Cokering the San Juan Islands

A group of about 40 people (families with kids) are going on a bike tour of the San Juan Islands, two of us will be on Cokers. Has anyone toured the Islands on a Coker, any advice? We won’t have to worry about carrying our camping gear there will be a van for that, I’ve been debating with myself about what crank size I should take. I normally ride in town on 110’s and in the hills with 165’s I’m thinking of going with 140’s knowing that at least one of the Islands (Orcas)is very hilly, but I suck mounting up hill on shorter cranks.

Sounds like a great time. I’ll be riding on Whidbey Island later this summer.

I haven’t ridden the San Juans, but I have ridden on Bainbridge Island further south in the Sound, and it’s pretty similar terrain. I think 110s wouldn’t be fun. Would say 140s or 150s would be good for that terrain.

If you end up with any extra time in Seattle proper, you should post a separate thread or PM me. Many Coker riders here and we’d certainly try to organize a ride w/ you.

Re: Cokering the San Juan Islands

I am currently reading One Wheel - Many Spokes, by Lars Clausen. I can remember when he is going up a huge hill in the Rocky Mountains, Lars actually turns the Coker around to freemount. He freemounts going downhill and then turns and pedals uphill to make things easier.

Maybe you could try that?

Looks like it will be long cranks I just found out about a side trip up Mount Constitution.

Which islands are you riding?

Why choose. Bring both. Cranks take up next to no space, and can be easily packed in your luggage.

Yup, tuck 'em in there right next to the torque wrench…

We are going from Anacortes to Sidney then to the San Juan Island then over to Orcas and back to Anacortes.

Yesterday I worked on the up hill mount, the downhill mount and turn method works ok but the climb up Mt. Constitution has a 15% section which may turn into a hike.

Riding around Moran State Park on Orcas Island should be good fun. The roads are going to be narrow though with not much, if any, of a shoulder. You should still be able to find some places off the beaten path where you can ride without having too many cars. The problem with Moran State Park is that most of the off-road trails are closed to bikes until the last half of September. If you’re planning on bringing your muni you’ll find most of the trails on Mt. Constitution closed to bikes this time of year. There’s some double-track on and around Mt. Constitution that I believe is still open to bikes this time of year. Could be good for Coker riding on the open double-track. There is going to be climbing involved though for many of the double-track trails on the mountain.

The off-road trails on Mt. Constitution are mostly smooth and buff. They’re definite XC style trails. The challenge comes in the climbing. Don’t expect technical muni.

I’m not certain of the grade of the road climb up Mt. Constitution. I’ve seen numbers that say 12% or 15%, but I’m not sure if that is just the maximum grade in the switchback turns as the bottom or the grade for just a short section or what. It certainly isn’t 12% all the way up. It would definitely be a grind to get all the way up. I haven’t ridden up the road climb yet. I have ridden down the road on a bike and up on the single-track a year or two ago.

I’m thinking of going to Orcas this year sometime after mid September when the trails open to bikes. I’d bring the muni and the Coker. I do need to do the road climb up Mt. Constitution on the Coker. At least I’d like to do the road climb on the Coker. I hope I’m up to it if/when I try it. I’ll be using 170’s if/when I try the road climb up Mt. Constitution. The rest of Orcas and the other islands would be fine with 140’s or 150’s.

If you find some good reliable numbers for what the grade is on Mt. Constitution please report back because I’m curious. I know the grade is steeper at the bottom than it is up at the top. It’s not a constant climb.

San Juan Island is a good place to ride around. It has up and down hills. Cumulative climbing for a ride will be impressive but no big extended climbs. Roads are mostly narrow. Some with a shoulder and some with no shoulder. I did a little biking with family on San Juan Island last time I was there. It’s a fun island for biking. I didn’t have the Coker with me on that trip.

The problem with going to the islands this time of year is more car traffic. Later in the season (like after September) the traffic is less but the weather is also worse.

i just got back from orcas, and rode all of the trails in moran state park on my 24" and it was all quite easy. the supposedly ‘hardest’ trail called psycho is impossible to ride up, and quite fun to ride down, it goes up to the top of a little hill, and riding down both sides is pretty fun. you could definatly rip on your coker, most of the roads are very narrow on orcas though, it was kinda sketch for me but im not very used to street riding
if you talk to the people in the bike shop in East Sound they can point you in the right direction for any riding you want.
good luck