Planning to Cycle the Oregon Coast

I’ve been talking to people for a while now about doing a trip to cycle the Oregon coast — starting from Astoria and working my way to the California border. I’ve been riding my bike a lot in order to begin training, but today I actually took the time to plan out what that trip will look like.

I found that there are lots of places to find information, many of which are free. In particular the Oregon Department of Transportation has this handy pdf. Of particular interest is a table listing all of the state parks and the various amenities that they offer (Hot showers! Yurts!). More detailed information pertaining to the state parks found along the way I found at oregonstateparks.org

While the above information is helpful, the best tool for actually creating my itinerary was Strava’s Route Builder. Dropping waypoints is easy, and a dynamic profile of the elevation changes is provided. After a half hour of tinkering I not only had a destination for each day, but I also have an idea of the kind of training I need to be doing.

Seeing as the worst day has an elevation gain of over 3,600 feet, I foresee laps up and down Mt. Tabor in my future!

The Cycle Schedule

Day 1 : Astoria to Nehalem Bay State Park

Haystack Rock on a partly cloudy day.

Nehalem Bay State Park is located just south of Manzanita, and is sandwiched between the Nehalem River and the Ocean. This day’s ride passes Cannon Beach, whose Haystack Rock is one of my favorite spots along the coast.

Day 2 : Nehalem Bay State Park to Cape Lookout State Park

A sunset in Oceanside OregonThis stretch of the coast includes Tillamook, which everyone knows has ice cream to pair with your Bourbon. Immediately after Tillamook is the Three Capes Scenic Route, with steep climbs — and amazing views.

Day 3 : Cape Lookout State Park to Beverly Beach State Park

depoe-bay

A big climb up Cape Lookout first thing in the morning, with another equally steep climb up Cascade Head about half way through the day. Beverly Beach State Park is past Lincoln City and Depoe bay, but not quite to Newport.

Day 4 : Beverly Beach State Park to Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park

This day sees us through Yachats and Florence, with the longest day in terms of miles – 60.6.

Day 5 : Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park to Sunset Bay State Park

And now we’re at the part of the coast that I don’t know much about — anything south of Florence is bright new territory!

Day 6 : Sunset Bay State Park to Humbug Mountain State Park

Day 7 : Humbug Mountain State Park to California Border