Tag Archives: Oregon
Jul 2, 2010

Oregon & Lake Tahoe

On July 29 we began our big biking expedition of the summer. Since we suffered through a miserable spring and early summer, we had very few miles on the bike. We opted therefore to do a fairly short series of rides. We chose Lake Tahoe as our destination.

July 30-31, Salem, Oregon

But before the Tahoe riding, we planned to stop in Salem for Spencer’s 40th reunion. We stayed with our friend Cheri from Camp UKANDU and introduced her to the best dessert in the world, Coconut Bliss. We arranged to meet some classmates in South Salem for a ride on Friday the 30th.

We started that day riding with Mark Williams, a consultant living in  the Bay Area. We headed out south of town toward Parrish Gap. That should have been a clue. Gaps are only necessary if there are hills. And there were hills. (more…)

Aug 5, 2009

S2 Cycle the Oregon Coast & Crater Lake

Click to see image enlargedIn August, Sheila and I decided to take our tandem to Oregon to do two of the things on our bucket list: ride the Oregon Coast and ride the rim of Crater Lake. Well, we didn’t ride the whole Oregon Coast, but we got a taste. It was great fun.

August 5 – We set out from Seattle early on a Wednesday morning. We got to West Salem around noon. There we met my brother Ray who rode his bike up from Eugene. We strapped his bike next to ours on top of the car and drove to Lincoln City, gateway to the coast. It was a perfect coast day, sunny and no wind. Ray drove our car back to Eugene to await our arrival.

Click to see image enlarged

We strolled through Lincoln City and down the beach. We napped. I looked at tidepools just outside our window. The only thing I didn’t do was build a sandcastle. We even watched a couple of movies.

August 6 – Lincoln City to Yachats – 58 miles

We had a leisurely morning. We had a late breakfast, packed, and started rolling around 10. The coast from LC to Yachats is classic. There were vast stretches of beaches and gorgeous sea stacks. We went past Depoe Bay and took the Otter Crest Loop to avoid the climb over Cape Foulweather. There we saw this beautiful example of coastal bridges and had a long climb on a one way road to the top. We dropped down to Devil’s Punch Bowl. (It looked lots smaller than my childhood memories.)

Eventually we stopped at the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. It is almost 200 feet high. We took a pleasant tour of the facility, then continued on toward Yachats. We encountered our only bad weather of the trip about 6 miles from the end. It got misty, then drizzly, then rainy. It only lasted about 2 miles, just long enough for us to get really focused on finishing the day. We stayed at the Ocean Cove Motel. It was very nicely appointed. I’d highly recommend it. There was a sculpture of a whale’s tail with a mound of dirt in the front of it. Every minute the “whale” would spout. It was cute. We had a lovely vegan meal at the Drift Inn which included marionberry cobbler! Mmmmm. Then to bed.

August 7 – Yachats to Reedsport – 50 miles

We had another late start. But the first thing on tap was the climb over Cape Perpetua. It was blessedly short and there was virtually no traffic! The day was overcast again, but reasonably warm. We saw Devil’s Churn there. After about 10 miles we arrived at Heceta Head lighthouse and stopped to tour it. We met a pair of father-son teams who were riding tandems down the coast as we walked up to the light. Then we made the mistake of agreeing to a tour. We thought it would be 10 minutes max. After 20 minutes of listening to the volunteer’s spiel we still hadn’t gotten to the stairway and there were 2 groups still ahead of us in line. We eventually finished the tour but weren’t happy about spending more than an hour off the bike so early in the day. We got our picture as we prepared to climb back up to Hwy 101. We saw these sea lions at the next pull out.

We rode on to Florence and stopped at Fred Meyer for lunch. We ate at the sand dune behind the store. I climbed it to find lots of sand stretching north and a golf course just to the south. What a weird place! The fathers and sons had stopped at Freddie’s too and we discovered they’d taken the Sea Lion Cave tour. We should have done that instead of Heceta Head.

By now we just wanted to get riding. We still had half our ride in front of us. And it turned out it was the half with all the real climbing. We did lots of long hills and finally dropped down to Reedsport. We got an early night’s sleep to prepare for our longest day of the year.

August 8 – Reedsport to Eugene – 97 miles

We got up early. I lubed the bike, then we packed up and headed for breakfast. I got blueberry pancakes the size of Texas. Sheila helped me finish them. Then we stocked up on water and headed for Smith River Road.

Click to see image enlargedIt’s a logging road that winds up over the coast range to Eugene. We figured that it would be quiet on a Saturday and boy was it! We were only passed by one car going our direction once we left the county maintained portion about 13 miles from Reedsport. The road had moss on it. That’s how quiet it was. The river was pretty though. We saw a sign telling us we were still on Smith River Rd and that Eugene was 49 miles away.

Nine miles later we were at an intersection. Smith River Road went right. South Sister Road went left. The sign saying Eugene was connected to South Sister and it said 48 miles. Huh? We were confused and flagged down a truck which happened along. As I asked the driver directions, Sheila shouted, “Look who it is!”

It was my niece and nephew, Jacquie and Ben, Chris’ kids. We were stunned. So were they. They were camping down the road and had come to the intersection to direct friends to their campsite. Instead, they found us. Better still, they knew where we should go and told us. South Sister Rd, here we come! They also refilled our water bottles. Believe me, there were no stores on this road.

Now we had some serious climbing to do. We did a 2-3 mile climb and ended up at another intersection. We guessed it was time to descend, and so we did. It was fast and fun, but we weren’t completely sure we were going in the right direction. After several miles we found a wooden map that confirmed we were headed on the right road to Crow and Eugene.

We still had to deal with Wolf Creek Road, though. This was a pair of climbs that challenged riders on the 2003 NW Tandem Rally. It was getting hot and we were running dry. I was getting very tired of my view from the front of the bike. We got to Crow rolling on fumes. We refreshed ourselves at the general store there. We were lucky because it was due to close shop at the end of the month. Then we started the last 15 miles to Eugene.

We caught the Amazon Trail and had a pleasant ride through town. A single led us to the River Trail which would take us to my brother Chris’ house. It was a welcome sight. We called it a century, even though our friends Steve and Denise would have insisted on riding 3 more miles.
We visited with Chris and Marcy that evening and saw Marcy’s new place.

August 9 – Driving to Crater Lake

Before we left Eugene, we visited with our friends Larry and Luna, founders of Coconut Bliss frozen dessert. We had a nice lunch and Bliss Bars. I took Luna on a tandem spin. Larry gave us t-shirts. We are big fans. Then we drove to Crater Lake. It was a little hazy due to local forest fires. We  headed for our cabin to repack our gear to get ready for a challenging ride, but one without the 45 pounds of baggage we carried down the coast.

August 10 – Crater Lake Rim – 32 miles – 3379’ elevation gainClick to see image enlarged

The morning was clear and cold. We ate cold berry pie for breakfast and headed for the Park HQ to start our ride. Mind you, we were starting at 6500’ above sea level. And our first climb of the day started from the parking lot and was 600’ in less than 3 miles. But it was already warm enough to ride bare-legged.

We met three women unloading their singles for a trip around the rim as we started off. They were in primary-colored Livestrong jerseys. I called them Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Really they were Rachelle (yellow), Melinda (blue), and Louise (red). One of them passed us on that first climb and we played leap frog all day long.

When we got to the crater we discovered the night had blown away all the smoke from the caldera. The lake was in its full glory. We got many pictures of Wizard’s Island. Click to see image enlarged

But pictures can’t do this lake justice. You have to see it to believe it. It is the deepest lake in the US and 7th deepest in the world. We are thinking it would be great to come back here for a week sometime so we can really explore all it has to offer from hiking trails to a tour boat on the lake.

The route alternated between long, slow climbs and breathtakingly fast descents. We lost track of Huey, Dewey and Louie halfway through the day. Somewhere in there we got this view of the Phantom Ship. But after two three-mile descents at more than 45 mph, we caught them again a half mile from the Park HQ. It was great to finish in a pack.

Click to see image enlargedWe drove back to Chris’ place, visited with our friend Karin, then headed back to Seattle on the 12th. On the way we saw my old college roomie, Rick Hammond and his new place in Amity. We also visited with my mom in Portland.

It was a fabulous trip. I highly recommend the Rim Loop to anyone strong enough to cycle it. The cars were courteous on the narrow roads and the scenery was unsurpassed.

Mar 11, 2009

2009 Overview

Click to see image enlargedThis season we decided we would try some self-supported touring. This is in keeping with our desire to not fly as much in order to lower our carbon footprint. We scoped out two major trips to aim at: riding to Victoria for the NW Tandem Rally and doing a tour of the Oregon Coast.

We needed something to get our season started. We have friends who have ridden for years with Cheryl Marek in her spring training program, HELP. We decided to give it a go. So, most every Saturday from March 14 until June 13 we were out on the road with a couple dozen other moderately insane cyclists.

I say moderately insane because the rides started at 8 AM and this winter was bitterly cold. We even had snow on one ride in April! We did almost 500 miles with the group, though and got into pretty good condition.

Click to see image enlargedWe also worked in a weekend ride to Port Townsend with Evergreen Tandem Club. Jim and Jeannie led the trip. The weather was wonderful and we had our gear sagged one direction.

We rode to Victoria for the rally. You can see the full story of riding to Victoria for the tandem rally here. The short version is that we took two days to ride from Seattle to Port Hadlock to Port Townsend. Then we ferried over to the island and spent three days riding at the rally. Then we took the Clipper back to Seattle. We had lots of good rides, one painful experience, and met many new friends.

Click to see image enlargedIn August we were ready for our big ride in Oregon (full story). We got my brother Ray to help us move our car so all we could start in Lincoln City. One day we rode to Yachats, visiting lots of sights along the way. The next day we rode to Reedsport with more touristy stuff during the day. Then we crossed the Coast Range on a logging road in a 97 mile ride to Eugene. That was very challenging and included one of the most amazing coincidences known to man.

Click to see image enlargedFrom Eugene we drove to Crater Lake. We unpacked all the panniers. Suddenly lighter, we spent one day riding the rim drive. The scenery was beyond spectacular and the weather was absolutely perfect.

At that point we had 1600 miles for the season. Who knows when it will end?

Jul 4, 2005

2005 NWTR

Northwest Tandem Rally 2005 in Bend, Oregon, Fourth of July weekend

Evergreen Tandem Club members at Northwest Tandem Rally... that's us in the bottom front left

Saturday of the Northwest Tandem Rally (NWTR) began with a club photo of Evergreen Tandem Club members in attendance. Then 450 bikes departed Summit High School in Bend, Oregon. What a sight! We cruised with the crowd for quite a while. Rode with various friends from ETC through the rolling hills.
We opted to take the long route to Smith Rocks and an excellent choice it was. The roads were fast and the view at the rest stop was fantastic. Visited with friends from around the country before heading back for Bend.
On the way back we caught up to Steve and Denise. They’ve been working hard all season on speed and man, it shows! We used to be able to drop them fairly easily. Not today. They kicked it up when we caught them, and we could barely hang with them for 20 miles.
Ended the day with 71 miles at a 17.6 average. It felt like the roads were all downhill. How’d they do that?

That's us on the left riding with Jim & Jeannie, Jay & Sara, etc.Sunday we rode day two of NWTR with Jim and Jeannie and Mike and Carol from ETC. Jay and Sara rode with us until the first rest stop. Again, it was a fast-paced group for the first section of riding. We relaxed a bit on the second portion during which time Mike and Carol had 2 flats and Jim’s saddle needed adjustment once. The mountains were all out, though. You could see Broken Top, the Three Sisters, Jefferson, and even Mt. Hood! The smell of the high desert sage was wonderful.
Spent quite a bit of time at the rest stop just lazing around and visiting. Sheila and I stretched out our legs on the homeward stretch ending with 61 miles at 17+ mph again.

Spencer in front of Mt. BachelorMonday we did the optional ride for hardcore climbers. We called it RAMBOD (Ride Around Mount Bachelor in One Day). They called it the Cascade Lakes Loop. We went up Century Drive 20 miles to Bachelor Ski area. Then we looped down through some of the prettiest territory in the state. There were lots of little lakes and mountain pastures framed by the bulk of South Sister. We’d brought lots of extra water in our pannier, but had run out by the time we got to Devils Lake. A friendly couple from Wisconsin headed to Crater Lake refilled our bottles from their supply.
We continued cruising along at 25-35 mph through a long descent through the forest. It was grand. We eventually turned toward Sunriver, our next water stop.
From there it was another 11 mile climb up to Century Drive. A butterfly paced us for about 3 miles of the climb, apparently attracted by the bright colors of our jerseys. Or maybe she was just making fun of our speed. The climb took us another hour and a half in the hot, afternoon sun. We were more than ready for the payback – 18 miles down, down, down to Bend. We completed our 100 miles in almost exactly 8 hours clock time! We averaged 15.3, a very respectable rate for a ride with 6,000 feet of elevation gain.

Thursday, July 14: Today was our last big training ride before RAMROD. We followed the cue sheet for a 120 mile ride from Marymoor Park to Snoqualmie Pass and back with about 5525’ of elevation gain. As it turned out it was only 116 miles. We managed to complete the ride with a 16 mph average, about 9 hours clock time, with 7:15 saddle time. We’re feeling strong and ready for RAMROD. We’re hoping that taking this next week completely off (sitting a meditation retreat) won’t be an issue. We do plan to do at least one easy 50 mile ride between when we return and RAMROD, two weeks from today. The switchbacks up to Denny Creek were awesome. The road was smooth with little traffic and lots of shade. Too bad we had such strong headwinds pedaling back down the pass.