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Thread: Likely traffic on Hwy 1 along the Pacific coast in July

  1. #1

    Likely traffic on Hwy 1 along the Pacific coast in July

    I am sure many will want to ride Hwy 1 during the 2013 International Rally. I have been told that the traffic is heavy with slow moving RV's during that time of year. Could someone in the know comment on the likely Hwy 1 traffic both north and south of Salem, Ore during July. Would it be advisable to plan a 100 mi ride then or just plan on a short time trip and go inland. Driving 15-20 mph would be miserable.

  2. #2
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Surf City, USA (Santa Cruz, CA)
    Sure, I can comment.

    First of all, "Highway 1" is California state route 1. So,you'll have to ride about 350 miles or so south to get to it.

    The most direct way to get to it is along US-101, which runs down the entire Oregon coast. It's beautiful country, but it is also the main north-south road, and it will be congested.

    OTOH, many of the east-west Oregon state routes have little traffic and are a blast to ride. You can also piece together some very beautiful and very challenging riding on local roads north-south between US-101 and I-5. It is possible to transit the entire state in this area without getting on either 101 or 5. And it's worth doing!
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison

  3. #3
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    Fog strikes most often in Summer months along the entire West Coast, as warmer days hit inland the cooler coastlines get fog frequently. Do not miss the chance however to ride the coast, because its worth every minute, imo. Quite often, you will find sun also. The Pacific Coast waters are a steady 50-55 degrees temp and cooler riding is always present along the coast, so go prepared to stay warm. The Southern Oregon Coast is better for less traffic and further North gets worse, so just take it all in stride, enjoy yourself and the pace. Salem will be a real nice time. Out West we get a wide temp range, same day riding phenom, from Coast to valleys to mountains and the temps can range from hot to cold quickly. Carry the gear. Randy

  4. #4
    Lifetime Member Ridealot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Salem Or.
    Hwy 1 is in California so I assume you mean Hwy 101. The Oregon coast has some of the most beautiful scenery and is defiantly worth seeing. I would not take Hwy22 then 18 from Salem though. Years ago they built a casino about half way to the coast in Grand Ronde, and another casino at the coast in Lincoln City. Since then the traffic on these roads is awful in the summer and its now common to have stop and go traffic backed up for 5 to 10 miles before Lincoln City. I live in Salem and I haven't ridden on Hwy 18 to Lincoln City in years now, the extra traffic to the casinos have destroyed that route. Depending on how long of a trip you want to make I would head towards Corvallis and take either Hwy 20 or or Hwy 18. Or for a longer ride and some of the more scenic bits of the coast go South toward Eugene and take Hwy 126 over to 101. Then head North on 101 and head back to Salem on whichever road you want.

    The coast traffic is very easy to figure out. Every time the road moves slightly inland and you can't see the ocean traffic is at about the speed limit, every time you can see the ocean the tourist traffic slows down. And whenever the scenery is really beautiful it slows down even more. If your in a hurry its annoying, if you just relax and enjoy the ride its pretty nice. There are some nice twisty bits of road on 101, but you can just forget about riding them at a spirited pace. Grandpa will be white knuckling his 40' land yacht around those corners at much less than an exciting pace.

    And no matter what the temps are in Salem take warm clothes with you. If its 80*-90* in Salem it could be anywhere from 40*-70* at the coast. Add fog or wind and your gonna freeze at the coast without the right gear!
    Salem Or.
    '93 K1100LT w/Bushtec
    '09 F650GS '15 Ducati Multistrada

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Craftsbury, Vermont
    Tom, thank you for a local's input! After crossing the country to Washington, Barley and I will be dropping into OR just east of Mt Hood. The plan is to travel secondary roads in the West Cascades down to Crater Lake, then head for the coastline at Coos Bay or Reedport and follow 101 north to Lincoln City for our last soft bed and hot shower experience before heading to the rally. I was going to head directly inland, but based on your input it looks like backtracking to Newport and taking 20 -- or just a few miles south and taking 34 -- to Corvallis and then up to Salem might be more enjoyable.

    I am generally on the road by 6am, but it sounds like morning fog might be likely that time of year. I hate fog! The coastline is a must for at least part of a day. I want my furry traveling buddy to have the opportunity to play in the Pacific.

    Thanks again!

    Pete and Barley
    '12 R1200GSA for solo rides
    '10 R1200GSA with Hannigan dual sport sidecar for rides with Tulliver

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Lethbridge Alberta
    One thing I've found from previous trips on Hwy # 1 in California is 300 mile days are about it. Too much traffic and slower posted speeds etc. And yes its cooler along the ocean.

    My wife and I are going to San Fran before the rally and going up the coast from San Fran to Salem. I've been from San Deigo to San Fran via bike before and it is a pretty ride, but don't count on doing 500 mile days.
    1995 R100Rt with Kenna Sidecar, 1998 VT1100T

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