Seattle to San Francisco by Bike



It started out during conversation with a friend I sometimes bike with in Palo Alto, but he was on a family trip to Europe and couldn’t join. Family and friends thought variously it was a great idea but couldn’t get time, or would not even consider it, thinking (usually in error) that they wouldn’t be able to do it.  What I have shown is that almost anyone can do this.  I am not a bike jock or much of an athlete, but do run, bike and hike short to moderate distances.  I’ve never taken a trip like this.  The idea grew on me, though, and once I told friends and family I was planning to do it, it became more and more likely that I would try.  Life is short, and I’m not likely to be more physically strong in the future, so why put it off?

I trained roughly according to the Cascade Bicycle Club STP recommendations on their website, though missed much of the planned weekly mileage.  I commute by bike most days though distances are usually less than 10 miles.  On weekends I would bike 50-100 miles a day, and from 80 - 200 miles a week in June and July, so I felt I was reasonably prepared.  In training my average speed was 13 mph.  Turns out I was slower with all the hills and extra weight so days were longer on the trip than I had planned.  All things considered I think I was adequately prepared.  My legs were mildly to moderately sore the whole time but I did not need Tylenol or Advil at any time.

Check the Blog section of this site for the day by day descriptions and maps.  See other sections listed across the top of this page.  Please email questions or comments to  Thanks!

Tom Payne

Seattle, Washington

August 1, 2008

Why this trip?  Was I prepared?

This is the story of my bicycle trip from Seattle to San Francisco, along the spectacular Pacific Coast route, July 12-25, 2008.


1,046 miles

14 days

80 miles a day, with 1 rest day

0 gallons gasoline

Camped 11 of 13 nights

Cooked most dinners, cafes/delis for B & L

53 years old, no long distance tours in past

Route based on Bicycling the Pacific Coast