good route, I know they all have their perks but I'm a little more hesitant to take the Pacific Coast one.
My estimation is that the TA probably has worse sections than the PC and I thought the TA was great.  The PC is pretty close to ideal touring IMO.  I wouldn't let the traffic worry you to much unless your tolerance for traffic is very low.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Pacific Coast Route vs. TransAm
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2009, 10:51:33 pm »
I did the Pacific coast route from Olympia, WA to Santa Monica in 2005 and very highly recommend it.  I did not find it very dangerous except for the part from about 100 miles north of SF to maybe 30 miles south of SF.  Don't miss the part south of Big Sur.  It was great and not very dangerous at all, even in mid summer. I loved the big scenic, sunny hills there way out above the ocean. I also liked Southern Oregon, the Redwoods, and the Northern California coast with it's wild and free feel.  The whole thing took 3 weeks, averaging 72 miles a day.  If I do it again, I'll enjoy it even more and average about 55!
May the wind be at your back!

Offline mucknort

Re: Pacific Coast Route vs. TransAm
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2009, 10:55:05 pm »
Yes, what the last 3 posters said!!! The PC is hands down one of the best rides the US has to offer. The continuous beautiful scenery and the huge camping options are well worth it.

Offline MrBent

Re: Pacific Coast Route vs. TransAm
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2009, 12:47:42 pm »
Huge thumbs up on Pacific Coast.  As I've said elsewhere, I'm NOT a fan of the cycling on much of the Oregon coast, but you're starting early, so you should have a good time.  Oregon is beyond beautiful.  The traffic loads in July are, for me, unacceptable.  I've ridden the San Francisco to Santa Barbara stretch twice and could easily ride it every year.  As said above, the only nasty bit is Devil's Slide, which will be improved somewhat by 2011 when a new bridge/tunnel system is supposed to go on line--complete with wide bike lane!  You will still have to deal with some steep narrow bits leading up from Pacifica to the bridge, but the run from there should be sweet. 

Go do it!  Oh, man, the Avenue of the Giants is the road gods' gift to bike tourists!

Scott

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Pacific Coast Route vs. TransAm
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2009, 12:03:50 am »
Even in July, I had no problems with the traffic except that area within the SF "sphere of influence".   this is a trip not to be missed!
May the wind be at your back!

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Pacific Coast Route vs. TransAm
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2009, 04:12:40 am »
You really ought to do the PCBR. It is America's premier bike route. There are plenty of state campgrounds with inexpensive hiker-biker sites and showers. Rarely if ever would you be at a loss for places to eat. The scenery is among the best the world has to offer. Going north to south you can be assured of a helpful wind. The hills will tone you up like nothing else. The air coming in from the Pacific is about as clean as air can be. There are many interesting places to see and visit along the way. There are hostels, motels and such. If you cycle the PCBR you will not regret it. So what if traffic picks up south  of S.F. Traffic picks up in many places along most all routes. Just be aware and careful and you will be all right. If you miss doing the PCBR, you are really missing something. Just do it. With your time constraints it is the best possible choice you can make. Seriously, it really is a great route for cycling. I was really and truly regretful and sad when it ended. But, I had to go home.