There is a distinct dichotomy between day 4 and day 5 on the coast ride. Newport to Florence has some of my favorite places in the world. It is a gorgeous ride. From Florence south is the exact opposite, it a long inland slog to a town that is just NOT pretty. But to do the Oregon coast, you have to do both days!
Rob and I were up earlier than normal on Sunday. He decided to just have a Starbucks breakfast sandwich, and Michelle and I went to my favorite place, Pig n Pancake! YUM!! A great start for the morning.
When we got to the hotel the night before, it was fogged in, but by morning it had cleared and we could see the light house!
Rob and I met up at about 9:30 for the earliest start so far this trip. We were raring to go!
I like Newport, to leave town south you have to cross the Yaquina Bay Bridge
No matter where you see it from Newport it is just plain pretty. Bikes are allowed on the road, but I really hate slowing down traffic on something like this, so Rob and I chose to ride on the sidewalk.
We did question one thing though, at the end of the bridge we saw this sign and these steps.
We agreed you are supposed to go uphill in case of a tsunami, but seriously, we are NOT sure these steps are high enough. We decided theses steps were for gullible tourists, allowing the knowledgeable locals to survive!
South of town, we had to deal with a huge car show. It was loud, obnoxious, and the roads were filled with traffic. Once we got past, though, it was smooth sailing. the shoulders were wide, the wind was strong behind us, and we made great time.
It wasn’t long before we reached Seal Rock. Long time readers will remember this photo
I love climbing rocks! During this ride we didn’t have time to indulge my climbing and the tide was in, but it was no less pretty
We first stopped at the restrooms in the park. I met my first grouchy Oregonian of the trip. “Your bike is blocking the door!” he growled… Sorry pal…
Rob was looking strong, and continued to do so through Waldport
As you can see, all the fog from the day before was gone, the sun was out, it was warm and a great day to ride! I genuinely love this part of the coast as it is not crowded, laid back, and very pretty.
Case in point is Yachats. It’s a tiny little town halfway between Newport and Florence. We stopped at the store for water and food.
Editors note: OMG the pizza sandwich from the hot counter was SO good!
And adjourned to the wayside to rest before the next climb.
As we were sitting there, a little guy with rubber boots and small bike showed up with his mom.
He told me to be sure NOT to let his bike get stolen, as he headed down to the water. I couldn’t resist moving a bit for this picture.
South of Yachats, the area gets more secluded and more of a climb. Somehow, my memory told me this was a spot that might break Rob. I remember it to be one of the hardest parts of the coast. Hard yes, but damn pretty
The road did climb, and the shoulder was narrow, but over all it wasn’t too bad. I knew more was coming though! We still had to go through the second tunnel of the day. My memory told me it was harder than the first…
Yeah, not so much. It was shorter, still uphill, but the reward was this view.
Heceta Head Lighthouse is one of the most photographed light houses in the world, and justifiably so…
I was convinced in my head we had 2 more miles until Sea Lion caves then another mile or so to the top! Imagine my surprise when the next turn told me is was a 1/4 mile to the caves, and then less than a mile afterwards to the top! Folks, sometimes it is NOT a bad thing to be wrong!
I flew down the hill, and soon I was in Florence, Rob was right behind me.
We went out dinner, and found a place with good pizza, calzones, salad and wine! YUM! Sadly, though, server Mike knocked over the bottle into Rob’s lab. Rob’s cat-like reflexes saved most of it, but not before the other table, with server Mike’s Mom, girlfriend and daughter saw the whole thing! We suggested he run away and go to barber college!
All in all a great day! 50.5 miles, 2,243 ft of climbing and memorable views!
The next morning I was STARVING! Michelle took me to the Brown Hen in Florence. Home of the biggest buttermilk biscuit, and yummiest meat lovers scramble ever! The homemade strawberry and Marionberry jam was excellent as well!
Once again, by 9:30 Rob and I were ready to go!
Less than a mile away I had to stop for a cool bike shop!
I really wish they had been open!
We ran into construction at the bridge out of town, but after the flagger held up traffic for the two of us, we had smooth, brand new roads for the next 10+ miles. Once again the winds were with us, and we were feeling good. I was very excited when the 2 of us reached the 200 mile point of the ride! Now I know we will finish.
Florence is known for sand dunes and at the overlook, we could see them in their glory
We ran into a couple from Wisconsin here, they were traveling by Motorcycle. They were amazed we would be going over 12o miles more to Crescent City. They were going to be there tonight. I asked them if they could start the preparations for our ticker tape parade that would happen upon completion of the ride… He didn’t think that would be possible.
As I said, the ride was not that scenic. We ran into more construction at the Umpqua river, but the flagger guy was very nice! The ladies also caught us there in line so Rob grabbed my sunblock from Michelle!
In Reedsport we found the best cyclist rest area ever near Safeway!
We need more places like this!
South of Winchester Bay was our last glimpse at the ocean for the day
We also ran into a couple of other cyclists. The first was this guy from day one
He is from Australia. He flew into Seattle and pedaled down to Oregon on his way to San Francisco. The other is a lady who was trying to catch up to the Cycle Oregon ride further south. She caught us and left us in her dust! We also saw a hummingbird!
Rob, though, again experienced car drivers being amazed at how far we had ridden! Its fun to watch a new rider tell people how far he went.
From there on it was just head down and heading for Coos Bay. Somewhere along the way I have developed a squeak I am not happy with, so we will look at it in the morning. With 9 miles left we finally spotted the Coos Bay bridge!
Better yet, for the last almost 250 miles, Rob was looking for the perfect Oregon Coast Bike route sign to take a picture of. We found it!
We decided that with killer winds and lots of cars, we were just going to walk the bikes across on the sidewalk. I am SO glad we did! Even walking the winds were blowing WAY too hard! We both almost ended up being blown off the sidewalk.
I had to fight to control the bike! We made it across safely! Australia Bob just slowed traffic and rode in the road!
Once we were over we finally engaged Siri to find out hotel! The ladies were waiting! After making sure the rooms were booked for the last 2 long days of the trip, we were off to Little Italy for dinner!
It was a good day to ride! Not much to see, but damn near getting blown off the Coos Bay bridge was a memory I will never forget!
51.6 miles, 2307 feet of climbing.