Vancouver to San Francisco and back

9 years ago, a group of four of us tried riding our bikes down to San Francisco. We turned back at Redding, California because we were running out of time. We didn’t realize riding such long distance in the summer heat can be so taxing.

9 years later, Fiona and I attempted the trip again. We rode for 12 hours a day, 4 days straight, and actually managed to cram in 3,264 km to San Francisco and back.

Day 1: Vancouver to Newport, Oregon, 745 km

Leaving town first thing in the morning, we ride down I-5 to connect to highway 30. From there on, it’s Highway 101 all the way down.

We both fell asleep really quickly that night. Neither of us have done this type of distance in a long time.

My bike

My bike

Fiona's bike

Fiona’s bike

First stop on the Pacific Highway

First stop on the Pacific Highway

Oregon coast

Oregon coast

Mexican food dinner

Mexican food dinner

Day 2: Newport, Oregon to Willits, California, 734 km

Riding through very wet fog on the Oregon coast all morning was interesting. But as soon as we went past northern California, the temperature just kept rising. At one point we were riding in 37 Celsius weather. I drank up my 2 litre water and was thirsty for more.  It was another long day in the saddle.

The scenery along Highway 101 cannot be beat.

Someone gave us some homemade blueberry muffins. Lucky us!

Someone gave us some homemade blueberry muffins. Lucky us!

Oregon coast

Oregon coast

Reached California

Reached California

Paul Bunyan and Babe

Paul Bunyan and Babe

Very, very, very tired

Very, very, very tired

Day 3: Willits to San Francisco, then up to Medford, Oregon, 840 km

We took the last bit of Highway 101 to get to San Francisco. At the Golden Gate vista point, we took some “we were here” pictures and then turned right around back. The rest of the day was spent on the I-5 trying to make some distance. We found a very nice campsite with hot shower and flush toilets. Dinner was instant noodles and ice cream.

Getting ready for a long day in the saddle

Getting ready for a long day in the saddle

Made it to San Francisco

Made it to San Francisco

This girl was pretty excited

This girl was pretty excited

Trying to make this look like a bike ad

Trying to make this look like a bike ad

Golden Gate bridge

Golden Gate bridge

Camping

Camping

This map has feet

This map has feet

Day 4: Medford, Oregon to Vancouver, 945 km

We booted it along the I-5 for the entire day, riding through rain, hail, sunshine, at least 6 accidents (including a motorcycle accident) and car fires and stalled cars. The goal was just to get home so we aren’t caught in the rain forecasted for Sunday.

945 km in a day is one of the longest rides I’ve ever done (second only to the Iron Butt ride I did way back in 2005). The most important thing was that we got home safe and sound.

I was having a really great hair day

I was having a really great hair day

Riding through the smoke from forest fires around Mount Sashta

Riding through the smoke from forest fires around Mount Sashta

Taking a break from the rain

Taking a break from the rain

Fiona's luggage got a little beaten up on the trip. A little bungee net to help it hang on.

Fiona’s luggage got a little beaten up on the trip. A little bungee net to help it hang on.

Got home safely!

Got home safely!

 

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