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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Departure Day for Pacific Coast Bike Tour

Ah! Stressing out again! Once again a trip is about to begin and I'm tying up loose ends, spending more money than I want to, and worrying that I'm not "prepared enough" for it. But overall, I'm happy with the way things are going and confident that this journey won't be as tough as last year's adventures.

Originally I was planning on leaving on Wed the 13th, but there was still stuff to get done, and I wanted to make my life easier so I opt for Thurs the 14th as departure date. I'm still figuring out how I'm going to leave, though. There's a few options:

I was thinking about departing with everyone's favorite old-timey bike touring duo, the Ditty Bops. They just played Portland tonight ($14 well spent!) at the Aladdin and put on a great show. As part of the tour, they invite people to join their ride. Initially they were going to depart on the 13th, but due to injury and ailments from 3 months (!) of riding cross-country, they may push back their departure date to Thursday. Or maybe further than that, if they bike. Oh well. I was on the fence on this one. On one hand, it would be really cool! On the other, they're heading to Eugene and I would rather see more of the coast.

So how 'bout biking out there? There's a few ways and I was pondering using the secret and scenic Nestucca River Road from Yamhill to south of Tillamook. I told Kim from Bikeworks this and she urged me not to, from the experience of others. Turns out that while this route is quiet on traffic, it is extremely hilly. I looked at the elevation chart, and there's two passes at almost 2000 feet! Yikes!

Kim suggested Route 47 to McMinnville and then Route 18 to the coast. It's fairly quiet and the summit is about 700 feet, fairly low. The only trouble with this route is there is no camping between there and the coast, which would mean an 80 mile day to start out the ride. I don't know if I want to push myself that far just yet, especially since the forecast for Thursday promises some rain.

Which brings me to the bus. I can take the Tillamook bus for $10, which will drop me off on the coast and then I can ride from there. Depending on the weather and how I feel, I might do that. Sure it's cheating, but hey?

So stay tuned to this here blog! I'll be posting occasionally from the road!

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