Author Topic: Pac Coast Ride  (Read 4224 times)

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Offline Dbilthouse2015

Pac Coast Ride
« on: March 31, 2015, 04:20:35 pm »
I'm planning to ride the Pacific Coast before Summer hits.  This will be my first time doing a longer ride like this, but I've been cycling for the past 20 years.  I have a few questions across a few topics, any assistance would be awesome!  I know some of these are really newbie questions, so bear with me here.  I'm looking to rough it solo on this trip. 

1) I'd like to make it a week long trip.  I was thinking of starting in Crescent City and ending in San Fran (412 mi).  I average without gear around 18.5mph and ride 100 miles a week.  Based on that is this trip doable in 5-6 days time?

2) Best way to get gear from Atlanta, GA over to starting point.  I'd like to bring my own bike.  Is it better to ship it or fly it out?  I was thinking about shipping it out to the start, riding, then shipping it back at the destination.  Otherwise I would need to rent a car to get back to my Thule case if I flew with my gear...

3) Camping on the coast, good idea?  It sounds nice, but am I going to be fighting crowds of people to get a good spot?  Better to reserve a camp site or just wing it? 

4) In regards to the above ^, bivy sack and a ENO hammock enough to get by?  Probably a rain tarp too?

5) Outside of regular riding clothes and tools, any essential gear that you think is crucial?  I was going to bring a JetBoil with for coffee and food, rain gear, and a book. 

Offline John Nelson

Re: Pac Coast Ride
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2015, 05:22:45 pm »
(1) Crescent City to San Francisco along the ACA Pacific Coast route is 412 miles. But it's pretty hilly, and the scenery is so fantastic, I'm not sure you'll want to rush it. If you have 6 days, you can do it with 70 miles a day (on average--stops are never exactly where you want them). That's doable, but 7 days would be better. My eleventh commandment is, "Thou shall not rush through Big Sur." I did it last fall in a bit over 7 days.

(2) I prefer to fly with my bike if I can and if I can find an airline that doesn't charge an arm and a leg for the bike (i.e., Frontier or Southwest). Shipping it is also a very viable option. Don't use your hard shell. Use a cardboard box. Shipping an empty case is expensive.

(3) Camping on the coast is wonderful, plentiful and cheap. No problem getting spots because you'll be using hiker/biker spots. No reservations needed.

(4) In good weather, a bivvy is sufficient. If it rains a lot, you'll wish you had a tent. No way to know what will happen. Hammock is iffy--may be hard to find trees where you want them.

(5) Gear lists are a dime a dozen. When in doubt, don't take it.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Pac Coast Ride
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2015, 10:48:06 pm »
1) I'd like to make it a week long trip.  I was thinking of starting in Crescent City and ending in San Fran (412 mi).  I average without gear around 18.5mph and ride 100 miles a week.  Based on that is this trip doable in 5-6 days time?

As John says, six days is doable, but seven would be better. If I were to do it in five, I'd start at Arcata/Eureka. You'd miss Redwood National Park, but be less stressed for time. (And to note: Redwood NP isn't the only place you'll see big redwoods en route!)

And as will be noted, you definitely will go a bit slower with gear.

2) Best way to get gear from Atlanta, GA over to starting point.  I'd like to bring my own bike.  Is it better to ship it or fly it out?

Are you planning on flying into Portland (PDX?) If so, how do you plan on getting to Crescent City?

You can ship a bike via Amtrak Package Express for maybe $75-100 one way. You can have it shipped from Atlanta to Union Station in Portland, then back from either Oakland/Jack London or Emeryville in the Bay Area.

3) Camping on the coast, good idea?  It sounds nice, but am I going to be fighting crowds of people to get a good spot?  Better to reserve a camp site or just wing it?

Great idea! The crowds don't come out until after Memorial Day, and many of the places you would camp on the route have specific hiker/biker sites.

4) In regards to the above ^, bivy sack and a ENO hammock enough to get by?  Probably a rain tarp too?

You probably won't go hurting for trees, but it's wise to have a non-hammock backup, esp. if you run into any hammock prohibitions. If your hammock doesn't have a rain fly, get one.

5) Outside of regular riding clothes and tools, any essential gear that you think is crucial?  I was going to bring a JetBoil with for coffee and food, rain gear, and a book.

Rain gear!

Offline Dbilthouse2015

Re: Pac Coast Ride
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2015, 05:44:40 am »
Thank you both, very helpful information! 

I was thinking about flying into Eureka and starting there based on what you've both said about not being stressed on time  (375mi vs over 400mi).  I can get from Atlanta to Eureka for about $400, then San Fran back to Atlanta for a little under $200.  Thursday to Thursday for riding with an extra day built in to fly out on Friday. 

I agree, 1 man tent w/rain fly might be the smarter choice. 

Anyone use BikeFlight.com for shipping their bike? Good, bad?  Seems like I can ship from shop to shop for about $60 each way. 

indyfabz

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Re: Pac Coast Ride
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2015, 02:26:16 pm »
Anyone use BikeFlight.com for shipping their bike? Good, bad?  Seems like I can ship from shop to shop for about $60 each way.

Used them last year to ship from Philly to Missoula and back. Had a very good experience. The only issue that might crop up depending on timing is printing out the return shipping label. If you are not sure you will have access to a computer and printer, you might email customer service first to see if they can email you labels for both shipping dates before you start your trip. Their customer service was very responsive when I had a few questions before purchasing. In my case, I had access to a computer and printer (public library) when I finished my loop tour in Missoula. If your shipping date is a few days after you purchase, they email you the label about 20 min. after completing the purchase.

As noted in another thread on bike shipping, it might be wise to make a service appointment if you plan to have a local shop pack your bike for you.

Offline mucknort

Re: Pac Coast Ride
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2015, 10:12:51 am »
This is from an itinerary I saw someone else do:


Crescent City to Arcata = 74 miles
Arcata to Garberville = 80 miles
Garberville to Westport = 53 miles
Westport to Point Arena = 65 miles
Point Arena to Bodega Bay = 63 miles
Bodega Bay to Inverness = 37 miles
Inverness to San Francisco = 43 miles

Here's the CA Park listing of hike or bike sites:
http://www.parks.ca.gov/parkindex
(You have to click on the "by feature" button and then check mark the hike/bike box)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 10:21:10 am by mucknort »