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Pacific Coast Highway Bicycle Trip - Advice

 
 
Reply Mon 11 May, 2015 02:26 pm
Hi everyone!

In 2 months I'm starting a 6-7 week cycling trip from Canada to Mexico along the Pacific Coast Highway (roughly 1900 miles).

I'm just curious if anyone has any ideas of things to see along that route? I'm considering a side trip to Crater Lake, OR but besides that I'm really not sure what to expect along that way.

Has anyone hear ever done this?

Any great camping spots? Any great towns? Restuarants? Side trips? Roadside oddities?

 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 May, 2015 03:54 pm
@maporsche,
You could take highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) all the way down the coast and hit most of the scenic places.

Eureka (Giant Redwoods), Napa, Sonoma (wine country), Pt. Reyes, Bolinas(National seashore, lighthouse), San Francisco(speaks for itself), Monterey (Dlowan is there as we speak, John Steinbeck, Monterey Aquarium, Cannery Row), Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz Boardwalk and Big Dipper roller coaster), Pacific Grove (monarch butterfly migration stopover), San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara (Solvang - Swedish village), San Juan Capistrano (return of the swallows, mission franchsise), Los Angeles (speaks for itself), San Diego (zoo, military bases) , and on down the coast.

It isn't the safest route for a bicycle ride, so watch your self, especially in the summer months when the crowds flood the coastal cities.

Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 May, 2015 04:03 pm
@Butrflynet,
I've driven down the coast from Oregon to San Diego more times than I can count, more often from San Francisco to LA. BBB and I have driven down the coast from British Columbia to the SF Bay Area.

Lots of good times and memories. If you want specifics on anything, let me know what interests you.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 May, 2015 04:18 pm
@Butrflynet,
I did the 5 a coupla times in the 90's. Iwas so glad I had a really good AC unit on my leased cars.

It really gets HOT in the Valley (and it is dangerous, especially at night when everybody seems to raceeach other)

105 or 107 degrees is no biggy so Id have an extra several gallons of water.

1 or 109 are great but can be hilly (and several segments , where the Eucalypti grow, it smells like cat piss for hours.
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Mon 11 May, 2015 04:29 pm
@farmerman,
He will be going down the coast where summer temps rarely get over 80. And, yeah, the valley can easily get in the 100's in the summer.

Highway 99 and 101 are also good, but if you want to stay along the coast then Hwy 1 is the best bet.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 May, 2015 04:42 pm
@maporsche,
Hi, MAP, glad to see you.

I've not bicycled it, but I know California pretty well. Your problem will be to get me to shut up about possible places to stop at for some reason.

I've lived in the San Diego area, the LA area, and up near the Oregon border in the Eureka/Arcata area. Have driven between those uncountable times, stayed many times with friends in the SFBay areas. I've particular drives I like - well, actually love - and will tell you about.

Give me/us more clues of your interests.
If I remember, you're kind of the opposite of a foodie, as in not that interested in food except as fuel. Has that changed, do you have any interest in either cafes or wineries? Sounds like you are more into restaurants now. I've a lot of opinions on those, not that you have to like what I like, but as a start for your googling.

Like or hate or are neutral about cities? small towns? I have batches of towns I have liked, on the smaller side.
Interested in building structures/architecture at all?
Want to completely avoid touristy places? OK with one or two?
Like the beauty of landscape or are bored by it?
Like or don't care about museums/galleries, etc.

I can't help about camping, though my ex bro in law and niece did a lot of that, usually his truck and their two bikes, and enjoyed it. If you get your route nailed down, then there will likely be plenty re camping sites online.

Oddities, oh, yeah. One or two of those I'd avoid...

Back later.

hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 11 May, 2015 04:49 pm
@maporsche,
Quote:
In 2 months I'm starting a 6-7 week cycling trip from Canada to Mexico along the Pacific Coast Highway (roughly 1900 miles).

I have only done the Monterey south part, but biking this sounds scary to me having driven it a bunch and watching how people drive.

You have researched this correct?
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2015 12:45 pm
@Butrflynet,
Butrflynet wrote:

You could take highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) all the way down the coast and hit most of the scenic places.

Eureka (Giant Redwoods), Napa, Sonoma (wine country), Pt. Reyes, Bolinas(National seashore, lighthouse), San Francisco(speaks for itself), Monterey (Dlowan is there as we speak, John Steinbeck, Monterey Aquarium, Cannery Row), Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz Boardwalk and Big Dipper roller coaster), Pacific Grove (monarch butterfly migration stopover), San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara (Solvang - Swedish village), San Juan Capistrano (return of the swallows, mission franchsise), Los Angeles (speaks for itself), San Diego (zoo, military bases) , and on down the coast.

It isn't the safest route for a bicycle ride, so watch your self, especially in the summer months when the crowds flood the coastal cities.


Yep, my plan is to take highway 1 almost entirely (once it starts up near Astoria, OR). I'm going to be taking the ferry to the Olympic Peninsula and taking highway 101 south through Washington.

And THANKS for that list of CA cities. I've been to a couple, but most of them I know little about. I'll check into these specific ones more thoroughly.

0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2015 12:52 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

Hi, MAP, glad to see you.


Nice to see you all too!!

Quote:
Give me/us more clues of your interests.

If I remember, you're kind of the opposite of a foodie, as in not that interested in food except as fuel. Has that changed, do you have any interest in either cafes or wineries? Sounds like you are more into restaurants now. I've a lot of opinions on those, not that you have to like what I like, but as a start for your googling.


Yeah, while I'm not as hardcore into food as fuel as I used to be, I'm really not into any fancy food places. What I've come to enjoy about Chicago though are little hole-in-the-wall restaurants who have something interesting to offer on the menu. I'd like to know about some of those if you have any suggestions.

Quote:

Like or hate or are neutral about cities? small towns? I have batches of towns I have liked, on the smaller side.


Neutral about all that. I enjoy larges cities and small towns. I think small towns are my preference for this trip though (although, I'm looking forward to seeing San Francisco for the first time.

Quote:
Interested in building structures/architecture at all?
No, not really, unless there is something you'd consider as a 'can't miss'.
Quote:
Want to completely avoid touristy places? OK with one or two?
Ok with touristy places.
Quote:
Like the beauty of landscape or are bored by it?
LOVE the beauty of landscapes
Quote:
Like or don't care about museums/galleries, etc.
I love museums, but I don't think for this trip.
Quote:
Oddities, oh, yeah. One or two of those I'd avoid...
Sounds like there's a story or two there, :-)

Thanks OSSO!!!
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2015 12:56 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

Quote:
In 2 months I'm starting a 6-7 week cycling trip from Canada to Mexico along the Pacific Coast Highway (roughly 1900 miles).

I have only done the Monterey south part, but biking this sounds scary to me having driven it a bunch and watching how people drive.

You have researched this correct?

I've been cycling around Chicago city traffic for several years (60+ miles a week during summer) so I'm not super concerned about traffic along this route. That being said, I'll be towing a trailer with a bright yellow flag and will have several flashing lights on the bike.

I have a friends that completed this same trek a couple summers ago and didn't express any special concerns with traffic.

Thanks for the concern though! I hope if I get hit (and survive) that the dude is a driving a Bentley or something.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2015 01:03 pm
@maporsche,
Quote:

I have a friends that completed this same trek a couple summers ago and didn't express any special concerns with traffic.


traffic+curves+cliffs=?

I have not lived there for 15 years, perhaps drivers are more aware and considerate now. That trip sounds like a lot of fun. How long do you figure it will take? Why do you happen to have the time? What have you been doing to get physically ready?
maporsche
 
  3  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2015 02:11 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

traffic+curves+cliffs=?

I have not lived there for 15 years, perhaps drivers are more aware and considerate now. That trip sounds like a lot of fun. How long do you figure it will take? Why do you happen to have the time? What have you been doing to get physically ready?


I doubt they are much safer or considerate. It's a risk that I'm willing to take though.

I'm budgeting 8 weeks for the entire trip. On the quick end, I could be finished in 4 weeks (at 80 miles per day). If I average 60 miles per day and take 1-2 days off a week I should be done in less than 6 weeks. I'm leaving extra time though just to make sure I'm able to enjoy everything.

I'm finishing up nursing school in a couple weeks and quitting my corporate job of 16 years, so this summer is wide open. When I get back from the trip, I'll be in my new career.

Physically, I'm running 20 miles per week and cycling 55 miles every Sunday. Once school is done (6/5), I'll start commuting to work (40 miles/day, 5 days/week) to get my rear end used to the saddle.

I plan to be on the road on 7/10 at the latest.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2015 02:28 pm
@maporsche,
Quote:
If I average 60 miles per day and take 1-2 days off a week


Sounds like you did your homework

Quote:
The total length of the signed bike
route is 370 miles (595 km). It can
be lengthened to 380 miles (610
km) by taking the alternate Three
Capes Scenic Route. On average,
most cyclists take six to eight days
to tour the coast, by cycling 50 to 65
miles (80 to 105 km) per day.
This is a reasonable rate, due to the
mountainous nature of the coast: the
total rise and fall is close to 16,000
feet (4900 m)

http://www.oregon.gov/odot/hwy/bikeped/docs/oregon_coast_bike_route_map.pdf
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2015 02:44 pm
@maporsche,
maporsche wrote:
I'm finishing up nursing school in a couple weeks and quitting my corporate job of 16 years, so this summer is wide open. When I get back from the trip, I'll be in my new career.


Congratulations!

___


Will you be blogging this trip?
Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2015 02:47 pm
@maporsche,
Wow!

You lucky bugger. I'm extremely jealous.
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2015 03:26 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

Sounds like you did your homework


I've done some. I'll be doing a lot more in June.

I'm actually using these sets of maps.

http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/adventure-cycling-route-network/pacific-coast/
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  3  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2015 03:29 pm
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

maporsche wrote:
I'm finishing up nursing school in a couple weeks and quitting my corporate job of 16 years, so this summer is wide open. When I get back from the trip, I'll be in my new career.


Congratulations!


Thanks!! I'm really excited to get out of my cubicle.

Quote:

Will you be blogging this trip?


I'm planning on it. Have been thinking about doing a lot of video too and maybe putting together a 45 minute adventure video together if I can organize my trip into something worth putting on video.

The blog will be over at www.BoBlake.name.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2015 04:15 pm
@maporsche,
I've still got your blog bookmarked from the walk.

As I recall, a book is on the sometime agenda.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2015 06:03 pm
I'll write more later about alternate routes, but in this thread I talk about highway 101.. a few times.

Driving 101
http://able2know.org/topic/28171-1
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2015 06:37 pm
I would try to spend some time in Forks Washington or anywhere in the Olympic Forest. Ocean Shores and Aberdeen are pretty junky, take a look but ride by.
0 Replies
 
 

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