Cycling The Pacific Coast Weekly Reflections

Weekly Reflections: Week Two – Seaside, OR to Brookings, OR

The Ride: Week Two

Route: Seaside, OR to Brookings, OR

Distance: ~555km [~1125km in total]

Days of Riding: 6-ish out of 7 [Rest-ish Day in Newport]

Notable Challenges:

– Narrow, long, uphill tunnel between the towns of Seaside and Nehalem

– Narrow, shorter tunnel between the towns of Yachats and Florence

– Many bridge-crossings along the coast [Some with narrow shoulders]

Notable Climbs/Descents:

– Leading out of Cape Lookout State Park

– Siuslaw National Forest [The section north of Lincoln City]

– Seven Devils Road [Coos Bay area]

– Plenty of other rolling hills along the Oregon coast

The Rest

Days of Camping: 6 out of 7 [Spindrift Motel in Brookings, OR]

Favourite Campsites [$8 for a Hiker/Biker Site at Oregon State Parks]:

– Beverly Beach State Park [Short Walk to Beverly Beach, Several Shower Rooms]

– South Beach State Park [Free Wi-Fi at the Hospitality Center, Walking Distance to Beach Trails]

– Bullards Beach State Park [Well-Organized Sites, Lockboxes with Solar-Powered USB Ports, 1.25 Miles From Bullards Beach]

– [All Oregon State Parks offer free showers! A definite luxury for a hiker/biker.]

Average Money Spent: ~$15 per day [~$12 per day During Week One.. Oregon Parks are $4 Less Than Washington Parks, But More Money Spent On Food This Week]

Waste Produced: 1/4 of a Grocery Bag [1/2 of a Grocery Bag In Total – Almost Exclusively Plastic Packaging From Food]

Times Shaved: 0 [Moustache Watch: As Sparse as the Arctic Circle.. Or, A Few Hairs Better Than Expected!]

Intentions, Revisited: Mostly Unchanged Since Week One

Additional Thoughts

  • Riding ~80-100km [~50-60mi] per day seems to strike a sweet spot between achieving a sense of progress while also stopping to appreciate the scenes and views [and picking wild blackberries]. Keeping to this range of distance also allows for a full and relaxing evening of camping, rather than scrambling to pitch a tent and cook dinner before the onset of darkness.
  • 99% of drivers are aware or, even better, courteous in passing cyclists on the highway. Many slow down or give space if they are able. I can recall only a handful of incidents in which drivers or passengers yelled from their window in a negative way.
  • I’ve encountered few other cyclists on the road. On the other hand, I am meeting at least 3-5 hikers or cyclists at nearly every park. The majority seem to be touring for a week or two, to cycle the Oregon coast. A smaller number are riding further south. I’ve met only a few others that are also aiming as far as Southern California. Mostly white males in their 20s/30s or 50s/60s. Mostly solo trekkers, with some pairs and one group of four. Inevitably, I’ll connect with the same rider or group of riders over the course of several days, until our paths diverge.
  • The Oregon Coast, man. Absolutely and diversely stunning, even with only a single day of sunny skies during the entire week. The stretches of road directly beside the ocean are the most memorable, especially around hilltop turns and atop steep cliffs. Dense forests, beaches, and vast sand dunes abound, too. Many of the cyclists I encountered had already traveled along the Oregon coast, and they had targeted this same stretch simply because of its challenge and beauty.

Picture of the Week

The moment in which the drizzle dissipated and the fog, finally, lifted to reveal the Oregon coast’s beauty with a clear view. Somewhere between South Beach State Park and Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park.

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