Author Topic: Northern Tier or better idea?  (Read 9282 times)

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Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2015, 12:57:28 pm »
Are you saying it takes an hour on light rail to Hillsboro?

Yep.

How easy is it to put a loaded touring bike on the train?

Not hard at all. There are four hooks per low-level car to hang bikes. When I've brought a loaded bike, I've taken off the panniers to get it on the hook. There are also a few open spots that a bike can "lean" against, but these spots are priority for wheelchair/mobility device users.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2015, 01:17:00 pm »
To the OP, another thing to note if you use the Nestucca River Route:
While counter-intuitive, when you finally get to US 101, you want to turn right, i.e. go north for about 3 miles then turn left on Sandlake Road. The section of US 101 from Tillamook to Pacific City is narrow, shoulderless, and busy. Going the alternate gets you onto quieter, scenic roads.
https://goo.gl/maps/YSrIq

Offline paulsinbc

Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2015, 01:14:09 am »
I just now noticed your new entry so a little late but thanks for that tip. 

I am still a little apprehensive about the traffic and shoulders on this route but I will soon see for myself. 

Offline paulsinbc

Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2015, 12:08:30 pm »
I have a couple more questions so  sorry for dragging this post on but that's what happens when you have too much time to think about a trip.  I am now leaving on the 14th instead of the 15th.  Only a day but it will take a little pressure off since I only have about 3 weeks. 

I am now considering the Wilson River route instead of the Nestucca River route to the coast mostly because the three capes area sounds pretty nice.  Would you say it's worth it?   

And, for anyone who knows the interior of Oregon and northern California, I am also considering turning this into a big loop by heading east once I visit the Redwoods area either at Mckinleyville or south of Eureka.  However, it looks like a pretty spectacular climb going east from the coast.   But this way I could see Crater Lake and maybe take a day off in Bend.  It would also help me save a few dollars by returning to Vancouver on the train with my bike.  Any thoughts on this?  Would the best part of the coast be behind me at this point? 


Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2015, 01:20:10 pm »
I am now considering the Wilson River route instead of the Nestucca River route to the coast mostly because the three capes area sounds pretty nice.  Would you say it's worth it?

Route 6/Wilson River Hwy is fairly busy. Not as busy as US 26 or US 30, but busy enough. The Coast Range summit is lower and more gentle, and the shoulder is generally decent, but if I had the choice between that route and the Nestucca route, I'd go with Nestucca.

Also to note, the last time I checked, the Three Capes Scenic Route is closed between Bayocean Road and Cape Meares, so you won't be able to do it. If you want to go to Cape Meares, you'd have to do it as an out and back. So there's not as much advantage to using the Wilson River Hwy, unless you want to go through Tillamook, which has its famous cheese factory (and a couple large grocery stores.) Cape Lookout is a cool place to spend the night, but it's not impossible to get there via the Nestucca route (either going over the Cape or going up through Tillamook.)

If pressed for time, you can take the Tillamook Wave bus from downtown Portland to Tillamook.
http://www.tillamookbus.com/schedules.htm

Offline paulsinbc

Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2015, 02:04:03 pm »
Thanks again for your responses and sharing your in-depth knowledge of the area.  You are making my decisions much easier. 

I will keep the bus ride an option.  If the weather is bad when I arrive Portland it might be worth it. 

Do you know anything about the bike rack on the bus?  I have a front fender and an OMM front Sherpa rack.  Most of the bus racks that I see clamp to the front tire where the fender is so would require me to remove my fender and rack which means I would have to bring an extra front skewer since the OMM skewer is longer and doesn't work without the rack.  The train arrives at 3:05 and bus leaves 3:30 which might be a push but would get me to the coast a day sooner.   Hmm, might be a good idea if it works out. 

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2015, 02:10:31 pm »
Do you know anything about the bike rack on the bus?  I have a front fender and an OMM front Sherpa rack.  Most of the bus racks that I see clamp to the front tire where the fender is so would require me to remove my fender and rack which means I would have to bring an extra front skewer since the OMM skewer is longer and doesn't work without the rack.

It has a hook for the front wheel. I've used countless of front-of-bus bike racks with my bikes, which all have fenders and most have front racks, and I haven't had many issues. Yeah, it's better if the fender and rack was not there so the hook can go as far back as possible, but I've only found it to be an issue if the spring on the hook is getting worn, or if the bus driver is driving like a bat out of hell (and when that's the case, there are more issues than just my bike!) And some of the longer-distance buses will allow for the use of a bungee (or have a bungee to use) to keep the bike more stable.

Offline paulsinbc

Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2015, 02:35:15 pm »
Looks like the train and bus station are close so it might work if there are no hiccups.  If not, I spend the night in Portland, which is a great option, take the train to Hillsboro the next day and ride from there.   Thanks again. 

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2015, 03:30:13 pm »
Looks like the train and bus station are close so it might work if there are no hiccups.  If not, I spend the night in Portland, which is a great option, take the train to Hillsboro the next day and ride from there.   Thanks again.

If you look at that schedule again, you'll note that the bus stops at Union Station (Amtrak) at 3:35pm. As long as the train is on time, it would work, barring that the bike racks are full. If there are no mobility device users, a driver can allow bikes on board (at their discretion.)