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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to begin researching for a tour along the Pacific Coast from southern Oregon to the Bay Area. I would greatly appreciate any advice, comments, and resources. I'm tentitively planning for the trip in the summer of 2010 or 1011. Will be touring on a Surly Long Haul Trucker, which I'll be ordering soon!

I'm particularly interested in campgrounds, hostels, and stealth camping! And would also like to find anyone interested in tagging along for the adventure!

Also would like advice on which camping gear to invest in, which I will be testing soon, on shorter bicycle camping trips -- Caswell Memorial State Park, Yosemite, and Calaveras Big Trees.

I'd like to have a durable, light weight, tent that will keep me and my stuff dry, with at least one vestuble, and plenty of room for my stuff inside and under the vestuble.

I'd like to spend around $200 for the tent, possibly a little more, and about $100 or less for a sleeping bag, and another $150 for the sleeping pad and stove. I'm hoping that I can spend around $500 or less for these four items. I have pretty much everything else that I need.
 

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The "Bible" for touring the Pacific Coast is Bicycling the Pacific Coast, by Kirkendall and Spring.
http://www.amazon.com/Bicycling-Pacific-Coast-Complete-Canada/dp/089886562X

They break down the ride into roughly 60 mile segments, each beginning and ending at a state park. The state parks have hiker/biker campsites where you can camp for $3 (The same price as when I first rode down the coast in '78). You're guaranteed a spot, and they're a great place to meet other bicycle tourists. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bicycling The Pacific Coast, Kindle Edition

robwh9 said:
The "Bible" for touring the Pacific Coast is Bicycling the Pacific Coast, by Kirkendall and Spring.
http://www.amazon.com/Bicycling-Pacific-Coast-Complete-Canada/dp/089886562X

They break down the ride into roughly 60 mile segments, each beginning and ending at a state park. The state parks have hiker/biker campsites where you can camp for $3 (The same price as when I first rode down the coast in '78). You're guaranteed a spot, and they're a great place to meet other bicycle tourists. Have fun!
Does anyone know the difference with the "Kindle Edition" of "Bicycling The Pacific Coast: A Complete Route Guide, Canada To Mexico"?

It's available for only $9.99. I'd like to order it if it's basically the same as the other version.
 

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vja4Him said:
Does anyone know the difference with the "Kindle Edition" of "Bicycling The Pacific Coast: A Complete Route Guide, Canada To Mexico"?

It's available for only $9.99. I'd like to order it if it's basically the same as the other version.
Kindle implies an electronic book (e-book). It requires at least a battery powered display device to read any contents.

I recommend against using such a setup on a tour. If I was going to carry any such it would be a small laptop or notepad computer/cell phone. Properly chosen, these would also be able to display (at least some) e-books.

Otherwise, buy the paperback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
sometimerider said:
Kindle implies an electronic book (e-book). It requires at least a battery powered display device to read any contents.

I recommend against using such a setup on a tour. If I was going to carry any such it would be a small laptop or notepad computer/cell phone. Properly chosen, these would also be able to display (at least some) e-books.

Otherwise, buy the paperback.
I definitely want the hard copy! I found a free electronic version of the book here:
 

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I've done it twice and had a great time....but keep an eye out if you use hiker/biker campgrounds, had a few bad experience with homeless wackos and drunks. September is usually the best month, the California coast is less foggy then most years and there is less tourist traffic. BTW, Adventure Cycling sells maps for the route...
 
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you're going to have a great trip!

i'd pick a solo shelter, probably a synthetic bag.
like this: http://www.rei.com/product/747887
i use an older Kelty Light Year synthetic, and what i especially like about it, is that the toe box zips open. I'm always amazed how much heat my feet and legs generate.

and you'd be fine with a micro ISO fuel stove.
i use a Snow Peak stuff.
http://www.snowpeak.com/back/stoves/ultralight.html
the solo cookset is awesome!
http://www.snowpeak.com/back/cookware/titanium.html

basically your trip will come down to 2 major factors.

either you carry a lot of stuff, and be more self contained
or
you buy a lot of stuff along the way, and carry less.

either way, in my strong personal opinion, its a good idea to carry a water filter.
i've used this: http://www.rei.com/product/695265
with no complaints. I am now on my 2nd MSR filter over about 10yrs. they rock!

and you may want to carry a bladder of some sort. you'd be surprised how applicable it is to use one.
looks like MSR now makes a lighter and faster set up. http://www.msrgear.com/watertreatment/dromlite.asp

as to sleeping pads. i have both.
a ThermaRest obviously compresses down, so it saves space. its also susceptible to punctures, altho i've never had the occasion.
the Ridge Rest: http://www.rei.com/product/708520
is my preferred. bcz its cheap, it floats, so you can lay on it while floating in a swimming spot. usually they are black on one side, silver on the other.
black obviously absorbs heat. so you can use it to make sun tea.
or to lay in the sun, and warm up.
silver, obviously reflects.
its foam, and you can lay it on rough ground, or over vegetation, and not worry too much. it wont deflate if something pokes into it.

you will want some long johns.
i use these: http://www.rei.com/product/742779
black is always good. it absorbs heat.

the list goes on and on...
those are some of the basics.

peace...d
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the tips!!! I'm really looking forward to touring the Oregon Coast. I may go for the entire Oregon Coast ... Not sure yet. I found a copy of the book, "Bicycling the Pacific Coast," which I should receive soon. I'm also going to get the maps from ODOT. So I'll be having fun studying the maps, probably writing to several places to find out more information.

I saw a post somewhere with a picture of someone's bicycle strapped to the wall inside of an Amtrak train! Has anyone ever done that before? I wonder if I could put my bike on the Amtrak train from northern California to Oregon? I would prefer doing that if possible ....

I want to visit museums, historical sites, and camp along the beaches, and spend lots of time walking on the beaches, during the day, and late at night. I love the ocean, and listening to the sound of the crashing waves!!! I would love to live on the Oregon Coast.

Any suggestions of stealth camping, places to visit .... ???

I would prefer to carry everything that I need. And I do plan on carrying a water bag of some sort. Not sure which one yet .... I do plan on buying some food along the way, but will carry as much food as possible.

That sleeping bag you have looks great! What is the temperature rating? I like the pocket for glasses and flashlight. I wear glasses, so that would really come in handy.

Is a water filter really necessary for the touring the Oregon Coast?

SelfPropelledDevo said:
you're going to have a great trip!

i'd pick a solo shelter, probably a synthetic bag.
like this: http://www.rei.com/product/747887
i use an older Kelty Light Year synthetic, and what i especially like about it, is that the toe box zips open. I'm always amazed how much heat my feet and legs generate.

and you'd be fine with a micro ISO fuel stove.
i use a Snow Peak stuff.
http://www.snowpeak.com/back/stoves/ultralight.html
the solo cookset is awesome!
http://www.snowpeak.com/back/cookware/titanium.html

basically your trip will come down to 2 major factors.

either you carry a lot of stuff, and be more self contained
or
you buy a lot of stuff along the way, and carry less.

either way, in my strong personal opinion, its a good idea to carry a water filter.
i've used this: http://www.rei.com/product/695265
with no complaints. I am now on my 2nd MSR filter over about 10yrs. they rock!

and you may want to carry a bladder of some sort. you'd be surprised how applicable it is to use one.
looks like MSR now makes a lighter and faster set up. http://www.msrgear.com/watertreatment/dromlite.asp

as to sleeping pads. i have both.
a ThermaRest obviously compresses down, so it saves space. its also susceptible to punctures, altho i've never had the occasion.
the Ridge Rest: http://www.rei.com/product/708520
is my preferred. bcz its cheap, it floats, so you can lay on it while floating in a swimming spot. usually they are black on one side, silver on the other.
black obviously absorbs heat. so you can use it to make sun tea.
or to lay in the sun, and warm up.
silver, obviously reflects.
its foam, and you can lay it on rough ground, or over vegetation, and not worry too much. it wont deflate if something pokes into it.

you will want some long johns.
i use these: http://www.rei.com/product/742779
black is always good. it absorbs heat.

the list goes on and on...
those are some of the basics.

peace...d
 
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vja4Him said:
Thanks for the tips!!! I'm really looking forward to touring the Oregon Coast. I may go for the entire Oregon Coast ... Not sure yet. I found a copy of the book, "Bicycling the Pacific Coast," which I should receive soon. I'm also going to get the maps from ODOT. So I'll be having fun studying the maps, probably writing to several places to find out more information.

I saw a post somewhere with a picture of someone's bicycle strapped to the wall inside of an Amtrak train! Has anyone ever done that before? I wonder if I could put my bike on the Amtrak train from northern California to Oregon? I would prefer doing that if possible ....

I want to visit museums, historical sites, and camp along the beaches, and spend lots of time walking on the beaches, during the day, and late at night. I love the ocean, and listening to the sound of the crashing waves!!! I would love to live on the Oregon Coast.

Any suggestions of stealth camping, places to visit .... ???

I would prefer to carry everything that I need. And I do plan on carrying a water bag of some sort. Not sure which one yet .... I do plan on buying some food along the way, but will carry as much food as possible.

That sleeping bag you have looks great! What is the temperature rating? I like the pocket for glasses and flashlight. I wear glasses, so that would really come in handy.

Is a water filter really necessary for the touring the Oregon Coast?
i'm not sure about the water filter and Oregon Coast. I've done a bunch of the California Coast, and lots of backpacking, I've always used a filter. pump filters are awesome, being that you can pump water out of the smallest of sources. literally, you can suck up water out of a crevice if needed.

Amtrak: well, its going to take a bunch of research. from what i know, every train has different amenities. and to top it off, often times its an Amtrak Bus/Train combo in travel.

I often go to LA. I haven't owned a car for around 5yrs now. so i use Amtrak, or i ride Monterey to Ventura

for me, that trip, if i use Amtrak goes like this.

ride bike to Salinas Amtrak Station
get on Amtrak Bus
Bus to San Luis Obispo
get on Amtrak Train (Pacific Surfliner. from what i can tell, there are 2 Amtrak trains named "pacific surfliner".)
Train to either Ventura, Oxnard, or all the way into LA, depart at Union Station.

Amtrak is a juggle.
probably the best thing you can do, is to sit there and study the website.

peace...d
 

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There are plenty of beaches and forests to stealth camp - although on my 3 tours down the coast I usually camped at state park hiker/biker sites. My favorites are Cape Lookout and Rock Creek - but all north of San Luis Obispo are nice. I even met Kirkendall and Spring at the one near Bandon, OR a long time ago.

There are plenty of towns with markets on the route, so there's really no reason to carry much food or water. I've never needed a water filter. The book covers detours from Hwy 1 and points of interest pretty well.

I've always flown up to Seattle, Portland, or Eugene and ridden down, but now days they charge a lot to take your bike on the plane.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
robwh9 said:
There are plenty of beaches and forests to stealth camp - although on my 3 tours down the coast I usually camped at state park hiker/biker sites. My favorites are Cape Lookout and Rock Creek - but all north of San Luis Obispo are nice. I even met Kirkendall and Spring at the one near Bandon, OR a long time ago.

There are plenty of towns with markets on the route, so there's really no reason to carry much food or water. I've never needed a water filter. The book covers detours from Hwy 1 and points of interest pretty well.

I've always flown up to Seattle, Portland, or Eugene and ridden down, but now days they charge a lot to take your bike on the plane.
I was thinking of renting a van or small pick up, and just driving up the coast to Astoria, then dropping off the vehicle there, and riding down the coast. When I figured out the cost, it seemed too much to spend, so I'm looking into taking the train instead.
 

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I wouldn't want to stealth camp

I wouldn't want to stealth camp in the USA, as there are too many axe murderers around. If you insist, I would probably stay on a school baseball or soccer field, setting up after dark and leaving very early, like 4:00 am or so. On the topic of stealth camping, I remember my bike touring days in Japan, were we would stay at any park, temple, school or under the awning of some business. Staying on a temple grounds alone is one of the freakiest experiences I've ever encountered. It wasn't just me who did this, I even saw young Japanese bike tourists camping in some places that would freak out most Americans. Japan is very safe, especially if you are a 6'1", 180lb guy from the mean streets of California.
 

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SPD has some great suggestions. I'd also consider one of these as an alternative to a tent- I have one, and it's incredibly comfortable
 

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A water filter is not at all required on the Oregon coast. It would be wasted weight and volume. There are towns and gas stations and stores every 10-20 miles, even on the more sparsely populated southern coast.

The state park system is excellent, and there are usually showers in the larger parks. They can be crowded in the summer, but you can usually slip into a hiker-biker slot with no advance planning.
 
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