Author Topic: Oregon routes?  (Read 5202 times)

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Offline MrBent

Oregon routes?
« on: August 23, 2006, 05:15:15 pm »
Hi, Oregon riders: My wife and I are looking into doing a huge loop through Oregon starting about the beginning of Sept. next year starting at Mt. Shasta in California.  The two options for heading north are the 99/I5 corridor (Grants Pss, Eugene, etc.) or to head up the east side of the Cascades via route 97 and others.  We want to finish our northern leg with a ride around Mt. Hood.  Then we'll head out to the coast and head south back into California.

Western route:  Does anyone have info. about the quality of cycling on the numerous secondary roads?  It looks like one could piece together a nice tour almost entirely on these roads, but how to tell which offer good cycling?

Eastern route:  Has anyone ridden Hwy 97 and the loop around Mt. Hood?  I've got an old Oregon cycling map that indicates that these are "prefered" cycling routes because of wide shoulders and/or low traffic.  Clearly Hwy 97 is a major north/south route.  This route looks attractive and should, on average, have somewhat lower temps. in Sept., but if it has relentless, unpleasant traffic, we'd look more into the western route.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Scott


Offline leftcider

Oregon routes?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2006, 07:13:34 pm »
Definately do not ride I-5.  I've ridden 99 from Portland to Salem and found it to be pretty good, although I've taken smaller routes and found them to be better.

Heading west, 99 isn't too bad going through Portland--- it's often high traffic, but you have a bicycle lane all the way.  From there you can hit 22 which will take you most of the way to the coast...  I've never ridden it, but don't think it would be too bad.

Going west, I've done Portland-Astoria via federal highway 30.  This follows the Columbia river, ending in Astoria at the Northwestern tip of Oregon.  On the section I did, there was a quite comfortable shoulder most of the way there.  Towards Astoria it gets quite hilly, but most of the way is relatively flat.  There's also the most randomly placed Korean restauraunt I've ever seen.

I've ridden some of the smaller roads that you could get to via 99-W that connect the coast to the Wine Country area of Yamhill, Carlton, etc.  Very pretty and low traffic, from what I've found.

If you have any questions on specific routes/highways, put them forth and I'll see if I can answer them.  Another resource you can visit is www.bta4bikes.org, they have some maps and if you contact them they can answer your questions.


Offline bike_traveler

Oregon routes?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2006, 08:35:50 pm »
As a resident of the east side of the Cascades I would avoid Hwy 97 as much as possible.  It is a very busy road with high speed truck and car traffic along with some boring sections.  It's only saving grace is it's shoulder.  One suggestion might be to take 97 to Klamath then zig zag your way through the Cascades to Mt. Hood.  Another option is to head north near Lakeview.  I suggest getting the Benchmark Oregon Road Atlas.  There are alot of great roads to ride in OR with low traffic and great scenery.  You just have to dig a little to find them.  This map book will help you pick a fun route.


Offline MrBent

Oregon routes?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2006, 09:56:02 pm »
Thanks for the info., everyone.  Looks like Hwy 97 is a no go.

Bike Traveler:  The Benchmark guide sounds good. Is there something about the book that is of specific use to cyclists?   In other words: Is there any way to deduce traffic load and such?  I'm a bit gun shy from California.  Some roads look just GREAT on the map but turn out to be genuine nightmares for cyclists.  I've been finding some maps for the metro areas that offer cycling info.  What about Benchmark?  Sometimes the issue with these little "back country" roads is local commuter traffic and LOGGING TRUCKS, which are piloted by some of God's lowest creatures.

In general, it sounds like a great tour is possible.  We just want to make sure.

Thanks!

Scott




Offline bike_traveler

Oregon routes?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2006, 03:55:01 pm »
Benchmark is a good reference for determining which roads are paved and which are dirt.  This info helps connect the "dots" for a tour route.  The map does not have info on traffic loads, road mileages, or info on climbs/descents.

I haven't had a bad experience with logging trucks while riding.  On a recent tour through N CA I found them to be more considerate than other vehicles.  I think the trucks radioed each other that we(my wife and I) were riding on a narrow winding road.  I've been pushed off the road a number of times by RV and boat trailers.  Many of those folks have no idea how wide their RV/trailer is.  Personally, I would ride a paved forest service road over a state highway anytime.