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Bicycle Touring

Tour to the Coast 2018
Author Last Post
Jerry, didn’t know you were a contributor to “crazyguyonabike”! I remember reading with interest a description of the angst of riding SR 112 beyond Joyce a few years ago. I’ll look up your RWGPS route and see if portions of it can contribute ideas for an upcoming extension of USBR 97.

I’m an advocate for WA getting the Pacific Coast of WA on the Pacific Coast Route, and believe USBR 97 might do that for us. Your experiences from Forks south will be good to review with ODT and other Peninsula stakeholders.

Many thanks,

Hey John,
Been trying for two weeks to respond to your thread. It took awhile to get the website to allow me to send a reply.

I just did an Olympic Peninsula Loop riding counter-clockwise last year starting/ending in Burlington while riding the ODT (Olympic Discovery Trail) and side roads as much as possible to avoid the busy highways. I still had to ride some highways as its just not possible otherwise but I did find many much more pleasant roads and trails to ride on my loop. It took 8 days averaging 60 mi/day. I did camp every night but finding motels and restaurants is not hard.

The ODT is a pleasant beautiful ride but there are some very steep hills and part of the north side of Lake Crescent is still single track. Whit was wrong when he said both tunnels were open, only the first one is complete so there is a stretch that is a bit more challenging but doable.

I mapped everything out using "Ride-with-GPS" and I have all my routes and alternate routes open to the public, type in Olympic Peninsula Loop and they should come up. You can also read my blog w/pics on the crazyguyonabike website. One other thing I would suggest is to pick up a current map of the ODT if you are planning on riding it. I got one in Sequim and it made things much easier. Also the ODT website is always updating info for construction and you can request info if needed with a PM.

Enjoy your ride.

This is the purpose of these Discussion Forums....for SBC members with similar interests to be able to communicate. I am sure with time and exposure, members will find these forums beneficial

Thanks for contributing and hope your trip will be fun!....and perhaps another member will want to join yu!
Steve Jahn
Either. I don't really know anyone in the club. I work swing shift and never make any of the club rides. That said, if I meet people in the club that like bike-packing, and touring, it would be nice to have company. The plan for this trip is currently very vague for that express purpose; to be flexible enough to accommodate another rider, or two.  (And also because it is several months away.)
Is this a solo tour or are you looking for fellow cyclists to join you

Dian Jahn
Thanks John, for the information, and for your advocacy for cycling. There's a lot here to digest. I appreciate the time you and the others have taken to help me.
Some thoughts on touring the Olympic Peninsula….

A) I have done the ODT from PT to Lake Crescent (Adventure ODT from SR 112 to the lake) and it is one of my favorite rides in the state.
B I have also ridden around the north end of Lake Crescent as far as the Elwa campgrounds, and view US 101 from there to the end of the lake as seriously dangerous.

I am hopin to start working with Jefferson and Clallum Counties on a new USBR through PT to PA to Forks and beyond. The great bit is the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT). Although gaps exist (SR 20 from west PT to Blynn is tough riding) the ODT is far and away the preferred route. The route is great from Sequim to PA to the Elwah River Bridge. Roads then to SR 112, and backroads from Joyce to Lake Campbell unless you have a mountain bike, in which case there is a delightful alternate, the “Adventure” alternative, a well maintained trail that gets to the lake as well. From the Spruce Goose trail section along the lake, now paved and as always, incredibly scenic, the trail winds through the hills parallel to 101, then crosses 101 near the Sol Duc access road, then finally puts you on 101 well west of the dangerous parts. Wide shoulders but somewhat rough pavement at times from there to Forks.

If the destination is around the peninsula, road choices are 101 and 101. Shoulders are OK and traffic on the western leg of the peninsula is usually light.

If the destination is Neah Bay / Tatoosh, the SR to Sappho is early chip seal technology with varying shoulder, but deteriorates to no shoulder roadway once you hit the Straits and turn toward Neah Bay. This is very challenging roadway, right up there with 101 on the south shore of Lake Crescent, but with very low traffic volumes unless the surf is up or there is a big event planned or ? You’d have to take your time, duck onto the dirt pullouts when you hear traffic coming, and be as visible as possible.

And as the thread indicated, riding the peninsula in rainy season is, well, going to go from very dry (Sequim) to very wet (coast). So be well prepared with layers and knowledge of laundromats and services.

All the best,

John Pope
Thanks for the reply, and the tips Steve. 
When I first routed the section through Oak Harbor I went out to West Beach, as you suggested. That's the route I would normally take. After I gave it more thought, I decided there may be food or a coffee break in Oak Harbor that I will want. There isn't anything else in the way of services on the route all the way to Keystone. The elevation profile through OH is better too, since it hugs the coast line around Penn Cove. There are a couple of hills heading up from West Beach toward Fort Ebey.
I know the roads over there well, so I could wing it, and decide at the last minute which way. I don't really need the GPS for it, other than the mileage planning. That one will be decided at the time.
Thanks for the help Robert, and the campground suggestions in particular.

I'm familiar with all the roads out there from other travels, and I prefer 112 and 113 to Highway 101 West of PA. On 101 the logging trucks are too much. Even with the wide shoulders, the noise and traffic make that stretch of road unpleasant. Take a look at the alternatives in my route the next time you're over there and you may find them more enjoyable. The few extra miles are well worth it. There aren't wide shoulders, but the traffic volume is significantly lower.  

I looked at the "Crazy Guy on a Bike" blog. Heading for the coast on a bike at the turn of the year is something only a crazy guy would do. More power to him...

Thanks again!
Fellow member John Pope is very experienced in routing and has recently added a good portion of your route to the official  US Bike Route (USBR) ....he is is a member of this discussion forum and may reply soon...but suggest you contact him directly  (he is also interested in doing tours like can email him directly from the Membership Directory...or   360-202-1928

I do have one suggestions: 1) After Ault Field...head to West Beach along the coast..gets you off the highway2) I am glad you found the Olympic discovery trail  route !! 
Steve Jahn
Hi John, I've done the Pacific Coast and with John Stimpson did the Peninsula Loop 2 years ago.  At that time the tunnels on the old logging RR north of Lk Crescent were not open.  Last year when Jerry Wade did the loop, they were.  Somebody out there has been working hard--bless their hearts.  I am not familiar with the road west of Pt Angeles or out to La Push, but would bet they are narrow with no shoulder.  The 101 has a good shoulder except narrow south of Lk Crescent, but with turnouts.  There is a fair amount of logging out there with truck traffic.  Log truck drivers are paid by the load, not on the clock--keep that in mind.
Old Ft Townsend state park has one of the best hiker/biker sites I've found in WA--an open group site, but the shower/toilet building is half a mile away.  Sequim Bay SP is better for access to electricity from hiker/biker site but the sites are small, rough and not level.  Bogachiel SP sites are right next to the shower/toilet bldg.  WA state does not understand hiker/biker as OR & CA do.  There they have a big group site so everybody can get together, talk, swap food, beer, etc. usually near shower/toilet block and are getting electricity to them!  As phones/gps proliferate, we will need more of this.  WA is way behind on this.
By the way, how are you planning to return?  There is bus service out there, but not often.  Hope this has been helpful.  whit
PS:  Check this out:   Truly crazy at this time of the year!

I am thinking about this trip this summer. I have ridden sections of this route, but not the start to finish, and not the whole thing. Does anyone have any tweaks (or complete re-writes) for this route?

I am also contemplating using SKAT/Island Transit to get to the ferry, rather than pedaling roads that I am overly familiar with.

 I am thinking 8 days, five off work, or possibly combined with a holiday. 

Another question is, motel? or camp? I am more a motel person, but it could be a mixture. I am not familiar with the camp grounds in these areas. I know that the best trips start with solid early planning.

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