Day 8 Pacific City to Seaside OR
One of many spectacular views on the Three Capes Route
I wanted to make Astoria today, but a combination of hills - about 4500 feet of climbing, wind - headwinds most the day, weather - it started in the low 60s and dropped to the mid fifties, and visiting bicyclists I met along the way - three of 'em, meant that at 8:30 I was in Seaside, and ready to call it a day. I rode almost 95 miles, but I wasted several of them looking for a place to eat in Canon Beach. I would have made Astoria if I hadn't take the Three Capes Route which adds ten miles and lots of climbing between Pacific City and Tilamook. Not to have done Three Capes would have been foolish indeed!
On one of the many ridges I climbed today
The Three Capes Route was great bicycling. The road was rough. It had no shoulder. There was sometimes too much traffic. However, the views make up for everything, and the route, for all its faults is much much more pleasant to ride than US 101. It also is a great place to meet other bicyclist, including lots of tourists. I visited with one local cyclist - he was pushing his bike bad to his car with a flat tire due to pinch flatting on a pothole, and two tourists starting out on the Bike 76 route to Virginia. Riding is divided into three parts: riding along the ocean, Climbing the ridges between the bays, and descending from the ridges. The climbs are moderate, but fairly long. I usually climbed at five to six mph and the climbed for 15 minutes to half an hour on each ridge. Coming down was at 30 to 35 mph. There were flat sections on the top of the ridges and I stopped and visited with the guys heading to Virginia on one of them. All the bicyclist tourists I saw today were heading south. Highway 101, especially on the big hill between Nehalem and Oswald West State Park, has lousy shoulders on the north lane and a good should going south. The shoulders on 101 have, in general, been improved since I rode this route in '96 and usually are good. The traffic hasn't improved and is usually too heavy on 101. It was very light on the Three Capes Route today, but can be heavy in tourist season.
Parasails over Oceanside
After about two and a half hours of riding - you get off late from B+Bs - I stopped for an excellent lunch at Rosanna's Café in Oceanside. That was the third time I have eaten lunch there, and it has always been excellent. While eating, I watched four guys (I saw them land on the beach) flying, much like birds, using parasails. Neat! I tried to stop for Supper at Canon City, but ended up wasting half an hour or more searching for a place where I could eat without leaving my bike unwatched. I gave up, had a snack from my supplies, and rode on over the last big hill of the day <groan>, to Seaside.
Lookout Bay with Seal Rock and Oceanside in the distance
Nehalem Bay from Neahkahnie Mountain
I rode over ridge, after ridge, after ridge. The short ones were 250 of climbing. Then medium ones were 500 feet of clibing. The big ones - only two fortunately - were 750 feet of climbing. The views, looking back where you had come from or looking forward to where you were going, were spectacular. On the other hand, it was sort of like the plains where you can see the grain elevator at your destination when you start your days ride. I first saw Three Arches Rocks, near the cafe at Oceanside where I had lunch about an hour and a half before I got there, and I last saw it, from Neahkahanie Mountain, about four hours after I finished lunch. Climbing 750 foot ridges right next to the ocean makes for some long range views!
The view near Oswald West State Park
I was lucky in my two days of riding the Oregon coast not to get rained on. I even has sunshine for almost all of the first day. Now, in Seaside, it is raining and the forecast is for two rainy days. I'll probably take a short day because of the cold rain. I'm heading inland at Astoria and then into Washington at Westport.