Log in

The Mid-Valley SPIN

Newsletter of the Mid-Valley Bicycle Club

From the President ...

by Paul Lieberman

Last August after the tragic death of a cyclist near Albany, I sent a message out to MVBC members saying that the club would be redoubling our efforts to promote safer roads and streets for cycling and other vulnerable user use. Thanks to the leadership of Rob Upson, (see Rob's article below) we have started getting involved more with the city and county to try and influence decisions being made about roads and infrastructure.  If you've been attending our monthly general meetings, you have heard several guest speakers talk about what the club can do to address our safety concerns.  Last month's presentation by Bend Bikes brought up some interesting topics.  They had been a bicycle club that then reorganized as an advocacy group. Fear not, MVBC will remain a bicycle club dedicated to our rides and tours, but we can also be an advocacy group.

The real takeaway for me came the next day in a conversation with long-time club member Susan Christie. Susan said the presentation by Bend Bikes reminded her that members of MVBC, organized as “Getting There: Sensible Transportation for Corvallis,” used to do all that stuff back in the 1990s. Back then the mayor of Corvallis was very friendly to the idea of improving our streets to make them safer for cyclists and pedestrians, as was the Director of Public Works, himself a bicycle commuter. "Getting There" members served on the Corvallis and Benton County Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Commissions, got to know their city councilors, and attended City Council and Planning Commission meetings. They also developed good working relationships with City and County Public Works transportation staff. MVBC members (as “Getting There”) had taken the time to build the relationships that gave us a voice in how things were being done in Corvallis.

So I want to encourage all of us to get more involved in promoting bicycle safety. We need to have a voice at every table where streets and roads are being discussed. You can be sure the auto, trucking, and petroleum industry all do. In many cases, those are the only voices being heard. There are a few club members who have been doing this for years, but we need a lot more. If you need ideas on how you can get involves send an email to Rob.  We'll also have a number of opportunities over the summer for people to represent the club at different events and forums.  My hope is that whenever a decision is being made affecting safety on our streets that MVBC will be able to provide ideas rooted in our many years of experience riding our streets and highways. I appreciate all of our members helping with this.

Membership ...

by Eileen Tokuda

April signals the beginning of our busiest riding season and is also the month when we conduct our mid year membership recruitment drive.  Share with neighbors and friends the benefits of joining Mid-Valley Bicycle Club!

  • Experience great local road and gravel biking routes
  • Participate in scheduled weekly rides
  • Make new friends
  • Gain increased fitness
  • Have access to hundreds of MVBC routes on our own club portal onRide with GPS
  • Obtain discounts at local and on line bicycle retailers
  • Enjoy our multiday bike packing tours
  • Meet people you can call for spur of the moment rides
  • Improve your cycling skills
  • Attend monthly educational events on cycling topics
  • Get news on pending legislation and advocacy efforts related to bicycling
  • Ride further, more frequently and have more fun!

MVBC Bike Adventures coming for members in 2023!

You may have noticed a recent survey about locations and the kinds of trips you would like to see added to the MVBC offering of tours. Behind the scenes, a new "touring committee" has been at work brainstorming, searching routes and optimizing additional trips for MVBC members. What's in the works? There are weekend, multi-day rides, there are gravel options and credit-card tours (ie: no camping, staying in hotels).  Watch for an upcoming announcement with more details.

This does NOT replace our Loop Tour Committee (we couldn't if we tried!) and the focus is to provide additional options to our multi-day offerings. If you have an idea for a trip, would like to join the effort or want more information, reach out to the Touring Committee Chair, Peter Wendel at

Advocacy Community Corner ... 

by Rob Upson

Longer, warmer days are here.  That means more time for biking.  It also means that the summer road construction period is approaching.  The MVBC Advocacy Committee has been hard at work tracking the multiple city, county and state projects in the queue this year. 

First of all, a big Thank You to everyone who participated in the NE Circle Boulevard. forum with Corvallis Public Works.  We are going to see some major changes on that road section this summer, including some bike improvements that came into existence by raising our combined voice.  Looking ahead, major reconstruction and repaving is scheduled for the West Hills area in 2024.  We will be sharing more about that project in the coming months. A bike tour of the project area is scheduled for Saturday, April 8th.

Completion of the 11th St. and Tyler Ave. Neighborhood Bikeways are also scheduled for the coming year.  There may be an opportunity to ask Corvallis' city council to extend the scope of the Tyler bikeway project west of Kings Street. Look for announcements later this spring.

At the end of the year, the city is planning a discussion about inclusion of active transportation improvements alongside road resurfacing.  Should road resurfacing projects include improvements to dangerous crossing or intersections, or should roads be put back the same way?  We will be announcing a major event related to this question for May. Stay tuned!

In Benton and Linn County there are several summer projects in the works. At the state level we have the Van Buren Bridge and Highway 99W in Southtown projects moving ahead.  Look for an announcement about our new Advocacy webpage with details about these projects soon.

If you have any questions about bike advocacy feel free to email

City of Corvallis Active Transportation Updates

Draft Oregon Transportation Plan Available for Comment

Your opinion matters! You are invited to review the draft Oregon Transportation Plan, which informs investment decisions by ODOT and regional and local governments for all the ways we get around, including walking, rolling, biking, and taking public transit.

You can comment a few different ways:

Online comment form: Oregon Transportation Plan Comment Submission


Virtual Public Hearing, May 3 at 10 a.m.

Submit your comments now through May 12, 2023.

For more information visit the project webpage.

Oregon bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee seeks new members

The Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee has two openings for people passionate about supporting active modes of travel. This eight-member board advises the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) on bicycle and pedestrian issues across the state. It meets six times a year in various locations around the state to support implementation of the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and listen to the views and concerns of interested citizens, local officials and ODOT staff.

The committee is seeking a new youth/student member and a new at-large member. All Oregon residents are eligible to apply. 

To apply, complete the Advisory Committee Interest Form on the ODOT website

Materials must be submitted before April 16, 2023.

Stories oF sharing ...

Bike education for Corvallis Middle Schools: a look behind the scenes

What does it take to provide bike education to a school district? Money, time, energy, coordination and teachers!

In February physical education and health teachers from Corvallis School District middle schools gathered to take part in preparations for a new bike safety curriculum that will be introduced to students this spring. This new curriculum for CSD is being created and supported by MVBC, Cycle Oregon and Oregon Safe Routes.

 Photos by Tracy Hug: at L Cycle Oregon's Clint Culpepper explains an intersection drill to teachers and volunteers.

Above R: one of the enclosed trailers, bikes and equipment provided by MVBC funds.

Below: at the end of the day of fun and learning, the bikes get tucked safely back away.

About 10 MVBC volunteers joined the PE teachers to hear strategies and practice this new curriculum, riding in the bike fleet donated to the program through MVBC's fundraising efforts. Nancy Meitle, MVBC's key contact to the area schools even made a burrito bar lunch for the group!

Through the years, MVBC has provided volunteers to help coordinate the 5th grade bike safety education program. The club also provides funding for a complete set up for each school district: bikes, helmets and an enclosed trailer for storing the bikes. Changes during Covid saw the decision to move an underutilized trailer and its bikes to the new middle school program in Corvallis. 

“The first year of the Corvallis middle school program will target the kids who missed Bike Safety in 5th grade because of Covid. The long term goal is to reinforce bike safety skills learned in 5th grade and teach bicycling for both fitness and recreation. The middle school program may also become a feeder program for the Mountain Bike Team,” Nancy said.

Nancy Meitle has been key to organizing and coordinating the bike education program for the area schools and the helmet distribution program and she is looking for volunteers for the bike safety program. If interested in helping, please contact Nancy at 541-753-0304 or email her at

MVBC scholarships help underserved kids attend Summer Bike Camp at Corvallis Environmental Center

Share the Love! This sounds like a Subaru commercial but there is a plan behind the phrase. MVBC provided scholarships for underserved kids to attend one of the many Corvallis Environmental Center Bike Camps this summer.  The Corvallis Bike Collective will give bikes to students who have been identified by the Corvallis School District as children who could benefit from this experience. Four partners (MVBC, CEC, CBC, CSD) will make ten campers very happy!

There are many reasons behind the plan. We know children who are active have better learning outcomes. What better way to be active than to ride a bike? Many underserved kids do not have access to summer camp opportunities or the parental support to teach safe cycling skills. This plan is a “win” on so many levels.

We are targeting elementary students but there is also a significant need at the middle school level. So, if this project pulls on your heart strings, feel free to make additional donations to the Corvallis Environmental Center. They are a 501(c3) organization and can use your donation to provide additional bike camp scholarships. It is always fun to “Share the Love.” Donate to CEC

In Memory …

MVBC recently received a donation from Barry A Hurff in memory of Bob and Marge Fry.

The donation is to be used towards the children's bike education or helmet program. MVBC thanks you for honoring the club with your generous gift.

Sharing your 10 cents worth or taking time to do some roadside cleanup!

MVBC takes part in the "blue bag" program for nonprofit organizations at Oregon's BottleDrop redemption centers. Bottle Drop has an Earth Week Give program where bottles turned in between April 10-22, receive a 20% bonus from the BottleDrop program. Club members' willingness to give their 10 cents has helped add needed funds to support our bicycle safety in the schools!

Upcoming Events ...

 The MVBC calendar lists MANY events in our area. (I recommend putting it in "month" mode.)

MVBC events

April 14 & 16, Ride to the Ride, Brownsville

May 14-15, Spring Overnight

May 17, Ride of Silence, Corvallis (always the 3rd Wednesday in May)

May 20, Midge Cramer Ride, Corvallis

May 22-25, Columbia Gorge Campout, 3-day spoke tour in the Gorge

July 16, Marys Peak Geology Ride

August 13, Sunday Covered Bridge Bicycle Tour #44, Albany

July 8-16 (LT1), July 29-August 6 (LT2), Loop Tour: Olympic Penincycle

fall (date TBD), Coast Range Gravel Adventure (CRGA)

Save the Date!

May is National Bike Month!

May is National Bike Month, promoted by The League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try.

Bike to Work Week 2023 will take place May 15-21, 2023, and Bike to Work Day is on Friday, May 19!

While it's a little too early to know of the details events, last year, Corvallis Library included a list of bike related books.  Visit Corvallis provided a list of area bike rides at their website. 

"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race."

H.G Wells

photo by Tracy Hug of Alex Vincent on the Hiawatha Trail in Idaho

Other area events

April 14-16, Swift Summit Spring Classic, Brownsville

May 7, Monster Cookie, Salem

May 20 Mohawk, Eugene

May 19, Bike to Work/School day

May 19-21, Cycle Oregon Gravel

May 26-29, Northwest Tandem Rally, Sequim, WA

June 3, Pioneer Century, Canby

June 10, Petal Pedal, Silverton

June 24, Strawberry Century, Lebanon

July 22, CF Cycle for Life, St. Paul

August 19, Blackberry bRamble, Eugene

August 25-27, Swift Summit 100/200, Lebanon

September 3, Harvest Century, Forest Grove

September 1-4, The Vineyard Tour - Umpqua, Roseburg

September 9 and 16, Crater Lake Ride the Rim

September 9-16, Cycle Oregon Classic

September 17 Hop Head, Independence

October (date TBD), Autumn Amble, Brownsville

Honoring those lost: Ride of Silence on May 17

Every third Wednesday in May, riders gather worldwide to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. The ride in Corvallis will start from Osborn at 7 p.m. 

The Ride of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph, wear helmets, follow the rules of the road and remain silent during the ride. There are no registration fees. The ride, which is held during National Bike Month, aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for and honor the lives of those who have been killed or injured.

Back to the dirt! Sunday gravel rides return for third year

After taking the winter off, the MVBC weekly gravel rides are back! The gravel rides are held from spring, through summer and into the fall. The schedule can be found on the MVBC calendar. (Click the Sundays tab for the gravel ride schedule.) The start time is 10am. 

These rides offer a moderate-paced mixed-surface ride (the average speed is typically 12-15mph, but will be slower on hills). Ride distances are typically between 20-40 miles and there is often 1000-2500' of climbing. The rides are "no drop" and incorporate several stops to regroup. Riders should have good hill climbing ability and navigation skills. The starting locations are typically within 30-40 minutes from Corvallis and are listed on the weekly ride schedule. We recommend you download the route for offline navigation as cell service is variable. 

Party like it's 1899 on the 9th annual Tweed Ride April 23!

The 9th annual Corvallis Tweed Ride will be held on Sunday, April 23. Riders are encouraged to dress in vintage attire for a slow social ride around town, with a pause for a picnic. Gather at the corner of 2nd and Washington at 10am and party like it’s 1899! The Tweed Ride is organized by MVBC members Nelson Binggeli and Bridget Hayes and has been held every year since 2015. For more information, visit Tweed Ride 2023.

Loop Tour priority registration is open

Story by Alex Vincent, Loop Tour chair

Are you ready to explore the Olympic Peninsula? Are you ready for community with fellow riders, diverse camping, the Olympic Discovery Trail, rainforest, pristine coastline and more? Your Loop Tour Committee is excited about this tour and hope that you are also. Please join us this summer!

Registration: Priority Registration for Loop Tour 2023 opened April 1 and will close Sunday, April 30, 8:00 pm. Priority levels are based on member's volunteer contributions to the club. The fees for the tour and SAG have increased only $5 from 2022 and are due at registration. Members will need to select Loop Tour 1 or 2 during registration. The tour dates are July 8-16 (Tour 1) and July 29-Aug 6 (Tour 2).  Click Registration to sign up (must be a club member). 

After the close of Priority Registration, the Loop Tour Committee will close registration for a few days while they meet to assess the number of remaining spaces available and then they will start open registration.

The Tour: This year we are touring the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. The route will highlight the beauty of the Olympic National Forest and take advantage of some of the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT). We start in Montesano, traveling north, stopping to camp at a school in Shelton and then at Kitsap State Park. We'll cross the Floating Bridge on the Hood Canal and hug Puget Sound as we make our way to historic Fort Townsend Park, our third camp spot. From there, we'll get on the ODT and ride to Port Angeles where we'll spend two nights and a layover day at the fairgrounds.

So many options for your day off, from ferrying to Victoria BC to riding up to Hurricane Ridge to exploring Port Angeles. From there, it's back on the ODT and along the north bank of Lake Crescent to Forks; ambitious gravel riders can take an alternate mountain bike trail for a challenging and hilly ride. Either route, after a high mile day, we'll be treated to a catered meal by the Forks Elk club who will also feed us breakfast the following morning.

Lake Quinault School is our destination the next day after riding through the beautiful Pacific Coast portion of the Park and the lands of the Quinault Indian Nation. A school in Ocean Shores back out on the coast is our destination for the last night of camping and hopefully, we'll glimpse cranberry bogs on the final day of riding back to Montesano.

See Loop details for more information on the tour, registration, fees and priority levels for registration.

Getting there: As always, the loop tour committee encourages carpooling and non-motorized transport to Washington. The closest Amtrak station to the route is Olympia-Lacey, about 45 miles from the start in Montesano and 35 miles from the day 1 camp spot in Shelton. Both routes will be provided along with the route back to the station from Montesano. 

Please consider carpooling to Montesano. Talk to fellow club members to see who has room in their vehicle and space for your bike. If you need assistance with carpool arrangements, please contact the LTC at loop@mvbc.comFind the presentation from the annual meeting at Loop 2023.

Photos by Tracy Hug on a 2022 trip to the Olympic Peninsula: upper L: along the ODT,

at R John Rodecker stops for a photo along hte Olympic Discovery Trail, lower L Port Townsend architecture.

Covered Bridge Bicycle Tour planning underway for August 13 ride

Planning is already underway and registration is open for MVBC's annual fundraiser, the Covered Bridge Bicycle Tour(CBBT). Early registration has close to 100 riders already signed up. Routes include varying lengths: from the family and beginner friendly 23-mile ride to the 101-mile ride that takes riders to five covered bridges and 3,500 feet of climbing. 

The CBBT takes the efforts of about 80 volunteers on the day of the event but also countless volunteer hours prior to the event. Please contact CBBT directors  Rick Olson or Sam Stern to  help be a part of this 44-year-long tradition.

By helping with the CBBT, you will be helping to support Bicycle Education & Safety  programs in theMVBC's Willamette Valley community. CBBT is also a way to earn priority registration to the club's touring options. All CBBT volunteers will also receive a free t-shirts.  This years shirts are made of microfiber fabric with the 2023 CBBT logo on the front.

from the road ...

Winter Escape: Traveling south offers sunnier days in the saddle

Stories and photos by Jeff Hale

It's February in Corvallis. Cold, wet, and windy with occasional sun breaks. It is a risky calculation to ride resulting in a few cold and wet rides home. I also get a little bored with our short routes over Decker, out to Thompson Mill or Helmick Park. Great rides but after many trips one does look for a change of pace. And, perhaps a chance at more than an hour or two of riding. So, for the last few years I have looked for a get-away—some fun in the sun. So, where to go? Options are limited. All you need to do is look at a February national weather map to see that Texas, Arizona, and Southern California are your best bets for a good bicycle trip at that time of year.

However, weather is not the only factor. Riding conditions are also of paramount importance. My first sojourn was suggested by our snowbird Steve Braun (aka: Steve 4) since he is a resident of Tucson. Tucson turns out to be an amazing place to cycle. There are literally a couple hundred miles of riding in the Tucson area completely devoid of cars! For example, the main river loop that connects the Santa Cruz River Park with the Harrison Greenway and the Julian Wash is a 54 mile circle. How perfect! 75 degrees, dedicated bike lanes in both directions as wide as a street car lane. Care-free riding.

I have also had the benefit of Steve’s hospitality in the city. Steve was able to provide me with a variety of routes used by local clubs. I was also introduced to the local bike shops after my riding partner broke a derailleur hanger (new fact to me: they are built to break!). Steve gave us a grand tour of Tucson’s prolific downtown murals. Murals are a dominant part of the cityscape in Tucson and I was very thankful for the personal tour. However, the best part (as it often is) was lunch. Steve treated us to some fabulous local cuisine. Now, I’m from southern California so I’m, admittedly, a Mexican food snob. Steve delivered on his promise for some of the best food I’ve ever had, regardless of origin! The trip was so enjoyable, I repeated it the following year.

This year I decided to participate in the Tour de Palm Springs, an organized cycling event. And, what an event! The city closes an entire downtown street providing 6-7 blocks of street space for cycling vendors. I have never seen so many vendors all in one place. There were jerseys and helmets, and sunglasses, and gloves, and outerwear, and everything you could think of to hang on your bike. This ride was exceptionally well organized (except for the long lines to register). Entire streets were blocked off by the police to keep the riders safe. There were plenty of volunteers to provide the requisite food and lunch stops and to direct riders to accomplish various standard ride lengths (e.g., 25, 50, 101 miles). Electric bikes were welcomed. I was feeling particularly lazy and out of shape after January so this year I opted to take my electric. This meant driving instead of flying. I actually loved the drive through California—it has been a long time and it was nice to have a car in Palm Springs.

On Sunday, after the Tour, I struck out on my own to ride around the town. Well, I had mixed results. While Sunday morning is a quiet time to ride around the city, the area can also be somewhat confounding to cyclists. I think Palm Springs prides itself on being a very bike friendly town. There are signs everywhere asking motorists to “share the road.” And they really mean that you have to share! There are few bike lanes—the car lane is the bike lane. When I did find a bike lane it often would end abruptly or turn into a right turn lane. There are bike routes designated around the city but, again, no bike lanes. In fact, there were times when there was no shoulder at all—just sand. I met numerous people on the ride, mostly from Los Angeles. They sang the praises for this cycling city (remember, they ride in LA!). One other note, the riding surfaces are poor in desert areas due to the constant expansion and contraction of the asphalt. By the end of the trip I longed for the home roads we know so well.

I would also like to give a little shout out to Santa Barbara as a destination for a cycling trip. The dedicated bike path from Santa Barbara to Ventura is wide, unused, and follows the coast providing some spectacular views. There is a well-paved bike trail from Ventura to Ojai. The trip is 33 miles round trip and Ojai is a beautiful little town worthy of the trip. Most of the riding along the coast is flat. If you want hills, there are plenty of them and they provide panoramic views of the ocean and coastal range.

Street vendors in Palm Springs.

Books, podcast, videos and more ...

BookPedal Pushers Coast-to-Coast:

A Cross-country bike tour fueled by kindness

by Marianne Worth Rudd, review by Tracy Hug

Pedal Pushers highlights the adventures of the bike trip Portland author "Mari" and her husband made across the US on bikes in 2012. She writes with a down-to-earth style, less a travel guide and more a personal story of experiences along the way. She organizes the chapters by the states they are traveling through, making it an enjoyable, page-turning book for a rainy winter day. Their trip is not without struggle and interruption but the kindness of strangers and their generosity make a lasting impression on the riders.

Highlighting history and diversity, equality in biking

While our 10ers ride leader Betty Tucker has been doing some research on her family history, she found some fantastic cycling history. 

From Betty Tucker: 

I was researching historical information about Kansas in 1893 and I found this magazine called the Kansas Cycler from 1895 at the Kansas Historical Society. I read all of them and was surprised at how much information was there. For one, they had a "women's" section! Secondly, there were a lot of bicyclists, bike shops and bike clothes.

There was a lot going on in the early days: There were "scorchers," chastised for going to fast (outside of a race) and identifiable by their forward leaning posture. Scorchers. (High speed was a concern because the early bikes didn't have brakes!)

Wheel thievery, insurance for replacing stolen bicycles and wheels, lots of races (on a track and road), controversy over riding on Sundays (interferes with church), horse and bicycle altercations, people wanting more paved streets and dedicated bike paths (some allowed bikes to ride on the sidewalk with a city license to do so) and much more!  

The League of American Wheelman, which is now the League of American Bicyclists has some interesting history: in 1894 League of American Wheelman banned people of color and this ban was not revoked until 1999! Some of this history is here: Racism

In 1902, women were banned from racing. From The League of American Cyclist article, "Long before Tillie’s (Anderson) legs gave out her racing days came to an end – in 1902 women were barred from racing after another racer, Dottie Farnsworth, was killed in a non-racing circus cycling event. Anderson lost her husband Sjöberg that same year, 1902, to tuberculosis. She became a masseuse and lived a quiet life. Decades after Tillie’s death, Alice Olson Roepke brought her great-aunt Anderson’s achievements to light, and Tillie was inducted into the Bicycle Hall of Fame in 2000. For more about her, click Tillie. Find a collectionof articles, some photos and list of women who were cyclists at The League of American Cyclists

For an overview of women's history in cycling look at Conde Nast (from 2020).  Photo above is from the Corvallis Museum.

Find more tales of early bike heroines in a book written by bike blogger April Streeter’s Women on Wheels: The Scandalous Untold Histories of Women in Bicycling.

Exploring more history: is a great resource for all things bikepacking. In honor of Women's History Month, (March) they shared a five-part series honoring women. Part one - Shakers is focused on some of the women who were involved in bicycles as early as the 1920s. It originally appeared in 2021 and is worth a read! Find the five part series here at

The above article includes information about in 1928 when five Black women rode their bikes from New York to Washington DC, 250 miles. This ride is now being commemorated with a ride called the 1928 Legacy Tour. For more information on the history and the current event/ride, visit Major Knox Adventures or 1928 Legacy Tour.

Local options: 

A recent 10ers ride ended at the Corvallis Museum and it is a worthwhile stop. Admission is $5 for non-members. See Corvallis Museum for more information.

A Netflix movie: The Man Who Wanted to See it All

Heinz Stücke is a man who has travelled by bicycle for over 50 years, visiting 195 countries and 78 territories. A full-length documentary of his travels and his return hoje is out on Netflix from filmmaker Albert Albacete. See the trailer and find out more at

"It's the bicycle that makes it possible. The bike is my passport."

-- Heinz Stücke

Upcoming events

Reach the Redwoods - 6 days down the coast in October

by Paul Lieberman

Scroll down if you just want to see the pictures.

I've always maintained that September/October has the best weather on the coast. Last October, when the forecast was showing a solid week of sunny days, I knew it was my chance to finish my tour of the Oregon Coast. I did the northern half of the coast in 2012. You can read about that one here. Then I did it again on Loop Tour 2019, but I had still never ridden my bike south of Cape Perpetua. 

I love doing Loop Tour and other tours with the club: Anything you love to do is better when you do it with friends. But I also like to tour solo. I like to be free to set my own pace, not have to stick to a schedule, and be free to alter course on a whim. I also find I meet a lot of great people when I tour solo. On this tour I met several young people who were doing their first tour, and one guy who said he's been touring non stop for 10 years. They were all continuing down the coast to California. 

I decided to take the afternoon bus to Newport on Oct 10, and camp at South Beach State Park.  It had been foggy in the valley but I wasn't sure about the coast. Sure enough it was thick wet fog in Newport. My bike and the outside of my gear was very wet when I took it off the bus. I had kind of expected this but the forecast still looked good for the rest of the week. Camping at the hiker/biker site at South Beach was fine. Sheltered enough by the shore pines.

There is more than one way to do every tour, but the Oregon Coast lends itself to staying at the hiker/biker sites in the state parks. For $8 you get a great place to camp, a hot shower and most of them now have lockers with USB charging stations. Hard to beat for a bike camper.

Day 1 - South Beach SP to Honeyman SP - 53 miles

I knew this was going to be a long day, but I had to achieve escape velocity. If the weather turned bad I might have headed right home from Waldport. But the weather was perfect. Sunny and warm with a brisk tailwind! Many people are hesitant to ride the coast because of the traffic and, in some places, the narrow bike lane. The diciest parts of the whole coast are on the stretch between Yachats and Florence. Here you have very twisty climbs over Cape Perpetua and then Haceta Head. Certainly the traffic is not as bad in October as in the summer but there were still plenty of RVs out and about. But the traffic has to go really slow around these curves anyway, so really it was not a problem. I just took as much room as I needed and people seemed content to say behind me until it was safe to pass. Still it can be exciting to be hugging the guard rail on the right, with a hundred foot drop to the rocks and surf below, while the big RVs scoot by a foot or so to your left. But needless to say the views were spectacular.

Day 2 - Honeyman to Tugman SP - 34 milles

Another sunny day with a tailwind!  I was now in the world famous Oregon Dunes.  I didn't realize just how far south the dunes went. I'd be riding through them for the next two days. South of Florence, the road was wider with a nice wide bike lane. Then came a pretty good climb as I got closer to Reedsport. At the top I was saddened to see smoke which was drifting down the Umpqua drainage from the Cedar Creek fire. I guess that's part of life now living in the great north woods. I was hoping it wouldn't be too bad once I got back down to the coast. Reedsport however was terrible. Not only was it smoky but it was hot, maybe close to 80. I needed to get some food so I spent more time here then I wanted.  Once I got out of town and closer to the beach it was fine.

Anyone who rides the coast route needs to be sure to follow the bike route when it leaves highway 101: these are the best parts of the route. They also tend to be more hilly but it's a fair tradeoff. Leaving Reedsport the route leaves 101 and heads to Winchester Bay. After that is a very scenic but steep climb up to the Umpqua Lighthouse and then past the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. They have hiker/biker camping there so I stopped to check it out. It was quite nice in some big trees but it was still early and I wanted to make it farther down the coast. After the campground the road climbs again back up to 101.  About here is where you enter the lake country.  There are so many lakes along this part of the coast.

Day 3 - Tugman SP to Bullards Beach - 43 miles

Another sunny day with a tailwind! My luck was really holding.  Except for that really intimating long bridge up ahead coming in to North Bend. Once again it looked scarier than it really was. I lucked out and had a school bus behind me that made no attempt to pass and just followed at a distance at bicycle speed. Just as 101 enters North Bend the bike route takes off to the west and follows a very scenic route past Coos Bay. October being Coffeenuring season I was always on the lookout for good espresso stands. The best one I found was the Espresso Mill and Bakery just as your coming around the bay and heading south.  Highly recommended. Then the road went through some nice beach houses before heading up into the woods again. This was a pretty challenging climb. It went on for some time. It was like being up in the coast range. Lots of logging. This was a peninsula between the South Slough of Coos Bay and the ocean. Eventually the road dove down again before rejoining 101 for a few mile to Bullards Beach.

Day 4 - Bullards Beach to Humbug Mountain - 41 miles

Another sunny day! But now the wind was shifting.  I stopped at Bandon Bicycle Works which is a great shop. They also lead a lot of adventure bikepacking trips on the south coast. Then I made a lovely Beach Loop before getting back on the highway. Lunch at the Crazy Norwegian in Port Orford is a must stop if you've never been there. It was pretty windy in Port Orford, which is a very scenic spot on the coast.  Then it was on to Humbug Mountain, a very interesting geological feature. You're riding right along the coast and you see this mountain in front of you, extending all the way down to the ocean. Its hard to see how the road is going to get around it. Indeed it winds inland along a creek and eventually finds it's way around the mountain but most of that would be the next morning. I got to the campground just in time to enjoy the warm afternoon sun before it was lost to the shadow of the mountain.

Day 5 - Humbug Mountain to Harris Beach - 51 miles

Another long day, but there was nothing to be done about it. There are no campgrounds the entire length of the Samuel H Boardman State Scenic Corridor. What there is however are the best hiking trails on the coast. I did not do any hiking on this trip but I have been here before. It wasn't as sunny today but it was still warm, especially on the climbs and today featured the longest climb of the trip up around Cape Sebastian. The grade was mellow though it was quite enjoyable. Then on to Harris Beach, on of the busier campgrounds on the coast. 

Day 6 - Harris Beach to Jedediah Smith Redwoods - 30 miles

When I started I wasn't sure if I'd  make it to the Redwoods. I thought maybe I'd just get to Brookings. So this was a bonus day and as it was a short day I stopped for a fabulous breakfast at the Compass Rose Cafe in Brookings: highly recommended. After Brookings, I think I missed the bicycle route which looks like it may have hugged the coast for a bit longer. By now I had California in my scope and I was not slowing down. But I did stop to checkout the largest Monterey Cypress which is growing just south of Brookings. You see it from the highway. Worth a stop.  Then before I knew it I was in California. Right away I noticed the surf was better. Clean lines instead of Oregon's wild breaks. I stopped again at Ruby van Deventer County Park just as your entering the Redwoods. Then it was on to my final destination. I think the hiker/biker site at Jedediah Smith State Park was only $5, but you had to pay extra for the shower, which was hard to find and a really long way from the hiker/biker sites. In the morning, my wife Linda would pick me up on her way back from Ashland and we'd drive back up the coast, enjoying a couple of more days of fantastic weather.

Here is a link to a map of the Oregon Coast Bicycle Route which includes all of the campgrounds and services.

Donation goal

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software