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  My Tours: Pac West Tour 2007 - Research

This is the year of the Pac West Tour, really it is. After thinking about this trip all Winter long I'm ready and raring to go.  The more I read about the Pacific Coast from other cyclists the more I would like to continue in my plans of seeing more.  So I've come up with another plan just as good as the one last year and even better.

The Route

This has been the fun part, coming up with the route.  In 2006 I had looked at starting in Crescent City and then go all the way down to Fort Bragg.   The only problem was getting to Crescent City.  I spent a lot of time trying to come up with a way that I could get there by public transportation.  The only problem is it's not that easy.  You can get all the way to Arcata via Greyhound, then you'll have to wait for the county bus that comes once a day to take you the last bit to Crescent City.  The more I looked at it the more logistics I had to figure out.  So instead I decided to look further North.  This year I have plenty of time to take so I can do up to two weeks.  That means I can head further north and have more time on the road.  Time to look at the maps and mileage to see what I can fit in.

The Destinations

Since I had more time to be able to go, further to ride, I just went further north.  The trick was trying to find a place I could get too without costing too much and then head out from there.  After a lot of research I found that Portland would be about the furthest north that would work for my time frame and budget.  From the list below you'll see that I tried to keep the length to an average of 66 miles each day.  So far I have come up with the following destinations:

  • Portland to Cannon Beach = 80 mi.
  • Cannon Beach to Cape Lookout State Park = 65 mi.
  • Cape Lookout State Park to Beverly Beach State Park = 57 mi.
  • Beverly Beach State Park to Jessie Honeyman Memorial State Park = 60 mi.
  • Jessie Honeyman to Sunset Bay State Park = 54 mi.
  • Sunset Bay State Park to Humbug Mountain State Park = 57 mi.
  • Humbug Mountain State Park to Harris Beach State Park = 60 mi.
  • Harris Beach State Park to Elk Prairie Creek = 50 mi.
  • Elk Prairie Creek to Eureka KOA = 46 mi.
  • Eureka KOA to Hidden Springs Campground = 58 mi.
  • Hidden Springs Campground to Ft. Bragg = 70 mi.

This gives an approximate total of 657 miles for the trip.

The Equipment

For the most part I have all the equipment I need from previous years trip.  I will spend some time going over what I do have and what I might change a bit.  The first thing is that I will be using a different set of cycling shoes.  I will be using my Specialized MTB Shoes, not the Shimano Touring set I have.  The MTB shoes I have are much more rigid and allow me to really crank into the pedals if needed.  I do need to change a few things like my pants.  I took a pair of levis with me, I need to have something a little lighter.  I also had a very heavy sweatshirt, not this time.  

Menu

This was the one part I was lacking in 2005.  I didn't spend enough time on this and will be sure to do so this summer as I get closer to the trip.  One thing I found was that I enjoyed snickers candy bars much more than any kind of energy bar, and as far as I'm concerned I got just as much if not more energy from them.  I actually enjoyed drinking more water than Gatorade this time around, I'll be sure to have both.

Maps

I've now got the necessary sections from Adventure Cycling to get me from the North Oregon Border all the way to Fort Bragg.  What's nice is that Oregon actually has a lot of information online from there sites.  I'll be sure to put more of it here.

Getting There

Getting there is half the fun.  At least that's what they say.  In order to start this trip I first have to get there.  The nice thing about starting in Portland, OR is there are a number of ways to get there.  Bus, Train, or even Plane.  So I went through and researched each one.  Time is my side so I can take time to get up there if I want.

  • Bus: Greyhound travels from Sacramento to Portland 4 times a day.  It would take approximately 13 hours to get there.  Cost to travel would be about $65, that is of course booking it 4 months in advance.  I didn't get a chance to see if you can ship a bike in a bike box.  I moved on to the Train before I found out.
  • Train: Amtrak travels from Sacramento to Portland 1 time a day.  They leave just before midnight and arrive 3 pm the next day.  A total of almost 16 hours. They do allow you do check in a bike, as long as it's in a bike box, for only $5. The price of a ticket, $62.
  • Plane: Southwest flies to Portland about 6 times a day.  Again booking it four months in advance gives you a number of price options, $69.00 is what I'm able to get.  Travel time is only 1 hour and 25 minutes.  Of course in order to take the bike with you it will cost you $50 as long as it's in a bike box.  I guess that's not too bad of a deal.
  • Shipping the bike: I made a number of inquiries to see how much it would cost to ship the bike separate, in case I wanted to send it ahead.  I checked with bike shops, DHL, FEDEX, and UPS.  I found it would cost anywhere from $50 to $150 to ship it. 

Last time I found that I didn't have enough options, this time I have too many.  So I'm going with the time saver and flying to Portland.  I'm sure this will present a few problems to deal with, especially since I need to also ship the trailer and all the gear.  We'll see how that goes.

Camping Sites

Most of the camping sites that are up and down the Coast of Oregon have hiker/biker sites.  Most of you know what this means.  For those that don't it basically means they have set aside a group camping area.  Anyone that shows up hiking or biking can camp in this designated site with other hikers and bikers, hence you don't need any reservations.  Most times you'll have a few others, sometimes none at all depending on the time of year.  However some campsites are private campsites and don't have hiker/biker sites so you need a reservation. 

In Cannon Beach where I'm going to start there are no State Parks, there are a few Private Campsites and a few RV Parks.  The one RV Park that most Bikers goes to is already filled up.  So I'm having a tough time to find an alternative.  We'll see what we can figure out.

From that point on most all of the sites until Eureka are Hiker/Biker, making it easy.  But once I get to Eureka I need a reservation for the KOA.  The next Campsite in Weott is similar with no Hiker/Biker sites, so another reservation.  I've tried to spread out the days so that there isn't too much in one day so I should be fine.  I learned my lesson last time around, not too many miles in one day.

 

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