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I got 2 weeks in August - perhaps I'll ride the west coast

Old 06-07-21, 01:30 PM
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I got 2 weeks in August - perhaps I'll ride the west coast

Hi there. I got 2 weeks from August 5... initially I thought I would fly to Norway or Scotland or Italy but at this point I am not entirely sure if I should fly there as they still seem to require a covid test etc ... no big deal but alternatively I thought maybe I could bike to San Francisco from points North like Seattle or Eugene.

I mention Eugene because I wanted to stop at Co-Motion cycles to check on a frame order I put a deposit on but it is not entirely necessary.

Do You think Eugene to San Francisco fits the right timing for 2 weeks if I headed to the coast from Eugene and hugged it to San Fran? I suppose I can also keep going if I reached SF too soon or should I instead start from somewhere further North than Eugene?


addendum: it looks like eugene to SF is too short of a distance…maybe I should start in Seattle and see where I get

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Old 06-07-21, 02:29 PM
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Go from Portland, OR to SF. And take a day or two in each of Portland and SFO. Also, maybe cut into wine country when in northern CA for the day too! spending a day in each location adds three days to you 14 days trip!
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Old 06-07-21, 02:42 PM
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Thanks for the tip. My son now lives in Mountain View. I may visit him and work remotely from there and bolt up to Portland, OR asap after work day.

the question may be how to ‘bolt up’ 😀 train or airplane
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Old 06-07-21, 03:38 PM
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Eugene can work fine. There is a reasonable airport and route 126 from there to the coast worked fine when I did it (by now a long time ago, 1998).

That year I was living in San Jose and did the Pacific Coast in three separate weeks: Vancouver to Eugene, Eugene to San Jose and San Jose to Tijuana. I was younger and faster then and took 8 days with stops in North Bend, Gold Beach, Orick, Myers Flat, Fort Bragg, Ocean Cove and San Jose.

If you get to the Bay Area too soon, the natural place to keep going is to San Luis Obispo and take Amtrak back to the Bay area (or all the way to Eugene/Portland if you want to make your flights be a round trip).
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Old 06-07-21, 04:23 PM
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I do not know how much ground you like to cover in a day. You could look at the crazy guy on a bike archive journals to see where some of the more popular night stopovers are. I would recommend spending some time with google maps. Notice tourists don't hug the coast all the way to SFO, they head inland , I believe after Santa Rosa, due to lack of replenishment supply places around Bodega Bay.
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Old 06-07-21, 04:37 PM
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I had another Idea: You could fly into SFO and have your son pick you up. Spend a few days with him and then tour down to L.A. Sort of funny, as I know that area well, as I grew up, biked and worked there.
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Old 06-07-21, 04:38 PM
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When I did Pacific Coast in 2014, we took Amtrak to Portland OR, then a bus to Astoria, I think we bought the bus ticket as part of our Amtrak ticket.



In Astoria we found a pizza place that had a cardboard recycling bin out back to dispose of our bike boxes. Box disposal could be an issue if you do the same. By the time we were rolling in Astoria, it was after dark. We anticipated that and had a nearby motel reservation for one night.

Then rode to San Fransisco. We also did a few days of sightseeing there. Stayed at the HI Hostel on Fishermans Wharf, but I have no clue if hostels are operating these days.

Got a Amtrak shuttle bus from Fishermans Wharf to Emeryville Amtrak station for our return home. Fishermans Wharf was surprisingly deserted, but riding to the bus stop at 5am, there are no tourists to be found.

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Old 06-07-21, 04:59 PM
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would You say south from SF is more interesting than from Portland to SF?


Originally Posted by headwind15 View Post
I had another Idea: You could fly into SFO and have your son pick you up. Spend a few days with him and then tour down to L.A. Sort of funny, as I know that area well, as I grew up, biked and worked there.
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Old 06-07-21, 05:17 PM
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i am good for 50-70 miles per day while still having fun


Originally Posted by headwind15 View Post
I do not know how much ground you like to cover in a day. You could look at the crazy guy on a bike archive journals to see where some of the more popular night stopovers are. I would recommend spending some time with google maps. Notice tourists don't hug the coast all the way to SFO, they head inland , I believe after Santa Rosa, due to lack of replenishment supply places around Bodega Bay.
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Old 06-07-21, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
would You say south from SF is more interesting than from Portland to SF?
The parts I enjoyed most were between Astoria and Pismo Beach, California.

So immediately south of San Francisco is interesting. I didn't enjoy areas leading into and south of Santa Barbara as much (a certain amount of riding along freeways), not did I care for crossing LA (not tough, but just an urban ride instead of more interesting rural riding), similar thing crossing San Diego.
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Old 06-07-21, 06:48 PM
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howdy sir Walrus, I also started in Astoria, flew to Portland and took a bus to Astoria. Although this was eons ago (94!), I'd have to say that Astoria down to San Fran is a really nice ride, very neat how the landscape changes. I only went a few days south of San Fran, so can't speak for the rest.
People I met and biked with had started in Vancouver, and a number of them said that the Washington state bit was kinda boring, and they would have skipped it doing it another time.

just do be prepared for climbing, it aint flat.
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Old 06-07-21, 07:09 PM
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The Oregon Coast and northern California are the best part of the entire Coast Route, but I'm biased .

Have fun on your ride. You can't go wrong. We might see you on the road. My wife and I are planning a tour form Olympia, WA, around the Olympic Peninsula, down the WA and OR Coast, then home. We are starting sometime in August, but don't have it nailed down yet. Our route will change if Canada opens up.

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Old 06-07-21, 07:58 PM
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The California coast from the from Rockport to San Luis Obispo is truly amazing (I read they opened the section through Big Sur). I've done it on a motorcycle and car multiple times. Not sure I'd want to do it on a bike in the summer at the height of tourist traffic though.
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Old 06-07-21, 08:37 PM
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If I go, I will start August 5 and finish August 22. Tan Co-Motion Divide



Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
The Oregon Coast and northern California are the best part of the entire Coast Route, but I'm biased .

Have fun on your ride. You can't go wrong. We might see you on the road. My wife and I are planning a tour form Olympia, WA, around the Olympic Peninsula, down the WA and OR Coast, the home. We are starting in sometime August, but don't have it nailed down yet. Our route will change if Canada opens up.
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Old 06-08-21, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
The Oregon Coast and northern California are the best part of the entire Coast Route, but I'm biased .
I agree with that. I rode from Seattle to a bit short of San Luis Obispo. I used the Bremerton ferry to get out of Seattle and the ferry ride was nice, but the Washington state portion of the ride was my least favorite by far. I'd start in Astoria if you can work out the logistics. I'd try to do that next time. I think there is bus service from Portland. Depending on your preferred daily mileage you can choose where to finish.

I found that it made sense to hang with an impromptu group I fell in with and rode at their daily mileage. I didn't actually ride with them but it was nice to meet up every night. That sometimes meant riding shorter miles than I otherwise would have. They were a fun group.

There are regional buses at some places if you are off schedule, otherwise perhaps a rental car can adjust for any miscalculation.
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Old 06-08-21, 05:21 AM
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I rode it seven years ago, so a lot of my info is dated. That said, I wrote up my observations at this post if you are interested:
https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/9...l#post16933424

Also, I started in late May, rode shorter distances per day than you plan to, rode thru Jun, so my weather experience and quantity of traffic experience was quite different than you will encounter. But there might be some trivia in that post that comes in handy.

I put all the hiker biker sites onto my tablet in a GPS app, got the raw data from the state park websites, that way we could plan our distance each night for the next day because we stayed at hiker biker sites whenever we could. Doing something like that might be a useful planning tool to have along. Since we planned each day on a daily basis, that was one of the more useful planning things we did ahead of time. But we were retired, so we did not have a specific timetable to finish like you have.

And you will always remember the day you rode across Golden Gate bridge.





I had a really bad shimmy in my bike, so bad that when I got home I put the frame in the metal recycling bin. Maybe I used my brakes more than you will on the downhills because of that shimmy, but I think it would be prudent to bring a spare set of brake pads if your pads are somewhat worn before you start. I did not wear thru my pads and had a spare set for one wheel, but my brakes where shot when I got home.
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Old 06-08-21, 06:20 AM
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One of my favorite tours was Astoria to N Cal. It was years ago but with the benefit of many other tours, it is still high on my list. Living on the route now, it is very popular. It seems lightly travelled these days with no international tourists. Weather should be great in August.
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Old 06-08-21, 06:53 AM
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I may just start in Eugene...I clicked through Strava route builder haphazardly trying to follow the coast as much as possible and as the elevation started adding up my knees started to shake ;-)
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Old 06-08-21, 08:30 AM
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Amtrak from Portland or Seattle to Eugene is very easy

If flying into Eugene is expensive or inconvenient it is easy to take Amtrak to Eugene from Portland or Seattle. They have bike hooks on the train so it is not necessary to disassemble your bike in any way. Taking Amtrak south from Eugene is not as much fun as the train trip becomes ridiculously long. When taking Amtrak bring your meals and snacks with you. The food on the train is similar to what you will find in a vending machine.

As noted above the ride from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo through Big Sur is beautiful. I just rode the section from Carmel to San Luis Obispo in April when the road reopened after slide damage and then took Amtrak back to Carmel.
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Old 06-09-21, 05:19 AM
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I'll put in another pitch for the full Oregon coast...

The Oregon section is wonderful. I absolutely would ride it all if doing it again. There is a great free bike route map of the Oregon coast route from ODOT. I think my first choice would be to fly into Portland and get ground transport (bus) to Astoria.

Having ridden through there I don't see much attraction to using Eugene as a start point. I guess checking on your CoMotion order is a reason, but I don't see routing a tour away from the coast for that as something I'd do at the cost of missing so much of the Oregon coast. I guess you could fly in to Eugene and take a bus to Astoria, but that would be an extra several hours of travel time.

The terrain on the coast was more difficult in places than I expected and between that and spacing of the hiker biker sites I found that I did shorter daily mileage than I expected. You may want to allow some flexibility in your end point to allow for longer or shorter average mileage than you expect. Regional buses can make up for that, but knowing what the options are ahead of time might be helpful. Rental cars also work, but at the moment they are scarce and I was shocked at the price when I reserved one for an upcoming trip.
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Old 06-09-21, 05:35 AM
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Here is the ODOT guide mentioned above:

https://www.oregon.gov/odot/programs...-route-map.pdf
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Old 06-09-21, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Here is the ODOT guide mentioned above:

https://www.oregon.gov/odot/programs...-route-map.pdf
There is also a print version. Or at least there has been in the past. I picked one up in a bike shop in Astoria (free). ODOT used to mail them out on request not sure if they still do. I liked it better than the ACA map but it was nice to have both.
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Old 06-09-21, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
There is also a print version. Or at least there has been in the past. I picked one up in a bike shop in Astoria (free). ODOT used to mail them out on request not sure if they still do. I liked it better than the ACA map but it was nice to have both.
I noce printed it from my computer.
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Old 06-09-21, 06:04 AM
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Thanks for the tips and the voice of reason - yeah the Eugene location may just be an unnecessary wobble in the matrix. I agree. I may just skip the idea to stop there.
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Old 06-09-21, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I noce printed it from my computer.
Yeah, I'd print one ahead of time if I didn't have one of the ODT printed ones, but I I could get one of the official printed ones I'd use it. They are on nice paper and more smudge and water resistant than anything I'd print. Also my printer only does letter size and a larger sheet or printing it in chunks is necessary unless you reduce the size. Is that right? I guess you could get it printed full sized at someplace like Kinkos, not sure if they offer waterproof paper/ink. I think chances of finding a free copy in Astoria are pretty good though.

I found the format of the ODOT map especially nice for keeping track of where I was relative to stops while riding. The odometer reading matched the clear mile markers on the map and the text for the stops.
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