Today was a beast. I really wanted to make it to the coast in one day but I knew my route had some hefty climbs. In order to see the sun set on the Pacific, I had to make it through the Cascades and finally, to the 101. My plan was to try for Beaver by 6pm and Pacific City in time for sun down. That’s around 120 miles. Was that even possible for my first day?
Check out nine more photos below.
My bike was dialed. Sky from Velo Cult and Blakey recommended that I shift my weight forward. Back panniers make the bike handle, well, back-weighted. The second I moved my bags to the front, I noticed an immediate difference. I could climb with no problem and my back wasn’t swaying when I descended. Cornering was a breeze and it made things like standing over the top tube and accessing the contents a lot easier.
I made it over the gravel paths on Saltzman and onto Skyline drive to get out of Portland and I found myself in farm country almost immediately. While beautiful rolling hills sound nice, the head wind today was a huge drag. I found myself spinning and barely hitting 10mph at times.
Big rigs were working and lemme tell you, to have one of these zip past you going over 60mph is no fun!
Soon I was in the Cascades. There’s a brutal gravel section called Panther Creek road. It’s very difficult to ride loaded down but the pain was worth it.
I had to…
The roads just kept winding around, up and down.
And this gravel was no joke. I’m still lucky I didn’t pinch flat.
From there, I continued on and finally got to the Nestucca River road climb. It comes in just shy of 2,000 feet and dumps you into the wildlife park. Again, more gravel.
I finally made it through the Cascades but only after stopping for water a few times at camp grounds. If you do decide to take this route, make sure you’re stocked. I ran out of water and had to nibble on my dinner and breakfast rations early. I made it to Pacific City just as the sun was going down. The last twenty miles were brutal but it was worth it to see the sun set over the pacific. The ride was 120 miles and around 5,500′ of climbing. Tomorrow I head south to Florence with hopes of tackling another 100.
Here’s the route with a few pointers and things I learned today below.
I got chased by four dogs and these were big dogs. I also almost hit a deer! Here’s what I learned:
-If something rattles, fix it IMMEDIATELY
-You can do a lot of miles if you stop VERY often. Stop and eat, eat, eat.
-Drink lots of water.
-Drink when you’re not thirsty.
-Stretch a lot.
-Load smartly. I had a lot of shit in my bar bag that didn’t need to be there.
-There will ALWAYS be a dog at the top of a climb.
-Logging trucks are fucking scary.
-Stretch on the descents
-ZINC OXIDE every 2 hours
-Lower PSI on gravel, pump it up for clean asphalt
-Always pedal while braking on gravel (thanks Jeremy!)
And last but not least, get a good night’s sleep. Goodnight guys!