With my past bike touring experiences I’d go days or weeks without seeing another bicycle tourist. That’s certainly not the case on the Pacific coast. I spotted at least 15 cyclists trekking north ( the harder way do to prevailing headwinds) and met or saw 20-30 heading South ( the more popular direction to travel).
Here are a few people I met along the way.
Lars is from Stuttgart, Germany and on a trip from Seattle to LA. He was one of the first cyclist I met on the road and one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He was taking a 2 month break from university before completing his civil engineering degree. One of the goals of his trip was to improve his English speaking and vocabulary. I was the worst person to help with that, but the best person to help some american jokes. The only German word I retained is senf, the word for mustard. If you look closely in the photo you’ll see the tiny helmet mounted mirror Lars bought. It ended up just giving him headaches so I think he was thankful when it fell off a few days later.
Aaron is from just outside of London, England. He was touring from Vancouver, BC to the Grand Canyon. He thought about riding from Canada to the Mexican border, but wanted to finish with more of a dramatic ending place. He LOVED it when I spoke a terrible English accent with all of my Brit slang terms. (not)
Meghan & Brad
These two crazy Canadians were whizzing from Vancouver to Mexico. They were so fast I couldn’t even dream of riding with them. The only reason we kept running into each other on the road was the fact that they’d do side trips and explore each and every sight they could. On a rest day they went for a 12 mile hike. ( Really guys? You’re making the rest of us look bad) If you ever have the chance to meet them, ask about that time they found a guy sleeping under the rain fly of their tent when it was pouring outside. It’s a great story!
Mark & Chris
These two fellows were heading north and were about to tackle a 2000 foot elevation gain. Chris , on the right, was just leaving San Francisco and heading up to Portland, Oregon before heading east to Portland, Maine.
Mark has been on the road for 8 months. He stops to volunteer for different environmental conservation groups one week of each month. Check out Cycling 4 Conservation.
Le French Canadian Couple
I met this couple from Montreal in the redwoods of California as they were heading north to B.C. As we were all taking a break from the sun and killer hills, they told me they were having a tough time dealing with the hills that day. I had to give them the bad news about a couple of monster California hills still in their way, but was also able to tell them the good news that the hills in Oregon aren’t as bad. They were on riding mountain bikes and carrying backpacks which makes it a little tougher to get those miles in. Hopefully I run into them in Montreal sometime so we can all share stories about the coast and so I can work on my French.
Le Kentucky Couple
These two were pedaling from Seattle to San Francisco during a break from the University of Louisville. They had matching bicycles and were having the best time ever. This was their first bike tour and they admitted they didn’t know what the heck they were doing when they first got started. They definitely figured it out. They were almost finished and were celebrating by enjoying a few rest days and all of the amenities of the KOA. ( I forgot their names because I was meeting too many cyclists to keep everyone straight. Lars forgot their names too so he called them the Kentuckies)
Canadian Couple #3
These two were on the most epic bike tour out of anyone I met on the coast. They had been on the road for 17 months touring the UK,Spain, France,Germany,Australia, New Zealand, Cuba and a few other places I forgot. Most recently they’ve been working their way from Florida to California to head up to Canada and then turn back east to head home.
I’ll share their blog with y’all as soon as I find that tiny piece of paper I put somewhere safe. Found it! Winter Rides Check it out
Nate was coming from Missoula, Montana and heading to San Francisco to attend a three month course on organic gardening. We tackled a particularly hilly day riding together. Always making sure to keep fuel in the tank. We stopped on the side of the road to admire a couple of elk and ended up chatting to a couple of bikers (motorcycle) that also stopped. It turns out one of them is the grandfather of pro cyclist Tejay van Garderen. If you look closely, you can see Nate spooning jam straight out of the jar and straight into his mouth.
The Chicago Gals
Tarina and Shannon were cycling from Eugene to San Francisco. They were two of my favorite people to hang out with along the way. They shared some of their fancy coffee with me one morning. Unfortunately, it was ground for french press and not my pour over coffee maker so it didn’t turn out so great. We all really enjoyed the lunch and snack breaks you get to take while touring.