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Bicycle Touring

Anyone Planning?
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My chair weighs just under a pound, so I have taken it along.  Only used it a few times--mostly in the tent!  Doubt it's worth it.  
I’ve always taken things like that to start, then maybe a week in I re-evaluate and send a box with the no-gos home!

On Apr 29, 2019, at 5:51 PM, Richard Armstrong ( <> wrote:

So I’m in the final packing stage for my tour down the coast and I have one last delema to solve. Do I take my REI micro camp chair with me? Weight isn’t so much an issue, but it’s just one more thing to strap on the back. Though I’m sure there will be picnic tables to sit on at most hike-bike sites (?) I’m sure having a seat with a back will be a plus. But is it worth the hassle? Thoughts from those of you who have traveled the Pacific Coast trail....or done any touring for that matter? Thanks.

So I’m in the final packing stage for my tour down the coast and I have one last delema to solve. Do I take my REI camp chair with me? Weight isn’t so much an issue, but it’s just one more thing to strap on the back. Though I’m sure there will be picnic tables to sit on at most hike-bike sites (?) I’m also sure having a seat with a back will be a plus in the evenings. But is it worth the hassle? Thoughts from those of you who have traveled the Pacific Coast route....or done any touring for that matter? Thanks.

Wow, thanks for all the great advice and keep it coming! Just an update—it looks like family events and a move are going to force my ride to later in the season😟. Instead I’ll try to sneak in some shorter local trips for May. North Cascades or the Oslo loop. Or maybe a loop out to Port Angeles and across to Victorian before a return via Anacortes!

PS about RV parks.  Private RV parks have good tent sites--usually grassy and flat--have free hot showers and a store and coin-op laundry facilities--very handy and usually cost $20.  Even got a discount at Bay Center RV park when I mentioned reading the recommendation in Spring and Kirkendahls book "Riding the Pacific Coast".  Recommend every one I've been in--the best is in San Diego: Campland on the Bay (  Don't hesitate.
  Explanation about hiker/biker spots.  OR & CA state parks have a group site for all the bicyclists and hikers and it's only $6 (unless they raised it this year).   Hot showers in OR are free, CA are a buck for 2 tokens, 2 or 3 minutes each--plenty.   There are usually 2-3 picnic tables and shower/toilet building is nearby.  As I said, you meet so many nice people.  At Samuel Taylor SP just north of San Fran, raccoons got into the raccoon-proof! food box and got my bagels which I had planned for breaky.  So the lovely Kiwi couple I'd just met (he was retired NZ Air Force and NZ Air so we had lots to talk about) fed my out of their supplies!   There are bear-proof boxes in the SP's in N. CA, but farther south aren't as secure.
  WA needs to take lessons--Old Fort Townsend is one of the few I've been in like this--usually they are individual rough sites on hill sides!  Worst is Sequim Bay and Lk Sylvia--and cost $12!  
  So for those of you who haven't been touring yet--get with it!  Do WA first so you'll appreciate OR more.
Welcome to the club, both regular riding and touring.  You're planning the exact same route I did a few years ago.  It's all on crazyguy--just type my name in and you'll get it.  I had no problem with the bridge to Astoria--loved it, in fact.  I don't agree with John about either the 7 devils route or the lost coast.  Both are very difficult I'm told, but it looks like you are set up well for gravel so shouldn't have any problems.  I had a talk with a local in Coos Bay who lived in Charleston and he said the roads out there are very narrow, steep and heavy with truck and RV (they are the worst)  traffic and did not recommend riding that section.   So we didn't.  The beauty of the hiker/biker spots in the parks (besides cheap--WA needs to take lessons from OR & CA) is you meet so many nice people.  I rode with one guy I met for 3 days, and a lovely couple from France for 3 more.  Be sure to read as many journals as you can about the route as you'll get much good info from them.  Looking forward to meeting you and hope to ride along a bit as you start--if I can keep (or catch) up!
...And I think I would take the Seven Devils Road. On a weekday you will probably see some logging trucks. They were cutting in that area the last time I was on Seven Devils. The possibility of a few trucks is better than the certainty of traffic on U.S. 101. Caveats: 101 has better shoulders, and fewer undulations. I have a problem with high noise, and would still pick Seven Devils. The city streets in Coos Bay are friendly-ish.
Another alteration I would do is in Lincoln City, OR. I would cut off U.S. 101 and go around Devils Lake on the east side. The traffic and lights on U.S. 101 seem endless through that area. The traffic can be aggressive with people trying to get around RV's from red light to red light. The east side is residential, and there are driveways, etc., but the speed limit is 25 for most of it, and the traffic is light. Here is the section

I would also opt for Lost Coast Highway south of Eureka. If you're not averse to sections of gravel roads there are lots of very scenic options to U.S. 101 between Eureka and Leggett that don't involve the portions of U.S. 101 that are freeway. The section of U.S. 101 in the  Fortuna-Garberville area is quite underwhelming. West of U.S. 101 there are few paved alternatives, but more gravel alternatives. There are still hills, but they are more enjoyable than the U.S. 101 hills, and with better views. Most of the route I have linked here is paved. If you choose to try it, take food and water because there aren't many services out that way. The Leggett to Fort Brag section, while fun on a motorcycle, is full of tight corners and narrow lanes. Fortunately, it's relatively quiet, so you can hear traffic coming. There are a lot of blind corners, so be cautious. I don't think there are any alternatives to that, because of the rivers and terrain. The payoff at where Highway CA-1 reaches the coast north of Fort Bragg is a fantastic stretch of coastal beauty.
That's a nice trip!. It looks like you're going as far as SLO. I think that's a good place to turn around. You get the best of California, without the dense, LA busy areas. Thanks for the reply.

John, I’m a new member who primarily attends the March Point rides (I live on Whidbey Island). I am planning to ride the Pacific coast leaving later this month. Details are on my Crazy Guy page. Good luck with your planning and ride.


Welcome to Skagit Valley Tom, and thanks for the response.
I have been a club member off-and-on for several years, but because of my work hours, I don't make any club rides, or activities. Hopefully that'll change after I retire, and my schedule is more in my control. I look forward to meeting you and other members.
Hello John, At this time I am not planning a tour except I have been wanting to do the ACA Southern Tier route some day. I had moved from Indiana in June last year after my retirement hoping to start the planning process. Due to finance restrictions the trip was canceled. I'm thinking now that I may consider some shorter type of route?Your mentioning of your trip plan has tickled my interest again. Since I have joined the club, I was hoping to meet up with other members to possible do a tour some day. You are welcome to respond to me to share future plans with your trip if you wish. Best regards Tom

Here is my Crazy Guy on a Bike journals I have posted of some of my last tours.
I'm retiring in July, and I'm looking forward to finally being able to tour care-free of the passing time. I'm curious if anyone in the club is planning any short, or long bicycle trips this year.

Myself, I'm considering a one-way ride to Sacramento and return by train. I might extend it out to a loop, and return up the ACA coast route. I'll probably time it for September, since it is so hot there in the summer, and the coast route won't be as busy, should I decide to continue, and ride the return.  I have an old Navy buddy there that I owe a visit, and I understand there are a lot of good urban trails around there. I'll spend a day or two visiting.  I've always wanted to bicycle across the GG Bridge,  and might find reason to go out of my way to do that. I'm going self-contained, with mostly camping, and a few hotels for rest days. I'm going to plan a custom route, and will use portions of ACA routes. The trip south will probably be through Bend, and south through Lassen. I do not plan to ride through smoke and fires. An occasional day of light smoke is manageable. Weeks of continuous smoke will scuttle this plan, and I will ride someplace else. On the road I like hitting things like farmer's markets, and local artisan shops. I want to keep it at 40-60 miles per day.

I'm sorta fishing for companions, but I also want to hear what other members are planning.

Anyone else planning anything?
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