Matt & Kate
Pacific Coast
Vancouver, BC to Bremerton, WA

Our trip begins with our 24 hour train ride to Vancouver, Canada. We boarded just after midnight in Sacramento, California and were delightfully surprised to meet our travel partner for the duration of the journey: Jon - who laughed nervously after everything he said, drooled consistently, and whose prominent butt crack was featured at eye level every time he got up (to get Cool Ranch Doritos or make small talk with sleeping neighbors for example.)

We arrived in Vancouver very late the next day - 2 AM - and put our bikes together at the train station. We then proceeded to bike into the night,realizing we didn't have cell service in Canada to map our route. Yes, we did make it to our host’s house before 3 AM and they were awesome.

The next day was full of calligraphy in Vancouver's Chinese gardens, spending $50on a vegan lunch and being hungry an hour later, biking along the water and napping in one of Vancouver's many beautiful parks. We proceeded to bike 20miles north of Vancouver to begin our epic bike ride down to the border of Mexico.

The ride from Vancouver to Bellingham was full of stop lights the entire way to Washington but was still full of all that beautiful Canada has to offer - ample bike lanes, polite drivers, gorgeous mountains as back drops, and sweet old Canadian men zipping by on little road bikes. Hitting the American border felt so good, even though we had only been gone two days. We celebrated with some Big Al's Diner big plate specials, milkshakes, root beer floats and then proceeded to the fabulous town of Bellingham. 

After facing an uncharacteristic southerly headwind, we cruised into a town with a distinct vibe of coolness. There were young folks riding bikes with all kinds of personal flare, people laughing and wearing sleeveless shirts outside of breweries, and warm golden light slowly melting on the sides of 100 year brick buildings which dot the Bellingham townscape. We were hosted by a couple of wonderful fresh parents in a newly bought house overlooking the bay, where the view only made the day more magnificent as we watched the 9pm sunset dip into the horizon. 

Like adding honey to maple syrup, our departure was made sweeter by a morning spent chewing the cud with the guys down at Bike Sport who took care of us in royal fashion. We swapped parts, dialed in shifting, changed Kate's cleats, and even boxed and shipped our extra gear. As I tightened the last strap on my cargo cage, the shop owner Andy smiled and wistfully told us, "Just pay it forward, it's all about the community"

And so off we rode, shifting smoother, riding lighter, and feeling the"feeling" you often get from bike touring- the world is such an amazing place and is full of good people.


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Matt & Kate

Gear List

- My Blackburn Gear -

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Matt & Kate
  • Genesis Moment and Inspiration for your Trip? We have biked the entire Pacific Coast already, and it may seem odd that we are doing it again. Along the last journey we met a screen printer and fellow bike tourist named Justin who had ridden the Pacific Coast route over five times. When we first heard this we thought he was crazy – there is so much out there to explore! But he went on to explain, and ultimately convince us – that not only is the ride experience different every time due to weather, new companions, older selves, etc; but traveling known roads you can come back to the places that really impacted you, and try the alternate routes you had to pass over last time. The ride just gets better and better because your relationship to the trail is what frees you to explore more deeply. When you know that there is a taqueria and clean water only ten miles away you are more likely to actually stop and jump in the roadside lake that otherwise remains unexplored….
  • Have you Traveled by bike in the past? Matt and I live in a Tiny Home deep in the mountains above the town where we work and our daily commute requires a year round touring set up. At every moment we have to have everything we need for the day – heavy bags full of produce, a down jacket, bike shoes and sandals, water for the day and a lunch, the list goes on. We have a daily relationship with loaded bike travel!
    Matt has been bike touring since he was 17, and set off on a very aggressive pedal across the country on ACA’s Sierra Cascade Route and Northern Tier Route attempting 5,000 miles in two months. After making it all the way to the ACA headquarters in Missoula, Montana and earning his ice cream he was hit by an SUV just east of Missoula and heli-evacuated to the nearest hospital. That accident, which snapped his leg in half and exploded his bicycle is what “saved his life,” as he says. Through the long recovery process he learned to slow down and his relationship to bicycle touring, which had formerly been focused on mileage and destination, is now more focused on the slow and simple pleasures of the road.
    Kate has been biking to different ice cream parlors all over California her whole life but didn’t start her first multi-day bike travel until she met Matt. They have been on two bike tours together, one big, one small. On the first one, she had a small heart failure in the mountains of Big Sur and had to bike eight miles of steep uphill to get to cell service. She learned that she has a mild heart condition, and biking is good for it. That “adventure” has been a similar inspiration in her relationship to biking and using her body as a means of excursion – a long journey in patience and thankfulness for the incredible feats that a body can perform!
  • What is your goal for the route? Sunshine, lakes, ice cream, back country, rain forest, hot springs, tacos, aged cheeses, and so much laughter.
  • What do you hope to get out of this journey? A more intimate understanding of and connection to the Pacific Coast. An opportunity to reconnect to the folks we have met along the way – a real rarity of this type of travel! A relationship to the brands that we use and care about – knowing the people who are making what we are using. We want to live each day 100% fully.
  • What’s in my bag? List four things that you could not live without (take a photo of each on a neutral background) Little journals Kate made, Book of poems by Mary Oliver,Our friend’s homemade Organic sunscreen, Rechargeable boom box for pumping James Brown on the climbs


- Pacific Coast Milestones -