Archive for July, 2012

Oregon is definitely not flat

July 30, 2012

I will be the first to speak up to correct ignorant comments about Iowa’s supposed flatness. However, I gotta say, boyz and grrls, there have been climbs here that kicked my ass. Like the first day out of Portland on Highway 6. Taking the light rail to Hillsboro (bikes ride for free!), we began our adventure rolling through some gorgeous, mostly rural, countryside. None too heavily traveled, for the most part, your humble cyclist was thinking it’d be a piece of cake. We knew we had to climb over the coastal range through the Tillamook forest but it all seemed manageable. Unfortunately, we had to climb a 1630 foot summit to even get within range of the the first campsite. With cars and trucks churning by at highway speeds, I was moving so slowly it was hard to stay upright. I finally caught up with Larry at the 1000 foot overlook. By then, I was in serious bonkage and just wanted to go home. Some trail mix, energy food, and water revived me enough to struggle the rest of the way. Just to make things interesting, there was some serious downhill before we got to Elk Creek Campground.

There have been other challenging climbs since then; On Wednesday we rode the Otter Crest loop on the way to Newport. By then, I was better at just cranking down into granny and letting the bike do the work. That day, we met an older lady name Monica who rides it every day between her home and rental property! Monica was wearing rubber boots and riding a Magna mountain bike. I think of her now when I’m churning up a hill on my nice Lemond and wearing clipped-in Keens.

Today, we rode the aptly named Seven Devils Road from Charleston, south of North Bend. The only thing that helped was Grateful Dead piped through some speakers hooked to a solar powered charger on the back of Larry’s bike. Brilliant!

Here’s Monica!

20120729-225741.jpg

This doesn’t look steep here but I had to ask for help from granny.

20120729-230541.jpg

Advertisements

Oregon has wonderful hiker-biker camping

July 30, 2012

Then there’s this. Which is the view from our hotel terrace.

20120729-183745.jpg

Proof

July 27, 2012

We’re at the ocean. Proof.

20120727-095307.jpg

Checking in

July 27, 2012

Waldport, Oregon–mile marker 160 from Washington border. We’ve ridden about 170 miles from Portland. I’ve had every intention of blogging every day but here I am, Day 7, and just entering the first one. We’ve been on the road since Sunday; it is now Thursday. We’ve camped three nights and moteled along the beach one wonderful seaside evening. Right now we’re sitting on a bench in front of the Green Bike Coop. They recondition donated bikes and lease them away. And, yes, they’re green! There’s also an expresso/smoothie stand so we’re sipping fruit smoothies and sharing an apple crumble muffin. The route here along the coast is great. There are shoulders and the roadways are marked as a bikeway. We’re using the Adventure Cycling map and also one published by the state for bike touring. I’m glad there’s a shoulder because there are also big trucks and RVs pulling cars. We stayed last night at South Beach State Park just south of Newport. We rolled right in to the hiker-biker spot and set up camp. Lots easier than hauling an RV!

Yesterday held another treat for us. Bike Newport is a bike store in Newport. They sell a nice array of bikes. We saw a Sun fatbike, a handmade bamboo bike from Santa Cruz, and a bike built for one of the owners of the Amgen company. They sell cute ladies clothes (no, I didn’t buy anything). But, the most amazing thing of all is that they offer free unlimited hot water showers (with towels and soap and toiletries!)’ laundry, wifi, and a lounge. It was a religious experience.

Spent the night at a Comfort Inn in Florence. Charged up electronics, laundry, ate at a nice Italian place in Old Town, slept in a bed.

We’re pretty good camp cooks, though. Here’s a shot of a smoked fish-veggie-pasta dish.

20120727-094350.jpg