COC Tour Day 1

Pre-ride to Echo Lake

27.3 miles, 2:12:54 in the saddle, 1947 ft of climbing

Total Miles: 27.

I got into Tahoe around noon yesterday (Saturday). I got some lunch and checked into my motel for the night. I got my bike together and everything is working fine.

Then I met some of the group I’ll be riding with for dinner. A few of us agreed to meet at 7:30 this morning for a ride up to Echo Lake and back. I fueled up at Starbucks before heading over to the motel where our ride will actually start on Monday after a group meeting/introduction tonight. I had to stay at a different hotel last night as the starting motel was booked.

The ride included a nice climb up the old road that is now closed to traffic. It was pretty steep in places but was a nice ride up to beautiful Echo Lake.

Old Road

Tahoe in the Distance

Echo Lake

June 25, 2016

It was a quick ride back down and into South Lake Tahoe where I veered off to my motel for a quick shower and then got checked out before 11 am. I Uber’d a car to carry by bike case and bags the mile over to the start motel. I took off on my bike as the Uber ride was leaving an met it at the motel. I had been worried about how to get my gear over to the motel but the Uber worked great and only cost $8.

The group got together and we got all the introductions and pre-ride briefing after eating pizza for dinner. During the later part of the meeting involving the next (first) day’s route) I got a nose bleed that just wouldn’t stop. Had me very worried because I’ve had some in the past that required medical attention.

But I got to my room and it finally stopped and I think all is well. Nose bleeds are pretty common with the altitude an dry air.

Anyway, I’m exited to actually start the tour tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be sunny for basically the first week of the tour, and pretty hot, with highs in the 90s.

PCS Day 4

May 8, 2016

Honeyman SP to Sunset Bay SP

56.9 miles, 4:26 in the saddle, 2570 ft of climbing

Total Miles: 254.

Rained fitfully last night, as was my sleep. The wind was whooshing the trees around and I think it would shake loose the rain and it would come in a short barrage of large (sounding anyway) drops. I finally put some ear plugs in to help me sleep.
I made one cup of coffee and had a couple of rolls left over from yesterday and headed out a little after 9 am. I was chilly all day in spite of sunshine much of the day. The air was still in the mid 50s and I kept my arm warmers on all day.

The scenery was sort of dull today. You could catch glimpses of large sand dunes (some encroaching nearly to the highway) but it was mostly woods and a lot of traffic, and up and down. So that was okay. Nevertheless I was sort of uninspired today and had to just plod along.

Little Oregon History


I stopped in Reedsport for a real breakfast . Due to the popularity of the cafe I chose (the first one I saw, the Harbor Light Restaurant) or Mother’s Day, I had to wait outside for about 15 minutes to get a table, and I was chilled. Once inside the service was slow due to a large group of 4 older couples that were right ahead of me, but that was fine with me. The breakfast was great and the coffee hot and regularly refilled.


Coos Bay was sort of a typical ugly town full of strip malls and run down businesses, at least on the ACA route through. The bridge though was fun. As in Newport, the tail wind and downhill on the south side was exhilarating. Cars were passing me until the downhill where I was going nearly as fast as they were and they waited for me to get off the bridge. There aren’t shoulders on the bridge but cars can and do pass you with minimal but I guess adequate clearance. Nevertheless it is a bit stressful. I concentrate on staying as close to edge as safe and keep a steady line.

Bridge Over Coos Bay


I did stop at a McDonalds in Coos Bay and updated the blog and had a hamburger. I got to Sunset Bay SP where they set aside some sites for Hiker/Bikers on a loop that was closed for the winter. Real nice, and again enjoyed the hot showers.

Tanner and Logan pulled in shortly after I got my camp set up. Had a nice chat with them. I’ll probably see them tomorrow night as we’re all planning on reaching Humbug Mtn SP just south of Port Orford.

PCS Day 3

May 7, 2016
69 miles, 4:59:55 in the saddle, 3471 ft of climbing.

Total miles: 197.
Had a great breakfast of pancakes with the Browns and then packed up and headed out about 8:50 am. Right away I was on Otter Crest Loop, a 3.5 miles beautiful side road that avoids busy 101.

Otter Crest Loop

Cool Bridge on Otter Crest Loop

I missed the start of a bypass in Newport, but after a McDonalds coffee break I got back on the route and crossed the Yaquina Bay Bridge, which was a thrilling 38 mph coast down the north side with the brisk tail wind that I enjoyed most of the day.

Yaquina Bay Bridge

I stopped numerous times to take pictures but made good time on the rolling hills along the coast. While I was snacking at the Seal Rock State Rec Area I met a couple of young men, Logan and Tanner doing the full Pacific Coast route (Vancouver, BC to San Diego). I may see them later down the road.

Cool Bridge #?

Logan & Tanner Southbound

I stopped for lunch of pizza and a beer in Waldport, and updated the blog. After lunch I continued to make good time on what is a pretty busy section of 101. I passed by Carl G. Washburne SP about 3 pm, where I’d thought I might stay the night. I decided to keep going to Honeyman Memorial SP, about 17 miles further.

Right after Washburne was a long climb that had me dragging a bit. I passed through the tunnel near Heceta Head and stopped at the overlook. A north bound biking couple pulled up and were all smiles in spite of dealing with what for them is a monster head wind. They are from England and started in LA, went to Grand Canyon, then up through the Sierras to San Francisco and are now headed to Vancouver.

Trina & Matt from England

Trina offered to take my picture

After some steady riding I finally pulled into the Fred Meyers in Florence. There is a huge sand dune right behind it and the sand was blowing. I got food for dinner and motored on the 4 miles or so to Honeyman. The hiker/biker site was deserted so I set up camp, took advantage of the free showers and made my dinner of ramen and spam.

Honeyman Campsite

Logan and Tanner arrived a little before dark. The wind continued to blow through the tall trees, but it wasn’t too bad in the camp.

PCS Day 1

May 5, 2016

81.2 miles, 6:59 in the saddle, total time about 8:30. 4012 ft of climbing.

Marygen fixed me up with an awesome breakfast of bacon and eggs, toast, fruit, and bacon and egg mcmuffin to boot. I was fueled for my ride.

And it was a great first day, albeit a bit longer than I intended. My route took me south to Carlton and then west over the mountains along the Nestucca River. I basically followed this route.

The day was mild, and mostly sunny – simply perfect biking weather. And the scenery matched it as I traversed the bucolic rolling hills to Carlton. Then the climb began, first through more idyllic farm land and vineyards and then into towering pine(?) trees. I struggled with some cramping on the way up, which is usual for me on early season rides.

But I love the climbs for some reason. I’d much rather climb than ride flat roads. I get into a groove and just grind away looking forward to the decent. At 5 mph you hear and see much more than at 15 mph. And I used my 24-36 gears on a few of the steep pitches. My computer said the max was 16%. I don’t know how accurate it is but I know there were some steep ones, especially when hauling 85 lbs of bike and gear.

I pulled into the Rocky Bend campground in the mountains that I had thought I might stay at. Had I looked at my computer I might have stayed because I was about 56 miles into the ride. But it was only 3:30 and I thought that Whalen Island County Park might be doable so I decided to go for it. I suffered a bit, having to nurse my cramping legs, but made decent time.

The Whalen Island County park is a nice quiet little campground although it did cost $20. But I wasn’t riding any further.

Whalen Island Campsite

It’ll be a much shorter day tomorrow into Depoe Bay where I’m staying with friends I haven’t seen in 15 or more years.

PCS Tour – Final Preparations

PCS Final Preparations

Forest Grove, OR

I made it along with all my stuff to Portland yesterday. I was concerned when they pushed my bike box on it’s side through the oversize door at Portland and the bottom of the box was flapping open. The guy at TSA in Anchorage did a great job taping the top shut after they did their inspection. But I apparently should have checked the tape job on the bottom.

Leaving Anchorage

Anyway the, the bike is fine, put I’m pretty sure it fell out of the box as they were moving it. I had things secured pretty well together, but a few things were jostled loose. I did a quick check ride today after getting the front rack and fender back together and all looks well.

Tough Surly, survived falling out of the box

Thanks to the generosity of our friends in Forrest Grove I had a nice dinner last night and a leisurely evening working on the bike and organizing the stuff. Way too much stuff. But I’m starting with it for now!

Today I made a run to REI for my stove fuel and Walmart for some food to get me through a couple days riding. Then went through the stuff again. Does this get easier?

But I’m now as ready as I’ll get. The plan is to clip in tomorrow and head out around 9 am.

Bike Tour Planning #2

PCS Tour Planning #2

I’m going to call this ride the PCS Tour, the Pacific Coast Sierras Tour.

Besides obsessing over the gear, the bike, and how to carry all the gear, I’ve been obsessing over the route as well. Not so much the route itself, but what I’ll encounter on the route. So I’ve been Googling the route, looking at streetview, pouring over the maps, reading and re-reading the notes and on and on and on. Jeez, I just need to start riding!

But it’s not just the maps. There are hundreds of journals on Crazyguyonabike of folks that have done parts of the tour, and the son of friends of ours cycled the Pacific Coast back in 2011 and blogged about it. I’ve been going through all this stuff. It boggles the mind.

So, here are the ACA maps I’ll be using, along with the very helpful Oregon Coast Bicycle Route Map, which Oregon will send to you for the asking. I plan to make good use of the Oregon State Park campgrounds with their cheap and no-reservation-required Hiker/Biker sites.

Maps for the PCS Tour

Long Overdue Update

Well, my last post was way back in May 2014, and it was about my first 400K Brevet which took place in June 2012. The post before it was in January 2014, more than two years ago! As my “About” page states, my intention for this blog is to document some of my cycling activities. I have been riding my bike, but obviously not writing about it!

I really admire folks that actually blog regularly, and I hope to do a bit better in the future, but I’m probably never going to be a prolific blogger. It takes to much mental energy for me to write much.

So, for my re-entry to the blogosphere let me briefly recap some of my cycling activities for 2014-2015.

2014

I rode 200K, 300K, 600K brevets, and a couple of permanents (200K and 300K). I DNF’d on the 400K, so didn’t get Super Randonneurs status for 2014.

I then rode a 1200K Grand Randonnee, the Central California Coast Ranndonee (3CR) in August 2014. The 3CR was a wonderful experience that I hope to do a separate post on in the future. It was much harder for me than the first 1200K I did in 2013, the Big Wild Ride here in Alaska. Day 2 of the 3CR was the most difficult day of riding for me, ever, for a variety of reasons. But it was also the most beautiful and awesome ride as well, including the section of the California Coast from Monterey to Morro Bay. Incredible ride. Unfortunately I was suffering so much that it took all my mental energy to keep going. But what a feeling of accomplishment to get it done in the end. More on that ride later.

IMG_1810

Suffering on the California Coast

2015

I managed just one 200K brevet and a couple populaires in 2015. We had lots of summer guests and I just didn’t have the motivation to ride that much.

But the real news for 2015 is that I retired in August after a little over 30 years with the Federal Government. I have big plans for a bike tour in 2016 which I’ll outline in a future post.

Ted Retirement

Last Day of Work!