Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 8th, 2013 at 11:03 pm
The fourth annual Amgen People's Coast Classic got off to a near-perfect start today. The ride is a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation and everyone on the ride has been impacted by some form of arthritis in one way or another. Some people are riding for their children or other family members who have been stricken with the disease, others are riding for friends, and some are riding for themselves — using bicycling as a key part of their ongoing treatment.
The PCC is smaller than its sister ride, the California Coast Classic. There are only about 50 riders here this year. Add in all the support staff and volunteers and we're still shy of 100 people. But what this ride lacks in size, it more than makes up for in the essential elements of any great organized ride: the support and food has been top-notch so far; the people are fun and friendly; and the route is world-class (even if the infrastructure itself is subpar in many sections).
We set out from the Columbia Maritime Museum in Astoria and rambled about 67 miles south to Tillamook. Along the way we were treated to the typical highs and (very) lows of the Oregon Coast Bike Route; from wide and smoothly-paved shoulders to the hair-raising Arch Cape Tunnel (more on that later). One of the best things of riding the Oregon Coast is that every few miles there's another little city to ride through. Today I rolled slowly, with eyes wide open, through towns like Seaside, Cannon Beach, Arch Cape, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach, and others. Most of these towns have histories that go back at least 100 years and they share similar storylines that feature either fishing, forests, farming, or some combination of the three.
See a bit more of the towns, the people I've met, and the conditions we're riding through in the photos below...
The Arch Cape Tunnel really annoyed me...
Thanks for checking out my photos and recap. Stay tuned for more thoughts about riding on the coast, photos from the road, and other random tales. Browse more images in our photo gallery.