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Messages - adventurepdx

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I was at an Earth Day event today and came across a booth for the Better World Club.
For those who don't know, it's an alternative to AAA, offering the same services. 

The special thing about them is they offer bicycle roadside assistance as well.  You can get it as an add-on to a regular auto membership, or just do a bicycle membership, which also includes membership to LAB.

At $40/year for bicycle only, it seems like it can be a good deal. It could come useful in touring. But does anyone out there have a membership?  What's your thoughts?

Routes / Re: seattle to portland
« on: April 14, 2011, 07:24:18 pm »
PeteJack, thanks for the tip!  Didn't think of the ferry hop from Vashon to Bremerton to Seattle.  I'll have to look into that!

Routes / Re: Best Pacific Route
« on: April 14, 2011, 07:21:35 pm »
I also did the Pacific Coast in September-October (Tillamook OR-Cambria CA) and can say that starting after Labor Day is a good way to avoid the heavy traffic and still retain good weather.  You'll have a shorter amount of daylight, though.  I didn't find the northern 2/3s of the Oregon Coast to be overly sprawl-tastic, but then again if I was around in the 60s/70s to see it in a less spoiled state, I might have a differing opinion.  At least the "meh" section from Astoria to Seaside can be bypassed.  Lincoln City, however, cannot.

And maybe it's just me, but I sometimes like wet, drippy campgrounds.  Maybe because I'm an Oregonian?

Routes / Re: portland to the coast
« on: April 14, 2011, 07:12:17 pm »
Relevant thread over here:

And to repeat what I said on the other relevant thread:
I HIGHLY recommend the Hillsboro-Astoria route to the Coast.  Hillsboro is a western suburb or Portland that can be reached by MAX light rail.  It's a 100 mile ride, low traffic, beautiful scenery!
It uses either low-traffic country roads and highways, and also a paved off-road path.  Services are sparse, so you need to supply up in Hillsboro (at the start), Banks, or Vernonia.  Small stores with limited hours in Birkenfeld and Olney.  There's a couple climbs, but nothing monstrous.  And a few camping options so you can break it into two days.  It's the way to go if you want to avoid high traffic on US 30 or 26.

Routes / Re: Places to camp just west of Eugene, OR?
« on: April 05, 2011, 02:07:28 pm »
Richardson County Park:

Looks to be 15 miles west of Eugene Amtrak:,+Junction+City,+OR+97448-9569+(Richardson+County+Park)&daddr=eugene+amtrak&hl=en&geocode=FXo9oQIdvlam-CGON2FxjNREMQ%3BFQM6oAIdd8Kp-Cm9KQ4XEh7BVDGjN4vATkpzTQ&mra=ls&dirflg=h&sll=44.088325,-123.207207&sspn=0.173851,0.308647&ie=UTF8&ll=44.087832,-123.207207&spn=0.173853,0.308647&z=12

It is a little out of the way (and a few miles north of 126), but it's in the general westerly direction to the coast.  Don't know what the park is like, since I've never been there.

EDIT: Oops, didn't notice that indyfabz also mentioned this park!

Closer to Eugene is Armitage Park:
It's only 5 miles from downtown Eugene, but it's due north.

Hope this helps!

My 2 cents:
I'd recommend crossing over to the Oregon side for at least the Portland to Cascade Locks portion. You can cross over to Portland via Glenn Jackson (I-205) Bridge and get back over to WA 14 at the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks.  Past the Portland metro area (which you pretty much will bypass if you use Marine Drive) you get the most "bang for the buck" for sights like Crown Point, Multnomah Falls, etc.  Plus you get to use the old Columbia River Hwy which is low traffic and has some cars prohibited areas.  14 has moderate-to-high traffic on the same section.  The only drawback to the Oregon side is you have to use I-84 for about three miles.

Routes / Re: seattle to portland
« on: April 03, 2011, 06:12:20 pm »
That is until you hit the bridge into Oregon. Then there's tons of traffic, negative scenery, and lots of roadside flavor you might want to do without.

Well I wouldn't go as far as to say negative scenery, but I do agree about the tons o' traffic on the STP route once you cross the Lewis and Clark (Longview), as the route follows busy US 30.

There is an alternate route into Portland that connects to the STP route at Kelso/Longview, which is on the Washington side of the Lewis and Clark bridge:
This route stays on the Washington side of the Columbia and crosses into Portland at Vancouver (Interstate Bridge). 
I've ridden this route once, and it is pretty nice, except for one big exception: the hill just south of Kalama.  It is an intense, "I hate my life" type of hill.  If you wanted to experience "Appalachian Grade" hills on the West Coast, here's your chance.  The only way to detour it is by hopping on the shoulder of I-5 (yep, the freeway) for about 5 miles.

And here's a routing for the STP:

I'm planning on biking up to Seattle soon and use most of the STP route, but want to detour at Tacoma and take the ferry over to Vashon Island.  Has anyone done that route before?

I rode the Lewis and Clark Bridge...once.
Once was enough.
The approaches are steep, the traffic fast moving, the shoulder narrow.  And the worst part?  The debris in the shoulder that flies off the numerous logging trucks that use the bridge.  The only flat on my Portland-Vancouver tour in 2009 was on the bridge, when I hit a wood chip at speed.  They must only sweep the bridge once a year before STP.

You can avoid it by staying on the "north" (at this point actually the east) side of the Columbia and cross it at Vancouver, Wash. into Portland.  Here's a route here:
It's not a bad route, except for the one giant, Appalachian-grade hill out of Kalama (Lane Rd).  Heck of a hill.  You can avoid it by riding on I-5 for a few miles (it is legal at this point.) 

The main benefit to going over the Lewis and Clark Bridge into Oregon is simplicity--you stay on U.S. 30 all the way into Portland.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Portland, OR to Pacific Coast Trail
« on: February 06, 2011, 07:23:22 pm »
You can also take the Wave bus from Portland Union Station (Amtrak) to Tillamook. $10 one way, 2 round-trips weekdays/Saturday, one Sunday.

As for riding to the Coast, I HIGHLY recommend the Hillsboro-Astoria route to the Coast.  Hillsboro is a western suburb or Portland that can be reached by MAX light rail.  It's a 100 mile ride, low traffic, beautiful scenery!

Routes / Re: Portland Amtrak station to Champoeg State Heritage Area
« on: February 06, 2011, 06:40:34 pm »
Here's another route from Portland to Champoeg that stays on the east side of the Willamette, avoiding the issue of the Oregon City bridge under construction:

This route starts on the Eastbank Esplanade by where the Hawthorne Bridge intersects it.  Easiest thing to do from Union Station is get to the Steel Bridge (use the pedestrian bridge with elevator to cross the tracks by the station), then onto the Eastbank Esplanade.  A little over a mile distance between Union Station and the start of the ride.

I've ridden the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway once before.  It's nice, mostly flat (there are a few small hills, but no mountains to worry about), but my main issue is beyond Willamette Mission, there is no legal place to camp anywhere near the trail until almost the end.  This is about a 100 mile stretch between Willamette Mission and Brownsville (next camping.)  Be prepared to stealth camp (options seemed limited, since it's mostly farm country and the route doesn't exactly parallel the river), stay at a hotel/B&B, or pull a century to Brownsville.

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« on: January 21, 2011, 10:51:20 pm »
I second a Princeton Tec light.  Their EOS is a pretty bright battery powered light. It can be either mounted on the 'bars or on the helmet, and it comes with a soft strap so you can use it in-camp as a headlamp.  Very practical!

It doesn't look like it's been mentioned yet, so: don't forget a lock!

General Discussion / Re: Accomodation in Portland
« on: June 10, 2010, 03:53:28 am »
To throw another one out there- there is the HI-Hawthorne Hostel on SE Hawthorne Blvd. and 30th Ave. Dorm beds and private rooms. And if you are bike touring you get $5 off a night!

Hawthorne is a cool and very bike friendly area. It's one of the more "Portland" areas of Portland. Staying on 82nd might make you wonder what all the hubub about this town is about. Though I'll admit that the Travelodge is close to the airport.

(Full disclosure: the Hawthorne Hostel is my day job, that is, when I'm not on the bike!)

General Discussion / Re: Trans America Astroria, OR to Coburg, OR
« on: June 10, 2010, 03:39:26 am »
The weather in July for that part of Oregon is about the best it gets. It's usually about 60-70 degrees (fahrenheit) for the high temperature on the coast, 70-80 inland. And July is the driest month, but still pack some raingear, especially since it can get foggy on the coast.

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