Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Yaquina Bay pedal near Newport, Oregon

Bringing my bicycle along on my most recent drive to Portland, OR proved a great idea.  I was able to do some cycling in Newport, OR along Yaquina Bay Road, which leads out of the Historic portion of Newport's fishing village.  

First, though, after marathoning up I-5 on a 12-hour drive from Sacramento to Portland, arriving there at 2:30 a.m., I managed to get up and pedal about 5 of 40 miles my son had planned to do as a 40th birthday ride with several of his friends.  I was happy to at least be part of the ride, but too sleep-deprived to do all of it.  Here I am, barely awake, but sharing a "kick-off" moment alongside my amazing, adrenaline-driven son and some of his friends:

 Once my visiting over several days was done with my family, I headed over to drive down the
along the Oregon coastline.  Once I arrived in Newport, OR,  I made it a point to visit  a wonderful bicycle shop there, Bike Newport, which I'd read about in my favorite monthly read, Adventure Cyclist Magazine.  (They are a waystation, of sorts -- offering  use of a wi-fi lounge and access to a hot shower -- to touring cyclists passing through!)  During my visit to this friendly, well-stocked shop,  I learned that they were coordinating a century ride the next day.  I opted to do part of the ride.  First, I had to find a place to camp for the night, though...the state parks and motels in the area were all booked.

Luckily, I was able to find a  place to pitch my tent for the night preceding the century ride  -- behind a country tavern, of all places!   I was right across the street from Sawyer's Landing RV Park.  Since they were fully booked, they suggested I ask the tavern folks for one night of safe haven, assuring me I'd be safe.  It all worked out that this came to pass.

 Directly behind this tavern is this lovely little spot for a tent!

The next morning, I awoke very early, packed up my tent, and headed to the Yaquina Point Lighthouse, where the century ride was to begin.  I planned to do only about 26 miles, so I headed down the well-mapped and signed route from the picturesque lighthouse to 101, and soon was on adjacent roads that were quieter and more bike-friendly.  

Winding my way along the route, I eventually ended up down in the historic section of Newport -- and interesting mix of working fishermen and related industry and as well, boutiques and cafes.  

 In this part of town, the sea lions provide "music" for one's ears, if one stops to listen to them and giggle at their shenanigans: 

 The Yaquina Bay Bridge is a dominant landmark that spans Yaquina Bay. 

Here are some other idyllic sights I saw along Yaquina Bay Road.  I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and the friendliness of Oregon cyclists and would love to do my cycling in this area sometime!  

 A hill I'm proud to say I climbed from Newport's historic section to the more commercial part of the town. 

 Stairs to lug the bike up -- happily, my Specialized Sequoia Comp is light!

Heading back towards the end of the ride towards the lighthouse... 

I definitely want to do more cycling in Oregon someday!  Great folks, great roads, very savvy, considerate drivers that "share the road"!!

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