Cycling Vancouver to Tijuana along the Pacific Coast
I recently finished cycling from Vancouver to Tijuana along the pacific coast and wanted to share some bits that I'd have found useful before I started.
This is by no means the best or most direct route, but if you’re looking at a similar ride and looking for inspiration, maybe it will help. At the very least it will give you reassurance that 'someone on a bicycle went this way'.
It's based mostly on route planning apps and is likely quite far from the "official" ACA route.
(Map takes a little time to load fully)
|Start||4th May 2022|
|End||3rd July 2022|
|Shortest Day||15 miles|
|Longest Day||115 miles|
|Total Distance||2225 miles|
|Average Speed||13.06 mph|
|Total Ascent||130,766 ft|
|Total Descent||125,911 ft|
A few general points that you’ll likely read elsewhere but are probably worth repeating:
- It really is a beautiful route and a great opportunity to visit many chunks of North America, see some great scenery and visit some awesome places.
- The roads are busy - you’ll spend a lot of time on Highway 101 and Highway 1 which can at times be 4+ lanes and full of large vehicles. These roads are officially designated for cyclists and you’ll nearly always have a hard shoulder, but I did not always feel safe.
- The weather is varied - you’ll spend a lot of time next to the pacific ocean which really impacts the weather (makes it cold and wet).
- The camping situation was great, the ‘hiker biker’ system ($5-15 campsites in state parks that always had a space on the day, no booking) was truly impressive and a great way to meet interesting people.
- The Warmshowers community along the way (fellow bike tourers who will host you at their homes) is definitely worth giving a shot. Make sure to give a few days notice and don’t expect it to be consistent the whole way down (unsurprisingly it generally correlates with how populated places are).
All in all I am really pleased I chose this route, I got to spent a lot of time outdoors pedalling whilst exploring a country I'd previously not spent much time in. Now to figure out what the next trip is!