I'm planning a several months cycle trip. I live in B.C. Canada, my idea is to fly to Phoenix maybe in March, cycle around the warmer parts of Arizona for a month or so, then make my way up north of LA to cycle up the Pacific Coast back to Vancouver. I probably like to be back middle to end of May, so that I have time to fly to Halifax and cycle from there to Toronto, where I attend a Tai Chi workshop on August 8th. I'm still trying to figure out the best direction to cycle the Pacific Coast( I considered to start later in April-May and cycle down the coast to San Francisco, then fly to Halifax, that would mean as I've heard, I might have a better chance for having the wind in my back and also I would cycle on the right side of the road, considering, that the view is on the right)So if anyone has some thoughts about this, I'm open for suggestions. thanks!
I cycled twice in Australia, 3 and 5 month( Cairns to Cooktown and back through the outback, and Tasmania)and twice in NZ (5 and 8 months top to bottom), a lot of it by myself. On this trip though I would like to have someone join me either for the whole trip, or even if you have only a couple of weeks and would like to join me for some time, that would be great too.
I live on a hilly island and am riding several times a week to get to town, so I'm relatively fit, but any man can outride me I guess. Usually I cycle 60-80km depending on terrain sometimes more or less. So I'm looking to share the ride with someone, who appreciates the shared adventures even though he/she might have to wait occasionally on the top of a hill. Just having fun and enjoying the scenery, company and new impressions.
I have ridden from Phoenix to and up the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) twice. I have also ridden down (North to South.) The winds generally blow out of the northwest during th summer and out of the southwest in the winter. In the spring they can blow either way.
Most days the winds do not come up until 11 or 12am. So if they are in your face start and plan to quit early. There is plenty to do and see so if you are just riding you will miss much.
The best book for this journey is old but still very good. Link to the book.
The real potential wind problem you will have is crossing the desert west of the Colorado River. The distances between services are long, the winds can blow above 25mph, picking up sand and other flying objects and delivering them to your face and body. I8 has a corrugated shoulder to add to the fun. You cannot use I10 until the Junction of RT60. You must go through Wickenburg following Rt60 to I10.
I prefer going across on Rt40. It is a wonderful ride through Wickenburg, Yarnell, Prescott. The ride across the desert about the same. I40 has better shoulders but is still a busy highway. This brings you out on the coast at Santa Maria. Avoiding the LA area.
May I ask why Phoenix?
The wind direction is generally northwest so you could be pedaling against the wind for much of your ride along the California coast.
I've cycled sections of the Pacific Coast Highway, north to south. I flew to Seattle, began cycling on Whidbey Island, made my way north to the San Juan Islands for a few days, and then turned around, heading south to San Francisco.
I'd stick with the north-to-south direction because the coastal views are best and that was the most exciting part of the ride. My trip was in the summer, and the winds were not always blowing over my shoulder ~ some days the winds were in my face.
I highly recommend including Whidbey in your journey, if it's an option.
On the Olympic Peninsula, I elected to travel the inland side along the Hood Canal, mostly due to my solo travel and lack of experience with bears. It was beautiful, rolling scenic roadway and I'd do it again. However, after hiking parts of the western peninsula, I'd love to cycle that side in the future.
I'm currently touring, having gone from Alaska to Veracruz, Mexico so far. I did part of the trip you've mentioned in the opposite direction.
I came down through Fraser Canyon to Chilliwack & crossed the border at Abbotsford/Sumas. I crossed Whitby Island & took the ferry to Port Townsend, eventually hitting the coast in Lincoln City, OR. I followed the coast all the way to LA & beyond through Baja.
If you are interested my blog is www.johnbensontravels.com/currenttrip.html . All of the links are on the left, including a map of the whole route and where I slept each night. Of particular interest may be the two tables of Hiker/Biker sites in California - one north of San Francisco; another south - in the USA section. It is difficult to find this information on the 'Net, particularly as the State seems to have closed some of them down, so it may be as up-to-date a list as you'll find.
If you need any more specific information at anytime, don't hesitate to contact me at [email protected]. If you want to read more blogs, I can pass on other addresses of those who have done this recently.
I tried to send each of you a message, but it didn't work, so this has to do.
I will research the blogs, thanks a lot.
I like to know, where Rt40 is, couldn't find it on the map, I only see I40. I try to be in the warmer areas of Arizona, that's why I chose Phoenix as a starting point, to tour around the area a bit. So for crossing from Phoenix to the coast I would be happy about a little more advice( I don't really want to be blown about left to right in desert winds!)
On the coast head wind is a bummer, but if I can avoid it in starting early, I will.
thanks so much for all your advice!
I dont have any advice on your specific route as I have not done it. However if you choose to pass through Ventura on your way up the California coast A warm shower clean floor and a good meal are more than likely possible.
I will happily get in contact, once I have a better idea about the timing of my journey. Thanks so much!
Sorry about the mistype, it is I 40.
As to the desert. Catching a ride is always an option. have you looked at the Adventure Cycling Southern
Tier maps? They use I8. The distances between places is somewhat shorter and the maps for the section from San Diego and Tempe could be a big help to you.
I led the Trans America and the Northern Tier for them and the maps are very good. They detail services and stops and are set up in about day distances.
If you do start in Phoenix I can provide you some names of cyclists that possibly could be of help. There is some very good riding around Arizona.
When did you say you were starting?
I'm contemplating between Eastern Canada May-July (I may fly to Quebec City and make my way slowly to St. John's, NF), a lot of the times probably cold and rainy, or the trip from Vancouver down the Pacific coast ( this option is to start also in May going north to south and see where I end up within 3 months), where it most likely gets warmer with every day. I guess the decision shouldn't be too hard. But both trips I like to do eventually, I just have to figure out the timing.
Thank you all very much for your input. It's a great help.