Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I use your ROUTES?
Bike touring is a great way to see the world. Best Coast Biking creates value by providing a detailed itinerary for your journey. Essentially, we simplify the logistics and planning with our pre-trip manal, route maps, and daily overviews so that the only thing you need to focus on is having a great experience.
How much DOES it cost to PURCHASE THE NECESSARY GEAR?
Depending on what you already have, purchasing gear may or may not be too expensive for you. If you're starting from scratch, and you want to get good quality equipment, it can cost between $3,000-$4,000 per person. If you are taking your gear to a starting point that requires air travel, consider the cost to check a bike on an airplane (it typically costs $200 each way) and airlines require that you dismantle and pack the bicycle. Greyhound buses in the USA also require you to box your bike. Amtrack and Canada Rail have bike cars and allow one bike per passenger.
Do you guide Trips?
Sadly, not anymore. While we are no longer guiding or outfitting anyone to go on independent rides, you can use our online, downloadable guides as a resource. If you are a woman, BIPOC, or queer individual in BC, Canada wanting to learn about bike touring, contact Sarah.
Are your Itineraries suitable for families?
Due to safety considerations, we currently do not encourage anyone under the age of 18 to participate in our journeys. Infant trailers can be tricky, and riding on busy roadways with your child in a trailer can be very dangerous.
How do I know that this kind of trip is right for me?
If you are intrepid, active, inspired by nature, and seeking a challenging and rewarding adventure, then bike touring is likely something you'll love. If you are unsure of your physical ability and aren't very comfortable with the idea of camping, a little training and perhaps a night or two of camping with experienced friends may give you the confidence to participate in one of our journeys.
STARTING YOUR RIDE
How do I get to the STARTING POINT?
Depending on where you are coming from, you will have to research the best possible way for you to get to your starting point. Check public and private transportation methods (bus, trains, ferry, planes, etc.) to figure out the best option for you. Consider both logistics and cost.
How do I get home from the FINISHING POINT?
There are several transportation options from the end of each trip, with the exception of Big Sur, which has a limited bus service to Carmel and Monterey. All other end points are large cities with many options for you to continue on your way.
What do I do with my suitcase?
Do your best to pack only what you will be bringing on your bike trip. Excess luggage can be tricky, but you do have the option to ship with FedEx to another FedEx location or hotel you have a reservation for. Ensure that you know exactly where your luggage will be delivered, and if it is shipped to a hotel, confirm with the front desk staff that you will be having a bag shipped to their location.
How do I book campsites?
You don't have to! As a cyclist, you can simply bike into any US state campsite and pay $5-$6 per person for the night. Occasionally, due to limited campsites along some sections of the coast, we suggest that you stay in a private campsite. These tend to have higher pricing ($12-$20 per person), but will accommodate ride-in cyclists.
Do I have to stay in Campgrounds?
No. If you would like to spend a night or two (or more) in hotels, B&Bs, or with friends, you are free to do so. We recommend checking out HipCamp (some locations offer yurts), Airbnb, VRBO, and hotel booking search engines to find the best accommodation options for you. Remember to check that bikes are allowed into the rooms. Some establishments do not allow this and do not provide safe storage facilities.
What amenities do the campsites offer?
Most campsites have a designated hiker/biker area where cyclists can stay. Facilities often include hot showers, flush toilets, lit washrooms, and a camp host who can answer any questions. There are also usually picnic tables, a fire pit, and a storage box for food. There are a few campsites that we suggest that have fewer amenities, and this is due to the limited number of campsites in those particular areas. Note: we avoid suggesting two campsites in a row with limited facilities in our routes.
Biking & Fitness
What does Easygoing, Moderate, and Challenging Mean?
Our journeys are categorized by difficulty level: easygoing, moderate, and challenging.
This is meant to give you a better sense of what kind of terrain you can expect.
Easygoing: Average 40 miles/day (approx. 4 hours). Elevation gain of 500-1,500 ft/day.
Moderate: Average 50 miles/day (approx. 5 hours). Elevation gain of 1,000-2,500 ft/day.
Challenging: Average 60+ miles/day (approx. 6-8 hours). Elevation gain of 2,500-5,000+ ft/day.
What are the road conditions like?
The routes we've created generally follow the Pacific Coast Bike Route and our routes in BC are tried and true. We have also made several changes to improve the experience of biking down the West Coast. Our routes are often on roads with mild to moderate traffic. Road conditions range from new pavement to rough roads with sections of uneven pavement. You should feel comfortable cycling on different road conditions, with varying amounts of traffic.
How fit Do I have to be to go on a trip like this?
The more prepared you are, the more comfortable and confident you'll be, and you'll get more out of your journey. Working your way up to riding 40 to 60 miles twice a week will ensure that you are ready to experience your first bike tour. Practice riding up and down hills and through a variety of traffic conditions. Remember, speed is not as important as strength and confidence.
I have never done a bike tour. What is Physically involved?
Bike touring is different from bike riding. You will be biking long distances each day with all of your equipment stowed on your bicycle. Since you are carrying equipment on your bike, your balance and speed will feel different, as you're biking with significantly more weight than on a regular day ride. Practice balancing and biking with a fully loaded bicycle ahead of your trip. We find it only takes a few minutes for most riders to fully adapt to the bike touring set up.
SHOULD I ABSOLUTELY stay on the suggested route?
We have prepared detailed instructions that we believe reflect the best possible route for your journey, but no, you can meander as your heart desires. Should you want to explore something off our suggested route or stay the night somewhere slightly off the designated itinerary, you are free to do so. Just keep in mind the amount of time necessary and the distance you will ride to return to the route.
What happens if I can't finish the trip?
Should a situation arise in which you cannot finish the trip, we recommend that you get yourself to the nearest public transportation hub or call a loved one to pick you up, if possible. If you can't bring your gear with you, do your best to find an honest individual to store it for you. Leaving it locked outside for a long period of time is not a good idea, as it will likely be stolen.
Still have questions?