Bike Across USA blog

Traveling by Bicycle Across America

Category: Bicycle Routes

Riding the Southern Tier 2016

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I started on this section of the ride on Monday, March 14, 2016. It took eight days to ride to the Phoenix area. So far most of my updates have been on Facebook.

Bicycle Travel and Logging Trucks

Logging truck

Logging truck

A logging truck driver waived at me as I was stopped off the road to take a picture. These drivers know where their vehicle is in the lane. I prefer them to Class A motor homes. Yesterday, one of those motor homes was driving almost on top of the fog line. I was on the right side of the fog line on the very narrow shoulder with my mirror almost on the fog line. Theses folks are ignoring the California law requiring drivers to give cyclists 3 feet of clearance. More than one has been inside that margin. The truckers do a lot better job.

Some motorists have shouted enthusiastic support. One young fellow with bikes mounted on his trunk, stuck his head out the window and flashed a peace sign. He was much friendlier than a passenger last week who only showed half a peace sign.

Coastline Highway View north of Elk, California

Northern California Coast

Northern California Coast

This is a picture I took this afternoon, before the fog rolled in. after I passed through Elk, California the road dropped to cross a creek and then turned up in a series of steep hairpin turns. I walked, pushing the loaded bike (about 80 pounds).

Preparing for Bicycle Travel on the Pacific Coast

Route guide book

Route guide book

I am in the Seattle area preparing to ride the Pacific coast from near the Canadian border to Mexico.

Traveling by Amtrak from Chicago to Seattle worked well with the exception of a long delay caused by a freight train waiting for a crew change. The train ride followed parts of the route I used to ride coast to coast in 2012. I’m staying with Rod, who I met in Maine on that ride.

Pacific coast rote

Pacific coast rote

The back cover of the guide book shows the route. It follows highways 101 and 1 most of the time. Each day is laid out from campground to campground. Average daily mileage is just over 53 miles.

Southern Tier Route Across the USA: Is San Diego East of Reno

Reno-SanDiegoA recent comment from Rick Landers suggested I should check the first paragraph of my Bicycle Routes page where it says San Diego is East of Reno, Nevada. So I checked the facts. As you can see by the map to the left, San Diego is indeed East of Reno.  This fact is part of the reason why bicycle routes across the southern portion of the United States are shorter than those starting in northern California, Oregon or Washington.

Looking at the Eastern Seaboard, you can see the rest of the story. St. Augustine, Florida and Savannah, Georgia are East of Yorktown, Virginia and Bar Harbor, Maine where Adventure Cycling Association’s TransAmerica Trail and Northern Tier routes end.

If you have questions about bicycle touring across the USA or cycling questions, leave a comment or send me an email.

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