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Messages - penorman

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Just an update that as of May 22 2020 the section of the Cape Meares loop that is closed to cars is still very bikeable and still a more scenic, safer, and more enjoyable route than the alternatives.  It is still not on the official ACA map because they properly defer to the local closure determination.

The logging along the Ekloff Road is on private forest land.  Simpson I believe.  It has been very active in recent years, but I'm not sure how active it is right now.  I should have mentioned that all the clear cuts have opened some great views from the Ekloff Road.

Good on ACA to recommend against SR 131.  It is truly dangerous, but still frequently used by touring cyclists.

I went out today to verify that the "closed" section of the Three Cape Scenic Route over Cape Meares is still rideable.  It is.  The only difficulty is 150 feet of hard-packed gravel that you will probably not even dismount for.  By taking this route over Cape Meares you add 5 miles of beautiful riding right on the shore of Tillamook Bay, The Cape Meares Lighthouse, the spectacular and iconic view of Netarts Bay, and the quaint towns of Oceanside and Netarts.  All this riding is on low-traffic or no-traffic roads.  Truly some of the best on the Oregon Coast Bike Route.

The State recommends staying on 101 through Tillamook and turning right on Sand Lake Road.  This is mostly safe except for a perilous short section of 101, fewer miles, less effort, and very boring.  The ACA recommends taking Tillamook River Road south from Tillamook then Ekloff road.  This adds 10 times as much riding on gravel than going over Cape Meares, with the added benefit of meeting logging trucks on a narrow road.  Because of the Cape Meares "closure" many cyclists just take State 131 from Tillamook to Netarts Bay -- a very dangerous section that has claimed the life of one experienced touring cyclist.

The Cape Meares route could become impassable if the slide progresses this winter.  And at some point it may be under construction.  But at the moment, and for the last 6 years, it is very passable.

Others have noted the same thing, but I would like to point out that the original Three Capes Route over Cape Meares is open to bikes.  The official ACA advice is to take an alternative route over the Ekloff road.  That route is OK, but the original route over Cape Meares is more scenic and has low (in some places no) traffic.    There is a rideable packed gravel section of about 100 feet and two of 25 feet in the section that is closed to cars.  I was there today (8/12/2018) to verify.   Ekloff Road has a lot more gravel and is considerably less scenic.  The road south from Tillamook to the Ekloff Road is not particularly pleasant.

I see lots of bikers riding the dangerous section of Highway 131 toward Netarts -- some of them probably because of the impression that the route over Cape Meares is closed. 

Routes / Notes from recent Oregon Coast ride
« on: June 13, 2017, 11:30:33 am »
There must be somewhere else to share notes from recent trips, but I have not found it, so thought I would share here.  I rode from Tillamook to Crescent City June 5-10.  A few things that others might (or might not) find useful:
•   The road around Cape Meares is closed to cars but open to bikes, with about 200 feet of gravel.  (this could change if they start working on the road) The road around the Cape is longer than staying on Route 131, but WAY more scenic and way safer.  IMHO Route 131 past the turnoff to Cape Meares going south is the most hazardous section on the whole Oregon Coast route.  An experienced cycle tourist was killed there a few years ago.
•   Whalen Island Campground (Map 16) at Sand Lake is closed, reportedly for the summer of 2017.  Nearby Sand Lake campground is mainly used by dunebuggy enthusiasts so likely to be noisy.  Nearby Webb County Park is close to a good restaurant and coffee shop and the ocean and has showers, but charges bikers $20 for a site plus $9 each additional person.  Grumpy host.
•   Going south of Neskowin be sure to not to turn left at the first sign for Slab Creek Road.  You want the next left, about a half-mile further, which also says Slab Creek Road.  And you really want to take Slab Creek not 101.
•   Beverly Beach State Park:  Amazing biker amenities here (and maybe other state parks):  Repair stand, pump, basic tools, and lockers with power outlets and USB ports inside.
•   Nye Beach Café in Newport is right on-route, good food, easy place to keep eye on bikes.
        On the Coos Bay bridge I walked the sidewalk to the peak of the bridge, then hopped on the bike in a gap in traffic for the downhill section.
•   Sunset Bay campground:  Pretty much no cell service here.
•   The southbound sidewalk on the bridge in Florence was closed for construction in June 2017 – looked like it could be summer-long.
•   Thai food at Khun Thai in Brookings is a definite cut above your average neighborhood Thai place.  Easy ride in from Harris Beach state park.

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