Highway 101 and Route 1 - a ride to the sunset

21 Days | 1297.61mi | Riding Time: 113h 7min | 64485 kcal | 60657 vertical feet coastal-highway-101-route-1-description-road-conditions

After thousands of through the Canadian Forests we awaited the US West Coast. Squamish lies almost at sea level and after a few days of rest and relaxation we kept riding further south. We cancelled the planned visit of Vancouver because a huge storm approached the coast. Heavy storm gusts, rain and temperatures around low 30ies made the decision easy to leave out Vancouver and set over to Vancouver Island by ferry. We saw the city cover in clouds from our boat. Our hopes to better weather over at the east side of Vancouver Islands dropped soon after our arrival. Here the storm was as bad as anywhere else. We decided to ride as fast as possible down to Sidney in the South of the island and take the ferry on the next day over to Anacortes in Washington to get around the storm. Instead of backroads we decided to ride directly on the Freeway. Soaked to the bone and freezing we reached the ferry to Anacortes the next day. The reentry to the USA was rather easy, just an ID check and we were back in the States.coastal-highway-101-route-1-description-road-conditions From Anacortes we took a long bridge over to Whidbey Island, where we met friends. On the bridge we had so strong wind-gusts from the side that Mathias was blown against the handrail and we had to walk the rest of the bridge. The bridge over Deception Pass is known for its strong wind gusts where even trucks got blown in the handrails. On Whidbey Island we could recover two days, after we set over again to the Port Townsend. Shortly afterwards the Coastal Highway 101 started. coastal-highway-101-route-1-description-road-conditionsWe surrounded the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, and rode most of the time in a National Park. Soon we heard the noise of the sea again and smelled the salty air of the sea shore. We were at the coast again! Right at the same time when we rode through the Park the US Government shutdown occurred, which also affected all National and Federal Parks. Our first picnic at the beach was therefore interrupted by a ranger, who explained us the closure and that the entire beach is closed for the public. Since it was already getting dark and the next campground outside the National Park was 60mi away, the ranger let us camp on the 8mi away National Campground. This meant we had the entire campground for us and a spot directly next to the ocean with an incredible view over the shore.coastal-highway-101-route-1-description-road-conditions We continued further to Washington, until we met our support from Portland shortly before Aberdeen. Mathias’ friends, he already knows from High School and through his recent internship at Daimler, met us in Washington and wanted to come with us until Portland. And they brought us also new semi-slick tires and water-proof jackets, which got sent to Portland through our two sponsor bike-components.de an Continental. Also we had room in the support car for all our equipment we didn’t need for the day which made us a lot faster without the entire load. The smooth tires also helped us to go so much faster than with the knobby tires. Every time one of our friends was driving the car the others rode the bicycle with us. At the same day we made it back to the coast again and enjoyed a cool ride in the sunset at the beach.coastal-highway-101-route-1-description-road-conditionsTwo days later we crossed the Astoria-Megler-Bridge, which traverses the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington. This is one of the longest bridges we have ever seen in our lives and is more than 3mi long. In Oregon we did a little detour away from the coast to Portland, where we gave us a little time to recover and gain more strength for the second half along the coast down to San Francsico. With a few repairs we got our bicycles ready again for some more miles. We reached the Coast again at Pacific City and enjoyed one of the good beers in the local Pelican Brewery directly at the beach. We followed the coastal route down to the border to California where the Del Norte National Park starts right after the border. coastal-highway-101-route-1-description-road-conditionsHere the tallest trees on earth grow, the California Coastal Redwoods. These types of trees are more than 100 Meters tall and more than 2000 years old. In California two types of the Redwoods exist, the Coastal Redwoods (sequoia sempervirens) and the ones which grow the biggest diameter (sequoia giganteum). The second ones grow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These ones are not on our route but the ones at the coast are already very impressive. We saw on a map, that there was a bicycle route through the forest of Redwoods, the Coastal Trail. Riding this trail, we soon realized that we are more on a hiking trail and not on a bicycle trail. We walked and pushed our bikes through the forest until we reached the right part of this trail. Gigantic Redwood trees were awaiting us and we rode completely alone through a forest of these massive trees. coastal-highway-101-route-1-description-road-conditions Half way down along the coast in California, we left the Highway 101 and took the more scenic Route 1, which directly follows the West Coast down. We rode most of the time directly next to the sea but the fog was mostly really thick so we only heard the shore. Sometimes the sun made its way through the fog and it opened an incredible view to the wide Pacific Ocean. The Route 1 continues curvy and hilly, so we did many vertical feet again until San Francisco. We can’t see any more mountains! coastal-highway-101-route-1-description-road-conditions The perfect finish of the Coastal Stage: The ride over the Golden Gate Bridge! coastal-highway-101-route-1-description-road-conditions