“Cycling the Pacific Coast” is definitive guidebook for West Coast adventure

If a bicycle tour of the Pacific Coast is in your sights, you should consider using “Cycling the Pacific Coast” by Bill Thorness.

Cover of Cycling the Pacific Coast

The book published by Mountaineers Books is nothing less than the definitive guidebook for those traveling the 2,000 miles from Vancouver, BC, to the Mexican border.

Bill Thorness, a Seattle-based author and avid bicyclist, spent two years riding along the Pacific Coast to research the route. Bill knows his stuff. He has previously written a popular guidebook for recreational rides around the Seattle area and regularly leads rides for the Cascade Bicycle Club.

Using the Adventure Cycling Association’s Pacific Coast Route as a guideline, Bill created a guide for a 45-day trip down the coast, including rest days. He also researched alternate routes and side trips that could add up to a couple of weeks to the journey.

Because the bike tour is organized into one-day increments, anyone can use the book to plan weekend rides, or week-long rides that tackle different sections of the trail.

Each one-day chapter lists the distance and elevation gain. A detailed map shows the route, other roads or trails, hiker-biker campgrounds as well as other campgrounds, points of interests, tunnels, bridges and more. A route cross-section displays elevation, and the mileage log reports route directions and highlights along the route.

In addition to the above, Bill also writes a narrative for each day’s trip that tells what looms ahead for the traveling bicyclists: Road conditions. Friendly roadside attractions and diners. Rough sections of road. Detours. The local flora and fauna. History.

There’s also useful information on train and airline travel to different destinations along the route. Also, there are tour options for trips to six major cities.

In the introduction, Bill tells how to prepare for the journey and suggests how to pack the gear on your bike. Like most who have traveled the coast, he recommends a north-south route to catch the prevailing winds.

He also explains the factors that make bicycling the Pacific Coast a truly epic adventure. He describes miles of road that cling to oceanside bluffs or pass through deep redwood forests.

If you’re looking for a overnighter bicycle trip or two- or three-month journey down the Pacific Coast, I’d recommend taking along and consulting “Cycling the Pacific Coast: The Complete Guide from Canada to Mexico.” It should make your trip that much more fulfilling.

Peter Gross photo: Bicycle camping on Pacific Coast

 

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