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hwy 34 between Corvallis OR - Waldport OR

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hwy 34 between Corvallis OR - Waldport OR

Old 05-23-13, 11:06 PM
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hwy 34 between Corvallis OR - Waldport OR

Doing some tour planning. Am looking at riding highway 34 between Corvallis OR and Waldport OR. Does anyone have experience riding this section of road. What was the road conditions and traffic like?
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Old 05-23-13, 11:38 PM
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I've ridden this a few times, it's beautiful but some down sides. Several sections of the road have little shoulder, so you need to be careful. Traffic going to the coast on this road is heavy on weekends, early in the day on week days is a good time to ride. People ride 34, just use caution in spots and avoid busy times for traffic. I think more people might recommend highway 20 to Newport, then ride south on 101.
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Old 05-23-13, 11:48 PM
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You can ride it, but there is often traffic and it has a bit of a hill with very narrow lanes and infrequent pullouts. Cars and pick-ups can easily pass you on the left turns, which are sharp but have a lot of pavement for the trucks, but woe to you if a large truck happens your way. Then, when you get over that, you have chronically obstructed sight lines most of the way to Alsea. I've ridden it, but wouldn't do it with a load again and don't do it if I can avoid it even without one. By the way, I used to drive a truck over that way a couple times a week in the summer months. Over three years, I think I saw a total of five cyclists on that route; it's not exactly popular.

I prefer to roll down Bellfountain to Alpine and head over on Alpine Rd/S. Fork Rd. It has the same climb, but much less traffic and fewer of the motorists along this route seem to be driving blind.

Edit: I just saw Shifty's post. I recommend against hwy 20. It gets a bit hairy about two-thirds of the way to the coast with many points of, shall we say "concern", where you are depending on the motorists to behave well and many of them won't. Car-on-car collisions are a pretty regular feature of hwy 20. The lower traffic counts on hwy 34 make it better, in my opinion, but it is still problematic until you get to Alsea.

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Old 05-24-13, 07:45 AM
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The initial climb out of Philomath is and narrow with many blind corners. I think it's about a 4 mile climb? The rest of the road is fine. I've never had an issue, but it is nerve racking with no shoulders and many blind corners for that one 4 mile stretch.

The road to Alsea Falls and Alsea from Alpine is a real treat, but STEEP, STEEP, STEEP (for about 2+ miles or so). If you wanted to camp at Alsea Falls there would be extra motivation to ride that way. The road has virtually no traffic whatsoever and the road surface is as smooth as butter. The climb out of Philomath is fairly steep anyway, so you may to consider adding some miles and detouring through Alpine. I absolutely love the stretch of road from Alpine to the small town of Alsea. Last time I went that route, the bar at Alpine was open so we stopped in and filled our water bottles after leaving the barmaid a little tip for the gesture. I'm not sure if it is still open or not. Alsea has a convenience store with some deli options.
Alsea Falls Back Country Byway brochure.

I would highly recommend taking a short detour using Lobster Valley Road once you get to the town of Alsea. It is a bit longer, has more climbs, and is a little rough in places, but it is a nice scenic alternative to Hwy 34.

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Old 05-24-13, 03:27 PM
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I sure like that road on my motorcycles. The Alpine route, too. I saw some bicyclists on the way a couple of weekends ago. I think it would be a good bicycling road, if the traffic isn't too thick.
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Old 05-24-13, 04:35 PM
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Can't help with your question on Hwy 34. Our usual route to the coast is Hwy 20 > Summit Hwy > Logsden Road (2.5 miles of gravel) > Siletz Hwy that comes back out to Hwy 20. We drop down toward Toledo and take Yaquina Bay Road - beautiful ride along the bay into Newport. This is about a 70 mile route with some gravel.
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Old 05-24-13, 10:03 PM
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You might want to email the Oregon ODOT for their state bicycle maps. They are very helpful for traffic flows and shoulder widths and they are free. Oregon really tries to promote bike touring. There was an article in the Portland paper a couple of weeks ago estimating bike touring pumps $400,000,000.00 into the state's economy annually, so it seems to be paying off.
On a trip you've got worry as a companion, for you're always concerned about what happens next and sticking to an itinerary. . . . on a journey you never have to worry. Something always happens next.

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Old 05-25-13, 10:03 AM
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This is another resource:https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEP.../bike_map.aspx

If my goal is to get over to the coast, I just ride highway 20. It is the quickest route for me. I don't think it is as bad as most people think it is. It looks a lot worse in a car than it does on a bike.
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