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Messages - adventurepdx

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Routes / Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« on: May 02, 2017, 06:40:08 pm »
Some detours are not a lot of work. Some are just following the routes that local cyclists take.


And the "standard" Pacific Coast route detours off of 101 wherever practical, as it's nicer to not have to ride on the busier highway. On the Northern Oregon Coast, off the top of my head I can think of these 101 alternates: the back way from Astoria to Seaside, then the Cape Lookout route outside of Tillamook, Slab Creek Road south of Pacific City, the two different detours around Lincoln City, the Otter Creek Loop, and the local detour in Newport.

All of these detours are on the ACA Pacific Coast Route, Map 2. They are also on the free Oregon Coast Bike Route map, and are mentioned in the Kirkendall/Spring "Bicycling the Pacific Coast" book.

I can't think of other common alternates to 101 in this area  that aren't listed above. There's not many roads running parallel to 101. An untested alternate that I can see by looking at the map is taking OR 229 outside of Lincoln City to Toledo then ride the Yaquina River Road to Newport. This route brings you pretty far inland, and you'd miss some coastal highlights like Depoe Bay, Otter Rock, and Beverly Beach. It may be quieter than 101 though.

Further south, there is this alternate that goes on the east side of Coos Bay. Haven't tried it yet, but may do it at some point.

General Discussion / Re: Where are the rides, stories and pictures?
« on: May 02, 2017, 03:17:25 pm »
Adventure Cycling DOES have a nice curated site with stories about bike touring. The emphasis is on overnights, not long tours.

Routes / Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« on: May 02, 2017, 01:33:22 pm »
The Oregon Outback is on my bucket list (maybe next year) but it cannot be called a coast ride by any stretch of the imagination.

Well, I never said the Outback was a coast ride.  ::)

Anyways, I don't know of any "go-to" gravel alternates on the Oregon Coast. Looking at the Delorme atlas, the forested ranges to the east or 101 are a warren of "jeep"/4x4 roads. So there's possibilities, but it wouldn't be easy.

If you are just looking for plain ol' alternatives to 101 in Oregon, there are several. If you use the ACA map, the Kirkendall/Spring book, or even the free Oregon Coast Bike Route Map, they will be on there. However, there's still good chunks of 101 that will still be followed.

Routes / Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« on: May 02, 2017, 01:12:47 pm »
I think it can be possible to do some gravel alternates while going down the coast. But it'll be a lot of work in all possible ways.

In Oregon, the Coast Range just east of 101 is primarily a mix of private forest lands, state forest, and national forests, so there is a lot of unpaved roads through here. But most of them are pretty rough. And you'll be doing a lot of going in and out of the ridgelines. I don't think there are many roads that would follow a north-south ridgeline pattern, so the ride will be windy and circuitous. To top it all off, most of these roads are poorly marked if marked at all (esp. the private lands) so a GPS is mandatory for successful navigation.

Offhand, I don't know of any good alternates in Oregon. I have heard about someone either attempting an all-dirt Coast ride and/or mapping out a route.

Or, if you wanted to go more inland, there are more readily available options. If you weren't adverse to riding east of the Cascades, the Oregon Outback is a well-documented cross-state route that is 75% dirt. You will be a hundred or so miles from the coast, and it can get hot in summer.

100 km a day is a respectable speed for the coast. Sure, you can go faster, but there's lots of things worth stopping for.

General Discussion / Re: Advice on tires
« on: May 01, 2017, 01:34:34 pm »
Thank you so much for your advice.  I read the tires again and they are 32 -630 .  I do have an old bike (Bought it when I was 13 ) but I love it- It has a Brooks hard leather saddle that I absolutely love and a Runnels frame and my dh just refurbished it for me- I am so comfortable on it as I have ridden it many, many miles and on my trans-continental trip- so  I am going to take both of your suggestions to the local bike shop so at least I sound like I have a clue about tires.  Thank you!

Cool! Do you have a photo of this bike?

Morning! I plan on cycling down in about a month...
The plan is to rest for a few days at the end of the trip and only stop for the odd day on the cycle south...

Are you saying that it's going to take you a month to get from Vancouver to San Diego? If so, it is possible, but it would mean long days and no big stops. A more generous time allowance would be six weeks. Averaging about 60 miles (100 km) a day, it takes most people two weeks from the Washington/Oregon line to San Francisco, and to get to Astoria, Oregon from Vancouver, it's up to a week (depending on route).

General Discussion / Re: Advice on tires
« on: April 30, 2017, 09:04:12 pm »
Pat's got some good info there. Alas, the 27 inch tire/wheel is a "dead" size, and you're pretty locked into a max width of about 32 to 35 mm. It may be possible to switch the wheels to 700C for more tire options, depending on the bike (if the bike has cantilever brakes, not easy or cheap.) But then you're investing quite a bit of money for a marginal tire width gain. Some folks will go further, and convert to 650B which means wider tires. But the tires tend to skew more expensive, and the wheels aren't necessarily cheap, either.) I'd hold out on getting a different bike than go that route, though if you really like the bike, you might want to take the plunge.

But I wouldn't sweat it that much, just "run what ya brung", so to speak. I've ridden plenty of dirt paths on 35 mm wide tires and did fine. Wider is always better, true, but don't let it stop you!

General Discussion / Re: Divide Ride
« on: April 29, 2017, 12:47:03 pm »
Providing Amtrak isn't disenboweled by the time you do your ride, you can take Amtrak's Empire Builder eastward from Montana. You can catch it at Whitefish or East Glacier. Both stops have checked baggage service, so you can bring your bike with you.

Since my overall goal is to get to the Mexican border.. Those detours would take too much time so i think i will just follow Map 1!

How much time do you have? Do you plan on any major stops along the way?

I've (probably) said this before, and (probably) will say this again  8) but my two cents about the "long way" (west side) of the Olympic Peninsula: It's worth it if you make the side trips.

If you are just going to stay along 101 without detouring, it'll be an okay ride, pretty quiet, you'll see a few Olympic National Park sights, but it will be fairly boring otherwise. 101 stays pretty far inland, so don't count on looking over your right shoulder and seeing the big blue Pacific the whole way down. And many of the forests it passes through have been freshly logged or replanted, so it won't be the towering Redwoods you'll see further down the way.

It would be rewarding if you set aside the time for the side trips, like Neah Bay, Rialto Beach, Sul Duc, Hoh Rain Forest, and Lake Quinault. Any of these side trips can add an extra day (in the case of Neah Bay, maybe two) to the trip, as these destinos can be 30 miles or so off of 101 (one way). If you stick just to 101, you'll only pass through the National Park at two points: Crescent Lake (while beautiful, the worst 10 miles of 101 you will bike on) and the 10 mile or so coastal section from Ruby Beach to past Kalaloch. (And you'll skirt Lake Quinault without really seeing it.)

If you are more about getting this section of the ride done, I'd stick to the "inland" side. There will be some nice sights, and more signs of civilization. However, 101 will definitely be busier.

I agree with others that the traffic on the Pacific Coast is generally pretty good. However, the exception would be RVs. Many people driving these "big as a city bus" vehicles aren't always exactly aware they're driving something as big as a city bus. When I have gotten passed too close on 101, nine times out of ten it was an RV. And many of them are also towing a vehicle...

General Discussion / Re: Filling in the Gaps
« on: April 14, 2017, 10:03:14 pm »
Well, I don't want to ruin Soulboy#1's personal journey that much,  8) and I haven't done the whole Astoria-Eugene section, but I have done the on-the-coast section a bit, since I live nearby. So here's a few pointers:
  • Astoria is a nice little town, with a healthy amount of places to eat these days. Nothing like it was like 10 years ago! Blue Scorcher is a good spot for breakfast, and there are several brewpubs in town if that's your thing. Personally I like Buoy the best, and Fort George has a decent food menu.
  • Pelican is another good brewpub. They now have two locations, both on the route: One in Tillamook (limited food, from what I remember), and the old-main one in Pacific City with the great view of the ocean.
  • There are a few options for camping on the coast route. Most (if not all) of the Oregon state parks that provide camping on the coast will have hiker/biker sites. These are for the exclusive use of bicyclists or hikers (anyone moving under their own power), cannot be reserved, and cost $5 to $6 per person a night. My favorite is Cape Lookout, which you should pass by. In fact, don't stop there, or it may just spoil you!  ;D

And here's a pic of the Cape Lookout hiker/biker site:

And you're just about 200 metres from the actual oceean:

The "probably no harm in bringing" argument is a slippery slope. Pretty soon you'll end up with a hundred pounds of gear. Not only does extra stuff add weight, it's extra stuff to keep track of. Only bring essential stuff. Sometimes the decision of what is "essential" is difficult, but it's worth the trouble to figure out.

I understand what you are trying to say, but how much weight and space does a modern bike headlight take up?

I can think of a couple good reasons for bringing a headlight on tour:
  • Like others have said, you can use it as a flashlight. (And yes, I am aware that most modern cellphones have a flashlight function, but the light isn't as good, and what if your phone is dead?)
  • Even with the long hours of daylight in the middle of summer, and one's best intentions to not ride in low-light conditions, sometimes "things" happen.

I've always brought full lights with me on tour and never regretted it. And since my touring rig has dynamo lighting, I never have to even think about lights anymore!  8)

Routes / Re: Northern Tier to North Lakes route
« on: April 07, 2017, 07:43:34 pm »
How did the bugs affect you on your last tour? And does your hammock and bivy have bug mesh?

There could be some pretty buggy spots on the NT/North Lakes route...

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