Posted: 2012 04 26

Vic riding in Trinidad width=

Yes, the 34th Annual Tour of the Unknown Coast is early this year. Our traditional day before Mother’s date would have put us on the same weekend as Humboldt State University’s graduation. Virtually every hotel room in Humboldt County gets booked months in advance for HSU graduation—which would have been bad news for our visiting riders. So a week early it is.

We’ll return to our regular date for next year’s 35th Annual Tour of the Unknown Coast, Saturday May 11, 2013.


While our date change assures that there will be some rooms available they’re still going to get scarce since the Avenue of the Giants Marathon is the day after the Tour of the Unknown Coast (which is also why we’ll return to our regular date in 2013). As of late
April Ferndale and Fortuna’s hotels had few vacancies, but there are still plenty of rooms in Eureka, which is less than 30-minutes away.

Remember that camping at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds is included with your entry, Friday and Saturday nights. Camp in your vehicle or pitch a tent on any of the grass areas within the Fairgrounds. RV spaces with full hook-ups are available for $20/night. With the pasta feed on Friday evening and a nice breakfast buffet on Saturday morning camping becomes an easy option. Come for early check-in on Friday, enjoy a pasta dinner, retire to your tent, stumble in to Bellotti Hall on Saturday morning for coffee and breakfast and do your ride. Easy! And you can even stay over on Saturday night.


We were so pleased with last year’s post-ride meal from Blackberry Bramble BBQ that we told them that very day to schedule us for this year. Once again they’ll have pulled-pork sandwiches, grilled chicken or grilled veggies, plus a variety of side-dishes. The meal is included for all riders in the 100-mile, 100-K and 50-mile. We’re offering the meat at our cost of $11 to our 20-mile and 10-mile riders and to all others.


The Tour of the Unknown Coast is all about bicycling fun. Our mission statement is “To promote bicycling in Humboldt County.” For the most part we fulfill that aim, that is until a small minority of our participants manages to annoy the locals along the route by littering, not riding single-file, not yielding to passing vehicles, crossing the center-line and other acts of rudeness. Please, please, understand that there are hundreds of residents along our route and that many of them need to travel our route on May 5 too. Please try to accommodate them by leaving them room to pass safely. Lastly, let’s not leave behind any gel wrappers, dead tubes and such.


For most of your ride you’ll enjoy good road surfaces. Last year the section just before the Albee Creek rest stop got a complete overhaul—it’s downright nice now! However, realize that some of these roads are lightly-traveled rural roads that don’t get the type of maintenance that the more popular roads get. On the 100-mile route especially you’re going to encounter pot-holes, cracks and a few short unpaved sections. The “Wildcat,” the final descent before returning to Ferndale is especially rough. Please, control your speed. If you all just look ahead and keep your eyes open everyone will make it back to Ferndale with their skin and bones all intact.

Random words from Vic, the director of the Tour of the Unknown Coast

Posted: 2009 02 22

Wow, the 31st annual Tour of the Unknown Coast is just over two months away! How time flies. I hope that you’re all training hard and getting ready.


With the economy we at the Tour of the Unknown Coast have been concerned that attendance would be down. But so far we’re only down by about 10%. My theory is that gas is about two bucks less than it was last year, and that once you own your bike, a weekend event like the TUC is relatively cheap, especially since we offer free camping to help make it more affordable.

Camping at the Tour of the Unknown Coast has gotten more popular with each passing year. And for good reason. It’s free and convenient. You can wake up in your tent, stumble over to Bellotti Hall for breakfast (it’s all you can eat for only $7) and have a leisurely time getting yourself fed and ready to depart on your ride. Compare that to staying in a hotel, where you’d have to wake up much earlier, get packed up and then drive to the fairgrounds, and it’s no wonder that camping at the venue has become the smart way to go.

The Course

I haven’t ridden the whole 100 mile course yet (we’ll need some better weather before that will happen), but I have been through the Avenue of the Giants section. The slide that caused us to detour onto Highway 101 has been completely repaired. Other Humboldt locals have ridden the entire course in recent weeks and aside from the usual pot-holes and such there’s nothing else of note to worry about. Be aware that the narrow stretch before the Albee Creek rest stop is its usual bumpy self. On ride day be very careful there and be aware that there is local traffic—a car or truck could be coming the other way or from behind at any moment.

Please No Painted Slogans on the Road

Yeah, I know that at the Tour de France and Tour of California lots of people paint the road with messages to their favorite riders. But sorry, CalTrans, the County of Humboldt and the folks who live out on the Tour of the Unknown Coast route don’t appreciate seeing messages like “Don’t puke dad!” Please, let your friends and family know that they can encourage your efforts in other ways that won’t cause the local government and local residents to look unfavorably on the Tour of the Unknown Coast .