Cycle Exploregon 2016

CO-sponsors

Welcome to Cycle Exploregon, our annual series done in partnership with Cycle Oregon where we preview the official route of the Week Ride — and show you some adventurous backroads along the way.

Day 0Hanging with locals in Myrtle Creek
Day 1Canyonville to Myrtle Point: Rolling on pioneer footsteps
Day 2 Myrtle Point to Bandon: Winding through the Coquille River Valley
Day 3Going off-highway between Bandon and Gold Beach
Day 4Gold Beach to Indian Mary Park: A dose of history, wild rivers, and a ‘true taste of the Pacific Northwest’

Cycle Oregon is a nonprofit with a mission to spur economic development and investment in Oregon’s small rural communities. It’s hard during the Week Ride to really savor the people and places that makes the Oregon countryside such a special place. We hope these stories give you more inspiration to go back and plan future adventures.

Special thanks to Western Bikeworks for co-sponsoring this series.


Cycle Exploregon: A dose of history, wild rivers, and a ‘true taste of the Pacific Northwest’

Avatar by on August 19th, 2016 at 10:01 am

Cycle Exploregon Day 4 - Gold Beach to Indian Mary Park-20.jpg

The mighty Rogue River.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

CO-sponsorsWelcome to Cycle Exploregon, our annual adventure done in partnership with Cycle Oregon to explore beyond their official route. This is the final ride recap in this series. Read the other ones here.

Riding a bicycle through Oregon is an awesome way to learn about our history and get up close and personal with the wild places that have shaped it. From a bike you can hear, see, and smell much more than from inside a car — and hours in the saddle give you time to ponder everything your senses take in.

The final leg of my journey gave me several opportunities to for this. I rode from Gold Beach on the coast to the steep canyons of the Rogue River just outside of Grants Pass (see route details on RideWithGPS.com). Unlike the other three days of this trip, my route mirrored exactly what we’ll do on Cycle Oregon next month — all 71 miles (and nearly 7,400 feet of climbing) of it.
[Read more…]

Cycle Exploregon: Going off-highway between Bandon and Gold Beach

Avatar by on August 17th, 2016 at 11:34 am

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Riding near Chismore Butte, 2,600 feet above the Coast Highway in the Roge River-Siskiyou National Forest.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to Cycle Exploregon, our annual adventure done in partnership with Cycle Oregon to explore beyond their official route. See other stories in this series here.

CO-sponsorsI love the Oregon Coast Highway — a.k.a. “The People’s Coast.” It’s a national treasure and also one of the most famous bicycle routes in the world.

But it has a dark side. It has stopped being the “Scenic Byway” it was intended to be and now it’s also a major thoroughfare used by commuters, commercial truckers, and oblivious RV drivers. I’ve ridden its narrow shoulder many times since my first ride down it 20 years ago. When I ride it these days, my main goal is to get off the highway as much as possible and leave the loud and smelly motorized traffic behind.

This is easier said than done. Because of rugged cliffs and steep mountains, backroads are few and far between — especially ones that loop back onto the highway eventually. And much of the land around the highway is privately owned by ranchers and farmers who put gates up on their roads to keep people out.
[Read more…]

Cycle Exploregon: Winding through the Coquille River Valley

Avatar by on August 14th, 2016 at 12:47 am

Lampa Lane is a road to remember.

Lampa Lane gives you a perfect perch to take in the bucolic beauty of the Coquille River Valley.(Photos: J.Maus BikePortland)

Today’s ride was short but oh so sweet.[Read more…]

Cycle Exploregon: Rolling on pioneer footsteps

Avatar by on August 13th, 2016 at 12:05 pm

The precise moment when the Coos Bay Wagon Road emerges from forest to valley in Brewster Canyon.

The precise moment when the Coos Bay Wagon Road emerges from forest to valley in Brewster Canyon.

“Ride a bull. Bag an elk. Land a steelhead. Climb a mountain. There is no shortage of adventure to be had in Myrtle Point.” That’s one of the marketing slogans you’ll find on the City of Myrtle Point’s website.

After a 104-mile journey yesterday through the forests and river valleys that surround this small town, I think they should add, “Ride a bike” to that list.

[Read more…]

Cycle Exploregon: Off the beaten path of the 2016 ride

Avatar by on August 12th, 2016 at 9:04 am

Cycle Oregon Preview ride - Day 0-1.jpg

The Horse Creek Covered Bridge,
built in 1936, serves as a grand entrance
to Millsite Park.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Greetings from Myrtle Creek, Oregon.

This small, once-mighty timber town sits on the banks of the South Umpqua River about 200 miles down I-5 from Portland. The official city motto is, “Where nature is your neighbor” and its most famous resident is none other than United States Senator Jeff Merkley.

I’m here to begin a four-day adventure that will give me an up-close look at the people and places that exist along the route of the Cycle Oregon Week Ride that’s coming up next month. Just like I did last year with my Five Days in Eastern Oregon series, this ride is part of a partnership with Cycle Oregon to help tell stories from the rural communities and great backroads that dot our fine state.
[Read more…]