View Full Version : Crossing the Astoria Bridge
08-03-2007, 01:22 PM
I'll be riding over it soonish. It looks Really High Up there.
So, how is crossing it on a bike? What kind of road surface? Do the guardrails seem sufficient?
08-05-2007, 07:19 AM
I crossed that bridge on two different trips last year. I was tense the whole way.
Climbing to the top of the bridge isn't bad however you need to go relatively slowly down the hill so that you can stop if needed at each expansion joint.
There is very little shoulder so make sure there is plenty of lights on your bike to increase visibility. The cars do go by fast. Also be attentive to the wind.
For both of my trips across it was very windy (crosswind, west to east). Add to that the breezes created by cars/trucks passing and you need to "keep your head in the game". When a truck goes by at 50 MPH the truck has a bow wind as it approaches, then blocks the wind when its next to you, then has a suction wind as it passes. Be alert to the vehicles coming up behind you. I would stop pedaling and concentrate on keeping my line.
The guard rail should be fine though it appears to be waist high while seated on the bike. You really don't want to hit it though.
08-12-2007, 08:49 AM
Lynne and I crossed the bridge from WA to OR yesterday - I had crossed it once before from OR to WA but that was on an MS 150 ride many years ago and we outnumbered the cars then and took the lane.
I had forgotten how LOOOOOOOONG that bridge is -just about 3.5 miles, with an elevated section on each end and a long low section between.
It really wasn't so bad, but that was because we had a lovely tailwind and not a crosswind. I can see how with a crosswind it would have been a little more, um, terrifying, but with the tailwind I was traveling at over 22 mph and not worrying too much about being blown about.
The shoulders were narrow, but there was not lot of debris, just some occasional bits of wood and plastic, no glass (which I considered remarkable) - lots of dead birds though, which was kind of creepy. The cars were, with two notable exceptions, polite. The exceptions were the guy that yelled at Lynne and the WA-bound guy that came at me head on as he passed (passing on a bridge!!! yikes) a whole string of cars that were going too slowly for his tastes down the steep side of the bit just before Astoria.
The expansion joints were not an issue - not nearly as evil as the ones on the Longview bridge.
So, my verdict for others interested in the bridge crossing is to be very careful but otherwise enjoy the spectacular views as you go across . . .unless you have a cross-wind, in which case just buckle down and get across as fast as you can . . .
08-12-2007, 12:19 PM
I concur with Cecilanne - it really wasn't bad at all. The part descending into Astoria was a little dicey, because the shoulder is narrow, and I wanted to be in the left lane, to get onto Hwy 30. Fortunately, there was a clear spot in traffic, so I could move over.
The expansion joints were no problem at all, but I've got 34mm tires.
We then adjourned to McDonalds for fries and a soda. At this point we were about 80 miles into our 128 mile ride...
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