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Oregon Coastline Touring -- Any Suggestions?

Old 03-12-08, 08:24 AM
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Oregon Coastline Touring -- Any Suggestions?

I have lived my whole life in North Carolina, and this year, my wife and I decided to save up and make a spontaneous move across the US to Oregon.

Before we have to start working again, I have some time and money for a tour. I wanted to make a week-long ride down the Oregon coast (starting in Lincoln City) to the Avenue of the Giants in California.

Since I've spent my 28 years solely in NC, I know NOTHING of the west coast and what it offers...

Give me some suggestions while I'm building my route... Things/places I should definitely see... Things I should definitely stay away from... Any and all suggestions, comments, and opinions welcome!

Lee
Itching for that Pacific Ride

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Old 03-12-08, 08:35 AM
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Welcome to our state, I hope you enjoy it!

The best advice I can give is to buy the book Bicycling the Pacific Coast It will give you a mile by mile route that is the very best. It takes you on the best side roads, advice on camping and things to see that you might otherwise miss. Study this book and you'll have the very best experience possible.

One other thing, the roads in Oregon have a wide shoulder and are well marked for the most part. As soon as you enter California the shoulder disappears and you'll have to be careful, but the book's route helps here too.

Have fun, it's a great tour!

https://www.amazon.com/Bicycling-Paci...5332044&sr=1-1

Last edited by Shifty; 03-12-08 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 03-12-08, 09:02 AM
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Tillamook has a cheese factory, they had tours when I was a kid.

Newport has some nice overlooks, Jump Off Joe is the name of one I think close to where my grandma lived. There used to be a good chowder shop in Newport, I think it was called Mo's or Moe's, on the back bay, or the front of the back bay, or the back of the front bay, or close to the bay, if it's even still there as it's been about 20+ years since I've been there.

The Sea Lion caves smell like salty sea lions and seaweed, might take a few miles to get that smell out of your nose if you stop there.

Your route from Salem to the coast gets a bit of traffic on the weekends, not sure about the weekdays, been about 10 years or more since I've been on that road. I've got cousins in Salem.

You might consider starting your trip up in Astoria, or ride up to Portland and along the Columbia to the ocean and then start southward.

I've got an older copy of the book Shifty mentioned, it is the bible for your trip.
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Old 03-12-08, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Shifty
Welcome to our state, I hope you enjoy it!

The best advise I can give is to buy the book Bicycling the Pacific Coast It will give you a mile by mile route that is the very best. It takes you on the best side roads, advise on camping and things to see that you might otherwise miss. Study this book and you'll have the very best experience possible.

One other thing, the roads in Oregon have a wide shoulder and are well marked for the most part. As soon as you enter California the shoulder disappears and you'll have to be careful, but the book's route helps here too.

Have fun, it's a great tour!

https://www.amazon.com/Bicycling-Paci...5332044&sr=1-1
+1 on this book it is very good.

Enjoy the seafood while there. I still think about a little fish shack in Waldport that had great fresh fish and oysters. The oyster version of fish and chips was awesome!

The Oregon coast is a beautiful place and a great place to tour. I hope you have a great trip.
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Old 03-12-08, 09:32 AM
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I recently had a great experience with someone by the name of Gwen Riche at ORDOT. I've been requesting alternative transportation infrastructure maps for the University recreation center at which i work. there are a lot of good (free!) maps available from various transportation departments.
https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/
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Old 03-12-08, 09:46 AM
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+1 on the book. Also available through Powells.com, a great Portland bookstore.

I'd add stopping at a LBS in Salem for best route to the coast info.

Lots of off-bike things like trails to the beach, interpretive centers, so bring comfortable walking shoes.
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Old 03-12-08, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Fueled by Boh
I recently had a great experience with someone by the name of Gwen Riche at ORDOT. I've been requesting alternative transportation infrastructure maps for the University recreation center at which i work. there are a lot of good (free!) maps available from various transportation departments.
https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/
During our time there we were amazed at how bike friendly Oregon was compared to our homes (Maryland and Virginia). This includes ODOT, the parks, the cities, and the people. Touring there is a very pleasant experience as a result.
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Old 03-12-08, 10:00 AM
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I would urge a wee bit of caution about relying solely on the Kirkendal book. This is especially true if you get an older version. Don't assume that all of the information you read is still accurate.

South of your intended ride is a place called Oceano (just south of Pismo Beach on the California central coast) which is reported as having a hiker/biker site. However, it closed three years ago. Arriving there without a reservation means you don't get a campsite. If they have non-reserved spaces, you pay full price. They were full when I arrived and I was "lucky" to find a $40 space about a mile away in a city campground.

I realize this is only one instance, but there may be information about Oregon that would be a potential problem, as well. While I recommend the book and the route it suggests, I found other inaccurate information in the book, as well. The ACA Pacific Coast route map segment for the Oregon coast would be a worthwhile investment, as well.

Ray

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Old 03-12-08, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by raybo
I would urge a wee bit of caution about relying solely on the Kirkendal book. This is especially true if you get an older version. Don't assume that all of the information you read is still accurate.

South of your intended ride is a place called Oceano (just south of Pismo Beach on the California central coast) which used to have a hiker/biker site but hasn't for the past three years. Arriving there without a reservation means you don't get a campsite. If they have non-reserved spaces, you pay full price. They were full when I arrived and I was "lucky" to find a $40 space about a mile away in a city campground.

I realize this is only one instance, but there may be information about Oregon that would be a potential problem, as well. While I recommend the book and the route it suggests, I found other inaccurate information in the book, as well. The ACA Pacific Coast route map segment for the Oregon coast would be a worthwhile investment, as well.

Ray
On a similar note...
With the AC maps be sure to get the latest addenda for the route from the AC web site just before you leave. Even then verify things if in doubt. Places do close and things do change.
https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/addenda2.cfm
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Old 03-12-08, 10:23 AM
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While the "Bible" may be a little out of date, common sense, the Oregon DOT map and plain luck will get you through fine. If you ride the coast, everyone is used to bike tourists. You'll find the route peopled with friendly folks. Oregon campgrounds have no reservation, no limit hiker-biker sites where you'll likely find other tourists. Some even have yurts available if the weather turns sour.

Food is cheap and delicious. I remember, years ago, stopping at a nondescript shack next to the harbor in Charleston. I asked what was fresh and the young waitress looked confused for a moment. "It's all fresh, sir," was her reply. Not sure if she had ever heard of frozen fish before.

Along the route, Coos Bay was the only downer. It was a long time ago, but I recall lots of pawn shops and drunken native Americans.

The route includes a few kind of narrow bridges and tunnels. But the tunnels feature a button you can push to activate a warning light for motorists. Most cool.
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Old 03-12-08, 12:13 PM
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I've ridden the Oregon coast (1993) and Lincoln City was one of my least favorite places because it has a very long commercial strip that was none to pleasant to ride through. There are nice areas along the coast both north and south of there. The area from Florence down through Bandon and on south into California is my favorite part of the route. Take time to explore the dunes around Florence and Coos Bay. Sunset Bay and Shore Acres are well worth the modest detour off the through route. The beaches at Bandon, with their great sea stacks are definite favorites.

As someone else commented, the roads are mostly good, but some bridges are narrow. It's a great trip.
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Old 03-12-08, 12:31 PM
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I suggest keeping the ocean on your right and having a great time. I LOVED the oregon coast. I would also suggest you look at some weather information about when to do it. I rode in August and it was perfect. In spring you may still get pacific storms, I don't know exactly when you should start, but it would be worth checking out.

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Old 03-12-08, 12:43 PM
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I agree with all of the above, and yes, get the latest edition of the book. In Oregon the bike route is marked very well with green signs which direct you to the "Oregon Coast Bicycle Route", be sure and look for these signs.

And food! yes, it can be fantastic. At the end of your first day of riding, before you get to Lincoln City, look for the Otis Cafe, in Otis. The meals are fantastic, and the pie is made with fresh local fruit and berries, it's a real treat. Just south of Reedsport in Winchester Bay there are several fresh fish shops/cafes, very fresh and yummy!

Don't forget a swim suit, lots of lakes and other swimming holes.
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Old 03-12-08, 12:59 PM
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A nice part of the Oregon coast tour is the 7 Devils Road I think south of Charleston (which is where the Kirkendall book has you camping outside Coos Bay). There are funny little messages written on the shoulder for cyclists: "Just a warm-up!" "I think that was number 5? Right?" Etc. The hills aren't THAT bad there but it's a nice touch.
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Old 03-12-08, 01:11 PM
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Man are you guys making me miss the Coast!
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Old 03-12-08, 02:09 PM
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Ha Ha, +1 on Seven Devils road. I live in Oregon, my mom lives a few miles from Coos bay and I have toured the coast. Most points above are valid. The Oregon Coast has the best hiker/biker campsights on the pacific Coast. $4 a night with hot showers.

Go to Crazyguyonabike.com and look at some of the journals there, (mine is there too) and you will get a ridiculous amount of info if you take the time. It is one of the premier touring destinations in the world. I met people from UK, Spain, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and all parts of the US. Great time for sure.

You can PM me if you have specific questions as I just toured it last September.
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Old 03-15-08, 10:20 AM
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Thanks so much for the information!! I'm soaking it all in and trying not to get so excited that I up and move tomorrow!! ^_^
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Old 03-15-08, 10:21 AM
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Are the campgrounds suitable for Hennesee Hammocks? or is it all ground-camping?
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Old 03-15-08, 12:14 PM
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I am not a hammock camper, but I think that the parts that I have done and seen were hammock friendly unless there were rules about using the trees. I didn't pay too much attention to that since we were tent camping.
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Old 03-16-08, 10:02 AM
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The Kirkendall/Spring book may have one or two minor errors, but it's still the bible. It has the most useful information you can get in one place. It's heavier than a map. One girl I met was tearing the pages out of her copy as soon as she had completed a segment. The last time I rode the coast I was only going from Portland to Crescent City, so I photocopied the pages I need and brought the copies.

When you get to Tillamook the route takes you out around the bay and then up a hellacious hill to visit a lighthouse at the top. The lighthouse was cool and I made it to the top, but I found out aftewards that there was a bypass. The couple I had met who recommended I go up and visit the lighthouse ended up going around on the bypass and skipping the hill. In hindsight I wished I had done the same.

If you stop in the campgrounds recommended by the book you'll see the same faces day after day. I made some wonderful friends that way. If you vary a bit and stay in one of the many other campgrounds along the route, you'll still run into cycle tourists (it's a VERY popular route) but you'll meet a whole different crowd. If you take a rest day and the people you've been seeing don't, they'll get a day ahead of you and you'll meet a whole new crop of friends. But there's a good chance you'll run into the original bunch later if they take a rest day and you don't.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of that route both times I rode it was the friends I made. The first time I rode from Seattle, Washington, to Santa Cruz, CA. I made friends with 6 people who because my traveling companions. I also met about 10 others who drifted in and out of my experience. They'd be in the hiker/biker sites with us for a few days, then we wouldn't see them for awhile, then, lo and behold, they'd be back. It was cool! The folks were from all over - Scotland, Australia, lots of Germans, two French ladies, Georgia, Washington, and a lot of fellow Californians. If I'd started two days later maybe I would have met people from a completely different set of locations.
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Old 03-16-08, 10:31 AM
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Nothing to add to what's already been said except these:











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Old 03-16-08, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ImaGoTourNow
Are the campgrounds suitable for Hennesee Hammocks? or is it all ground-camping?
Yes, for the most part the campgrounds are in the trees. Try to plan to stay at Honeyman State Park near Florence, OR. It is beautiful and has a wonderful swimming lake at the sand dunes.

I also met some very nice people while riding the Oregon Coast, people at the hiker-biker campgrounds become family, be sure and be open to that, they are the most interesting people you'll ever meet, make the most of it!
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Old 03-17-08, 12:17 AM
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Plan for rain and hills. Been there, done that. We currrently live near Eugene. If your are camping and carry a bit of a load, seriously consider lower gears. Our tandem is 48-38-24 x 12-34.
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Old 03-17-08, 01:54 AM
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I used to live out on the coast and you should be forewarned the traffic on 101 is relentless. That said the coastline (all publicaly owned) is wonderful. Done in California obviously go visit the redwoods. A nice side trip would be to head up the Rogue River the road is paved at least part way up and if not going to far the road is fairly level. Tillamook cheese factory is to the north of where you are turning south on 101 but if you go up there Tillamook head is a nice ride or head out to the south jetty on a dirt path (5 mi) and bring a fishing rod because rock fish are still somewhat plentiful due to the access. Again if you head north up towards Astoria go out past Warrenton to the fort where there is a nice bike path.

Happy trails
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