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Messages - adventurepdx

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General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« on: July 24, 2015, 07:07:45 pm »
Now just need to find an interesting way to get to the coast from Portland.

As for getting to the Oregon Coast from Portland, here's a pertinent link to an old forum post that contains other pertinent links to other older forum posts:

I do recommend taking the 202/47/Banks-Vernonia trail from Portland to the coast. It is very rural and very quiet in terms of traffic and people. It drops you off in Astoria, the northernmost point on US 101 on the Oregon Coast.
Links to maps:

I've never taken 30 the full way from Astoria to Portland, just the portion from Portland-Rainier and Clatskanie-Wesport, so I've missed the worst parts of US 30. But even that little bit makes me prefer the 202/47/Banks-Vernonia routing.

There aren't many services, but there's just enough. Make sure you're stocked when leaving Astoria, as there isn't another full service grocery until Vernonia, about 70 miles down the road. Only a couple of country markets with short hours in between.

The route from Astoria to Hillsboro (Portland westside suburb) is 100 miles. You can break it into two days by camping at Big Eddy County Park which is about 60 miles in. Few, if any, lodging options are found on this route so if you are doing a credit card tour you should be prepared to do the 100 miles in a straight shot. Possible, but there are two small passes to contend with on the route.

There are also two bus options from Portland to the coast: The NW Point bus to Seaside/Astoria, or the Wave to Tillamook. Both run twice daily.

Routes / Re: Ochco Divide Campground on Trans-Am (Oregon)
« on: July 21, 2015, 06:17:03 pm »
Ok, an update:

I checked in with Good Bike and they had no info, since most touring cyclists that they've encountered don't stay at Ochoco Divide.

But I tried the Forest Service again and managed to get a hold of someone that did know the campground. And it turns out that the "Bike Site" is simply the group site, which is reservable online. They don't have a typical hiker/biker site, like you'd find on the Oregon coast at a state park.

Yes, a bit confusing, but now I know!

Routes / Re: Ochco Divide Campground on Trans-Am (Oregon)
« on: July 16, 2015, 04:40:51 pm »
I sent this out on Twitter to help you find the answer. Someone forwarded it to Good Bike Co in Prineville. They might know something, I'd check with them:

Thanks, Jenn! I'll definitely check in with Good Bike.

Routes / Re: Ochco Divide Campground on Trans-Am (Oregon)
« on: July 16, 2015, 01:28:31 pm »
The web site says you can make reservations. Maybe call Reserve America at 1-877-444-6777, at least for the fee question.

It looks like the only thing reserveable is the group site, so I don't think they'd be much help, either.

Routes / Ochco Divide Campground on Trans-Am (Oregon)
« on: July 15, 2015, 05:24:24 pm »
I'm doing some research for a tour through Eastern Oregon that I'll be riding later this summer. I'll be using the Trans-Am for parts of it. When checking out the website for the Ochoco Divide Campground on US 26 about 30 miles west of Prineville, I noticed that the PDF map indicates a "bike site" just to the right of site no. 25. This was the first I heard of this! I wanted to find out some more info, but the web page for the sites says nothing. I actually called Ochoco NF to find out more, but was a fruitless endeavor. (Which unfortunately happens frequently when I try to contact a national forest.)

So I'm asking you fine folks if you know anything about this bike site at Ochoco Divide, esp. if you've used it in the last couple years. What I'd like to know is:
  • How much does the site cost? Is it a "per-person" fee like most hiker/biker sites?
  • Is it a group site that would fit multiple cyclists, or is it only intended for one party?

Pertinent links:
The web page for Ochoco Divide CG:!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gDfxMDT8MwRydLA1cj72BTJw8jAwjQL8h2VAQAzHJMsQ!!?ss=110601&ttype=recarea&recid=38724&actid=70&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&position=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&navid=110410000000000&pnavid=110000000000000&cid=null&pname=Ochoco+NF-Ochoco+West+-+Prineville+Area+-+Ochoco+Divide+Campground
map of the campsite:

Routes / Re: Transam West to East; Florence or Astoria?
« on: July 12, 2015, 12:13:35 pm »
If you want to opt for a few less miles or feel the logistics work better for Florence it is an OK place to start, but I am baffled that anyone would find the start in Astoria awful.  I thought that part of the coast was very pleasant.

I think a lot of it has to do with how tolerant one of is traffic while riding. For some folks, they can only fixate on that, rather than all the beautiful scenery around.

Routes / Re: Transam West to East; Florence or Astoria?
« on: July 11, 2015, 10:47:27 pm »
You asked "When do you plan on starting?"  Per my post; "I will be riding from Oregon to Canon City, CO on the transam starting in early August." In my case, early August is Aug 8.   And indeed it was the traffic and lack of shoulders that the cyclist was referring to.   

Oops, missed that part. I think if you avoided the weekend, you should be better, since the traffic will be heavier then. So maybe wait until Monday August 10th to depart from Astoria? And make sure you use any "get off 101" routings you can!

Routes / Re: Transam West to East; Florence or Astoria?
« on: July 11, 2015, 09:42:05 pm »
When do you plan on starting? This can make a difference. The "horribleness" that this other cyclist talks about is probably the high volume of traffic on US 101 during the peak season, not necessarily the hardness of the route itself, though there are a few significant hills. But the scenery can be great. Many people ride the coast in the middle of summer, so it isn't the worst thing in the world, but there will be lots of traffic, and shoulders are not always as wide as they should be. Plus, there are a couple tunnels. There are several places to get off 101, so you can do that where you can.

Also, no need to post this in multiple forums.

Shawmt, it's hard to give good input without seeing the ad link and/or a pic in the post. That being said, it's probably a decent mid-80's touring bike, and for that price it would be a good value. The big thing is: Does it fit you? The only way to know is to try it out. But if you are on a budget and want to get into touring (and the bike(s) you own aren't that appropriate) $200 is a good deal. Be advised that you'll probably spend just as much on changes/upgrades. The ad doesn't say anything about racks (and no pic to tell) so you'll have to buy some too if they aren't on the bike.

Depending on who you talk to, some folks like 80's touring bikes better than modern ones. The big issues with older touring bikes is:
  • They usually used 27" wheels. Not a dealbreaker, as there are still good 27" tires on the market. But they are not as easy to find (at least "good" ones) as 700C tires, and there just isn't the breadth and depth of selection of 27" tires as there is with 700C tires.
  • Most older tourers lack front-fork braze-ons, meaning front rack attachment is more difficult, but not impossible.

General Discussion / Re: shuttle or transport from Missoula to Banff
« on: June 16, 2015, 03:22:14 pm »
The Whitefish Hostel is pretty great! We've actually got them listed as a shuttle resource on the pdf I referenced above. =)

Just to clarify things, there are two hostels in/around Whitefish. The Whitefish Bike Retreat (the one with shuttle service talked about above) is located about 7 miles outside of downtown Whitefish.

Then there is the Whitefish Hostel, which is right in town, just a few blocks from the Amtrak stop:

General Discussion / Re: Please answer poll question
« on: June 02, 2015, 06:41:48 pm »
Alan, can you explain how answering this poll question this will help? All the poll does is ask how one travels to work, that's it. No specifics on location, nor are there any specifics where this will be used. This seems way too vague to be of any use. Maybe I'm missing something here?

Overnight costs.  Europe is 1/4 or 1/3 the cost of USA.  The US is unbelievably expensive for housing.  Campsites in the US are as expensive or more expensive as motels/pensiones/hostels in Europe.  You get a private room with a bed and small breakfast and maybe shared bathroom in Europe for the same price you pay for a campsite at a park in the USA.

There's a lot of hiker/biker spots on the Pacific Coast, which cost usually $5 a night per person. And outside of that, if you stay in state parks, you shouldn't pay more than $20. Private campgrounds are of course another matter. The most I spent on my coast tour in 2006 was at a KOA that had "hiker/biker" accommodations for about $20.

Are motels/pensiones/hostels in Europe really that cheap?

A few more notes:
  • If you're heading down the coast, you'll primarily be on US 101 through Oregon until you hit Highway 1 in Mendocino Co.  in California. There are some alternates (take them when you can!) but I'd say over 80% will be on 101 and 1.
  • There are many hiker/biker sites on the coast, especially in Oregon, where you'll be able to stay in a state park hiker/biker site each night.
  • Adventure Cycling puts out a good map. Oregon Dept. of Transportation puts out a good free bike map. And the "bible" of touring down the coast is the book "Bicycling the Pacific Coast".

In about 3 weeks I'm going to start up the coast from San Francisco to Portland...

Tim, I have no experience with touring in Europe, so I can't compare.

But I'll be the first of probably several more people to let you know that most people tour north-to-south along the Pacific Coast, since the wind comes out of the NW during summer. Now late May is still a bit variable, and you can get storms which mean winds from the SW. But you'll probably be looking at more headwinds than tailwinds. Also, the best views are on the west side of the road, which would be handily on the right when going south (and you don't have to cross the road to see it!) Plus when the road is narrow and the highway department can only put a bike lane/shoulder on one side, it's going to be the southbound side. So I'd advise you to rethink the direction and start in Portland instead.

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