To all of you who pedaled south from Portland to the path of totality — welcome home!
We’re just one week out from the total solar eclipse and many people are freaking out about potential traffic jams. If you believe the Oregon Department of Transportation and local newscasts, roads will be clogged from Portland to Ashland for days.
What if instead of carmageddon, the eclipse spurred the largest mass bike ride Oregon has ever seen?
After all, this is Oregon! We love bikes and the outdoors and we’re not afraid of a little adventure. What if thousands of people scrapped their awkward and inefficient automobiles and rode their bikes into the path of totality? Imagine bicycle riders streaming happily by on highway shoulders as people sit idling in bumper-to-bumper traffic. (It’s not hard that to imagine since the same phenomenon plays out twice a day during Portland rush-hours.)
A new website created by a Portland man aims to make biking to the eclipse more doable for more people. “Don’t become traffic. Join the movement” reads the top of BiketotheEclipse.com.
Hysteria around the total solar eclipse that will make its way through Oregon two weekends from now has caused a major bike event to cancel its plans.
Organizers of the Electric Bike Expo had planned to bring their event to Portland on August 18th through the 20th. But when they started calling around for essential services like tents, fencing, port-a-potties, and backup power generators, they quickly noticed something was wrong. With concerns over historic levels of traffic and camping due to the millions of people expected to flood Oregon for Monday’s celestial show, providers were unable to guarantee availability of the aforementioned services.
This realization sent Ray Verhelst and Bill Sell of the Electric Bike Assocation scrambling. They tried to reschedule the event for the following week — a move that also meant they had to find a different venue because the planned location at Portland Meadows Racetrack wouldn’t be available. They then considered moving the event to October but worries about bad weather tanked that idea.
But with such late notice and with many of their vendors and customers having already made travel plans, Sell and Verhelst announced this morning that they’ve cancelled the event.
Back in April we shared a post from BikePortland subscriber Tom Howe on how to plan a bike trip to see the total solar eclipse. With the Big Day — August 21st — just eight weeks away, it’s time to get serious if you want to make something happen.
If you’re looking for a bit more support and a guide to help you find your way to a viewing spot by bike, I’ve got some great news: Two trusted bike tour operators have just made tickets available for (nearly) all-inclusive experiences that will get you to a prime location, under your own power, and with all the comforts you could want.
This post was written by BikePortland Subscriber Tom Howe.
The August 21 solar eclipse may be four months away, but now is the time to start planning if you want to experience it in the Path of Totality as part of a bike camping trip.
A few days ago Oregon State Parks released a thousand extra campsites which were all reserved in about an hour, and many of those sites are not even in the 70-mile wide path of the total solar eclipse where the sun’s corona will be visible. Eclipse expert Xavier Jubier has created a neat zoomable map showing the eclipse path. Clicking anywhere in the path of totality on this map will give that spot’s length of the total eclipse, which in Oregon tops out at just over 2 minutes as the moon’s shadow races across the state.
But camping is still available at private sites outside the state park system. One notable location about 40 miles from central Portland and well within the path of totality is the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm near Woodburn. Here is a zoomable map that shows a rural bike route down to the tulip farm from Portland.