Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ride the West - Day 3, Lincoln City Oregon to Florence Oregon

It was a foggy day on the west coast, as mist from the ocean seeped in and covered the ground. It was chilly of course, but the air was moist causing us to be cold as well. My cue sheet for managing the directions from Lincoln City to Florence was in danger of becoming wet paper as I rode along. The fog played with us during the day as it would come and go, marching to the beat of its own drummer. It was a ride where I would take my jacket off at one point, only to need it later on. It was fortunate that the SAG stops matched the times when I needed to remove and then use my jacket, otherwise it would have been a cold day, at least until the last 25 miles when the sun was fully in control.

The fog awaits us

The seacoast views were as spectacular as ever, although they were hidden behind an eerie fog coating. One had to look carefully to see the rocky formations that adorned the coast. Whales are around, but are well shielded from the spectators eye. I have yet to see any on the ride so far, although I was lucky to spot some when Aila and I drove down. Perhaps tomorrow will be day when I spot a few.

Eerie sights along the foggy coast

Today I rode off and on with my buddies, Joe and Mark, and at other times with riders that are new to me. It was a day of thought and retrospection and because of that, I rode about half the day on my own. The wind was from the north and west and pushed us along for a fairly easy 80 mile day. It was hard to talk with others when the wind is blowing all around you, so it seemed quite natural to make this a solo journey.

At one point in the ride, when I approached Rock Gap, the wind completely changed direction and instead of being so helpful from behind, slammed directly into me from the front. I had to slam on the brakes to avoid being blown around the roadway. The roads signs that say “Gusty Winds” take on a whole new meaning when you are on your bike at 40 MPH. I was never in any danger, but it sure wakes you up.

After the fog gave way, the views improved

We crossed several bridges today, some being very long. Most of us, including myself, walked on the sidewalk for the entire crossing of the bridge at Yaquina Bay State Recreational Site in Newport, pictured below. There wasn't much room for bikes and cars to mingle together on this one, especially with the strong winds.

The bridge at Yaquina Bay State Recreational Site in Newport

Newport Oregon is a very pretty coastal town, which seemed to have many good hotels, cottages and other places to stay. There seemed to be many beaches, bridges, and other interesting sights to fill up any vacation, at least for a few days. I would recommend this place if you are looking for a good weekend get-away.

We passed by the supposed smallest harbor, however I don't know if that is the smallest in Oregon, America, or the world. Its smallness pretty much matched its value as an interesting sight.

The supposed smallest harbor

Along the route we picked up a road that paralleled Route 101, that cascaded through a path cut among the trees and over a bridge. The road had 1 lane for cars and 1 for bikes, even though cars were completely absent from the experience. It was a one way road, and if it wasn't so foggy, would have provided some beautiful views of the rugged Oregon coastline.

The bridge along the paralleled road

All in all, today was another great day.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

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