Florence to Coos Bay – Sept 26th…
I was a bit groggy this morning after yesterday’s ordeal, but met up with the guys at the Safeway in Florence for a breakfast and supplies for the road ahead. Today promised to be a better day with lighter winds and no rain in the forecast, plus we planned for a shorter distance day to let the bodies readjust.
And we got what was promised from the weatherman – headwinds? Yes, but much milder than yesterday’s and we rode in sunshine most of the day with temperatures in the 70’s. There were a few big climbs and although the legs were tired from yesterday, we all soldiered on and managed well. A second breakfast in Reedsport for some much craved for oatmeal and coffee was the order of the day when we reached there.
Although we were riding in the Oregon Dunes section of the Oregon Coast, there were not very many photo ops of the actual sand dunes and riding was on 101 slightly east of the ocean, so not many ocean views either today. In fact, most of the areas that we rode through reminded me of BC as there were many treed sections and Lake views.
We did get a high up view of the ocean above historic Umpqua Lighthouse, from a great distance after a long climb.
Our lunch stop was in a nice park with lakeside picnic table where we met a lady cyclist travelling in an electric car. She and her husband are travelling down the coast to the Mexican Border – one cycles one day and the other drives and then they switch for the next day. Kind of like having your own support vehicle and gear transporter with lots of rest days too! Interesting! We had a nice visit with her and she shared some fruit with us.
As we neared the North Bend/Coos Bay area, the ominous bridges appeared that lead into the cities. The first bridge is especially tough as it is an uphill slog to the peak in very heavy traffic and no marked bike lane. It has been reported as a very dangerous bridge for cycling by numerous cyclists. I can attest to that, as I rode it many years ago and it was an experience that I really did not want to repeat. The second Bridge section is not as bad or high, but still lots of fast and impatient drivers to deal with. We stopped and the guys eyeballed the first Bridge with a little trepidation, so I mentioned that I had read of an alternate route around the bay and culminating at the south end of Coos Bay. As we were staying in Coos Bay proper, it would mean a detour of about 10km. We elected to that though and stay safe on some quiet country road around the bay. Admittedly, there were some hills, but they were easy to tackle on the quiet route of East Bay Road. A wise choice even though it extended our ride to 92km today. Even though we only rode 10km less than yesterday, we were on the road and hour and a half less than yesterday and not exhausted when we reached our stop for the day. Not a great place to stay as Coos Bay is an industrial and logging area, but motels are here so we’ll have to save sightseeing for during the day.
I would recommend this alternated bridge bypass route to anyone cycling the Oregon Coast as a safe alternative to playing “chicken” with heavy bridge traffic.
On the road today we played leap frog with four other touring cyclists heading south – all have different destinations and speeds, as do we, but we kept meeting up with these solo cyclists at various times throughout
today and even on previous days.
Some more pics at… Sept 26th
AdamK & (I even managed a nap today – don’t tell you know who though!) Basil
Coos Bay to Port Orford – Sept 27th…
Today was a good riding day – short distance on good roads and even a tailwind that increased as the day progressed. What a treat after a few days of headwinds. The one or two long climbs were easy to handle with a breeze on my back.
It was very quiet as I left Coos Bay – Saturday morning in an industrial town tends to be like that. I wasn’t complaining and just enjoying the peaceful ride along the bay or slough leading to the bay proper.
I left on my own as the other two guys were in a different motel and we arranged to try and meet up later. I left at my own pace and soon was in the very scenic seaport town of Bandon. Lots of places there to grab a treat and a coffee. I chose the bakery and there was another touring bike outside. I went in to get a coffee and snack then sat down with the owner of the bike that I saw outside the bakery. Another traveller who is from Vancouver but he was originally from Turkey before moving to Canada. He is riding down to San Diego and then turning east to ride the southern bike route to Florida – very ambitious! Due to the amount of time that this would take, I asked if he was retired and he replied “No, just jobless!” So we agreed on “semi-retired!”
I saw a few more touring cyclists today too, but none of the ones from yesterday? Must be faster than me!
Bandon is a wonderful stop for anyone travelling down the coast and well worth a visit to see its old town area and harbour. Obviously a good place for fishing expeditions and fresh seafood.
I waited in Bandon a while and chatted with the fellow from Vancouver, hoping to see any sign of Scott or Bob, no luck, so I saddled up and moved on south down 101.
Riding along, it was nice to dawdle along at my own pace and stop for a few photos here and there. Lunch stop was in the very small town of Langlois, which consists of a restaurant, grocery store, post office, coffee shop all in one building and a wool and yarn shop across the street (US101) and not a heck of lot else! Nevertheless, it was a good place to park and eat my lunch while I watched the world go/drive by from the comfortable bench outside the store.
Still no sign of the other two, so I moved on again and pedalled to my stop of Port Orford, 85 km from where I started today.
The motel office had a note explaining that the office was closed until a little later in the afternoon, but a handy pub next door made up for the short wait – very convenient! Of course the other showed up not long after I ordered my drink so we had some refreshments before checking in for our rooms.
Port Orford is another great little seaport town and we savoured some splendid seafood after we had cleaned up and rested for a short while.
Tomorrow will be a really short day – in reality a rest day is near but we need to make a short hop to allow for decent distances between future stopping points, so tomorrow will be a sort of rest day.
That’s it for today – when it’s good, it’s really good!
Some more pics at… Sept 27th
AdamK and (Wind in my eyes again – when is he going to get me my goggles?) Basil
Port Orford to Gold Beach – Sept 28th…
As I mentioned yesterday, today was more or less a rest day to break up a potential longer milage day tomorrow. Now the the distance and terrain for tomorrow is within my comfort zone. So only 48 km today but some of the best of the Oregon Coast was at hand today and made for a day of dawdling mixed with taking in the magnificent views that this section has to offer.
Today being Sunday, it was fitting that the plan for a shorter day would allow for a leisurely breakfast and we got together to do just that. By the time that I hit the road it was 9:30a.m. already, but no problem as the skies were completely clear, the sun was warm and bright, the tailwind was there so I just rode and listened to the surf and enjoyed the views around every corner.
Scott left ahead of me as he had been suffering with a tender Achilles tendon and wanted to take it nice and slow – wise move, as even today’s short mileage was not short of the inevitable coastal climbs. I left and Bob was somewhere behind me. I kept stopping to take photos and eventually Bob caught up with me and we more or less rode the rest of the route together.
There were some great views when we rode the Cape Perpetua section on that windy day out of Depoe Bay, but it was hard to appreciate them on that particular day. But the views on today’s section are even better and are worth a trip down the Oregon Coast just to see how the beauty of this coast has fascinated so many other travellers in the past.
There were some nice treed sections and other sights on the route, but the jewel was the coast. I stopped at Arizona Beach for a quick break – not much there other than a dinosaur museum and gift shop – beyond that there is just road between Port Orford and Gold Beach, our stop for today.
I don’t think that Basil liked this fellow – he was more enthralled with these two…
We arrived almost together and compared notes over a beer on today’s wonderful ride. Even Scott’s tender ankle seems to have improved, so all is well for another day.
Some more pics at… Sept 28th
AdamK & (I didn’t like that big sucker!) Basil
Gold Beach to Crescent City, CA – Sept 29th…
Yes finally after two States, welcome to California. It feels really good to get over the Oregon/California State border and travel some new roads. I have ridden to the border before but that is all, so all this will be new territory for me.
We got off more or less together this morning and we met up on the first hill of the morning almost immediately after leaving Gold Beach – 5 km of uphill to over 800 ft is a good wake-up call for sure! But at a steady cadence we all survived that without any problems. Very little else of note on the route from Gold Beach to Brookings other than some more good views of the beach areas and the Rock formations off the coast as we climbed and descended many times on the first 45 km of the day’s ride. It was a role-poly section that made Brookings a welcome rest stop.
We did have to cross the highest bridge on the Oregon Coast too this morning – the Thomas Creek Bridge is over 345 ft above the beach below and stopping to look down to the beach below is spectacular!
We ride into Brookings and searched out a second breaky before continuing on to the highlight of the day, crossing the State Line. Not much in Brookings to hold one’s interest – it seems to have grown since my last ride through the town. But maybe that’s just my memory? Lots of stores along a lengthy strip-mall section of 101.
Scott was in front a bit and had missed the official entry sign, but Bob and myself took full advantage of the moment! No trace of my previous scribblings on the post of the sign, so I left a new mark to add to all the others of travellers that had stopped here to do just the same thing. Although not a mountain summit, still a destination of significance for cyclists.
Not far after the border, we had to do the obligatory inspection from the California agricultural inspectors the all vehicles entering California must do – no problem there at all. The weather was fickle this morning, overcast with a very slight mist, but as soon as we crossed the State Line into California, the sun came out and we basked in the warmer riding temperatures that we had lucked into – actually, the weather forecast for the next five days is that it will be excellent conditions, good wind direction and temperatures in the mid to high seventies – no complaints here!
Not long after riding south from the border on 101, we saw the sign for the the “Pacific Coast Bike Route” which took us off the shoulder of 101 and onto some lovely country roads through agricultural communities. It was almost akin to being dropped into the Fraser Valley area of the BC Lower Mainland. We stopped in Fort Dick at a small grocery/restaurant where there were a few other cyclists glad of the single opportunity to refuel since coming into California.
That was a very pleasant alternative to 101 all the way to Crescent City 90 km from our starting point today.
Some more pics at… Sept 29th
AdamK & (California? This is all new to me!) Basil