Video: From Portland to the coast, on folding bikes

Posted by on April 21st, 2011 at 1:13 pm

There are a lot of things to love about the new, Small wheels to the coast video from Russ Roca.

Russ, and his cohort Laura Crawford, are planning another big bike tour in May. The premise of the tour is to combine trains and folding bikes to “redefine the American road trip.”

To test out their new Bromptons and other gear before the big trip, they took an overnight jaunt from Portland to Cape Lookout state park on the Oregon Coast earlier this week. Russ, a professional photographer and gifted storyteller, has now added videography to his tool kit, and the result is the video below…

That’s a great snapshot of how using MAX, bikes, and the Tillamook bus shuttle, it’s easier than you might think to get away to the coast without a car (all that tough climbing aside of course!).

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Charles RossJene-PaulRuss RocaAdams Carroll (News Intern)maxadders Recent comment authors
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Looks fun!

Russ, if you are reading this, you might think about adding a cheap old Canon to your handlebars running CHDK firmware. That would allow you to easily get a time lapse of your journeys. See:

Fun video!



Oh, how I miss those wooded Oregon days. Keep on riding pathlesspedaled!

Lane Kagay

Yeah Russ and Laura!


Pushing bikes up hills? That’s touring?


Nope, that’s not anticipating mountains and changing the stock gearing to something more functional, plus maybe overpacking for such a short jaunt. A nice budget does not equal experience.

But they seem to have made it to the coast fine, so leave ’em alone – they’ll learn. Where’s your film, Max?

Adams Carroll (News Intern)

heck yes it is. no shame in walking… i like to think of it as bhiking.

Russ Roca

@Max We were actually able to ride up nearly all the hills with the Bromptons! We have the reduced -12% gearing for touring and a few mods up our sleeves and were able to pedal up the coast range all but for a few hundred feet.

In general though, walking up steep long grades is part of the experience and I think if you tour long enough you’re going to encounter something at some point that will test your limits. Heck, we even did a short tour with CycleWild to Oxbow and that had most walking up the hill out of the park!

@Jean we’re taking the Bromptons cross-country so we packed everything we would take for 6 months of travel. We knew there were going to be hills and wanted to do a full dress rehearsal with the gear. If we were just doing a short tour, we would have packed way less, but it was meant to simulate our full load.

We wrapped up a 15 month bike tour so we know what we’re getting into and are applying our experience from that trip. Just wanted to shake things up!

The irony is when we toured on Surly LHTs we were way over loaded and have stripped down considerably since then. So even though the Bromptons aren’t what most people would consider as touring bikes, we’ve optimized our gear and packing so it works!


Hey, Russ.

Didn’t catch yer prior experience – the full load test ride makes sense.

“if you tour long enough you’re going to encounter something at some point that will test your limits.” – I found my limit on a farm road west of Lena, IL on a 14% grade of wet gravel. Even great grandpa gear couldn’t hack that in a zig-zag and I finally walked.

The Bromptons look like a neat trick, and they certainly have the rep for reliability needed for bike-trippin’; Crazyguy has several journals from Brompton riders all over the planet. Good luck – I’m envious.

Charles Ross
Charles Ross

I’ve done this route many times. If you are packing gear, on certain portions you are going to walk. I call the hill up out of Carlton the ‘that wasn’t so bad hill’ because you will say that at several false summits before you actually start heading downhill. Nice camp ground at Dovre, no decent resupply between Carlton and Cape Lookout (unless you thrive on chips and beef jerky purchased in Beaver) and . . . a magnificent bus ride from downtown Tillamook back into Portland to Union Station. $10 one way!!
Make reservations for this bus when you get to Cape lookout ’cause it only (officially holds 3-4 bikes.
My favorite trip to the coast.