The Great Pacific Coast Escape

Introduction time

The Golden Gate Bridge -- August 2002
one of numerous photographs from this adventure of mine!


I guess I will first start by making introductions -- Hi, I'm Mark.

Recent career:

Currently I'm residing in Bellevue, WA due to the acquisition and relocation of an incredible Internet startup company that I was apart of while living in Phoenix, AZ back in 2000. After two years of integration battles at Infospace, Inc (NASDAQ INSP), watching the tech stocks crash, seeing good friends leave because of frustration or via layoffs, and recently being the poster child of the Merrill-Lynch/Henry Blodgett debacle on Wall Street -- it was time to pack my bags and get the heck out of town as it were...


I love bicycles and riding them! What more can I say? Between the wind-in-the-hair feeling, the burn of a good workout, the stress relief from a frustrating day, the comradely of fellow cyclists -- everything is great -- except for the inevitable fixing of flat tires on the side of the road or riding in the rain!

What do I ride:

My trusty old Klein Rascal mountain bike -- over 10K miles on it with numerous dents and bangs -- but it still rides good and is primarily my rain bike and go to the store bike. My love of the this old Klein Rascal made me do a deal for a 2nd Klein mountain bike (pre-Trek acquisition) -- a sweet Attitude with an incredible multi-fade paint job and almost 8K on it already. It’s an incredible blast offroad and makes me a much better rider than I truly am. It is also fun on the street – especially when you mount “slick” road-style tires on it. (It WILL be my mount for the Great Pacific Coast Escape!). And yes, I do have the sweet titanium road bike for the road -- but unfortunately it is staying home for a later time and place. Loaded touring on it wouldn't be all that much fun. (Plus it would be too tempting for someone to steal)

Why the “Great Pacific Coast Escape”:

I have wanted to do this ride for years! Seattle, WA to San Diego, CA via the Pacific Coast -- but with planned "detours" off the tradition route on the way. (yes, detours to make the ride a bit more interesting!) My youngest brother had grabbed the Kirkendall book (the bible for doing this ride) off my shelf many years and took an attempt after a lot of careful preparation and planning. Unfortunately he had to abandon the attempt in Eugene, OR due to a severe Achilles tendon injury. (But I still have his notes from the trip and hopefully I will learn from them!) So I guess it's partly desire to do the trip and part unfinished business in making this trip happen. Also at this time in my life (after doing the workaholic thing for awhile), I'm very much cognizant that this is the first chance I have had in years to go on an "extended" vacation -- and I'm going to take full advantage of the situation while I can. Live life while you can – and enjoy it while you can! =)


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The Great Pacific Coast Escape
Introduction time
Two weeks before - Welcome to "BOB"
One week before - Panic time!
The trip begins! (Bellevue, WA to Sequim)
Awesome sights to be seen (Sequim to Sapho)
The longest day (Sapho to Ocean Shores)
Casual cruise to pavement pain (Ocean Shores to Raymond)
I survived the bridge!! (Raymond to Ft. Stevens, Oregon)
I talked with a real bicycle tourist! (Ft. Stevens to Cape Lookout)
Hills, hills and more hills (Cape Overlook to Newport)
It was slow going today (Newport to Florence)
Kickback, relax and just surf (at Honeyman Camp in Florence)
Time to escape the convention (Florence to Bandon)
Sputter, misfire, detour... and a new direction (Bandon to Brookings)
Please turn off the fog machine!! (Brookings to Prairie Creek Redwoods, California)
Keeping it simple (Prairie Creek Redwoods to KOA in Arcata)
Enter the 'Avenue of the Giants' (KOA in Arcata to Weott)
Running on empty (Weott to Leggett)
Back to the Pacific Ocean (Leggett to Van Damme SP at Mendocino)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Van Damme SP to Stillwater SP)
Just another simple day (Stillwater SP to Samuel Taylor SP in Bodega Bay)
What were you expecting -- Baywatch??? (Samuel Taylor SP to Half Moon Bay SP)
There actually is sunshine in California (Half Moon Bay to Sunset Beach in Watsonville)
Sleeping in late means a late start huh? (Sunset Beach SP to Pfeiffer-Big Sur SP)
Riding above the clouds (Pfeiffer-Big Sur SP to San Simeon SP
The ranger told me that I probably wouldn't want to camp here (San Simeon SP to Oceana SP)
I see cracks!! (Oceana SP to El Capitan SP near Goleta)
Are we there yet? (El Capitan SP to Leo Carillo SP near Malibu)
The “City of Angels” in one day (Leo Carillo SP to Doheny SP at Dana Point)
The end has arrived (Dana Point to San Diego)
Equipment Reflections
Personal Gear Review
Review -- Planning and Maps
Would I do it all again?