First let’s cover the important parts, as I have been doing since the word went sideways in March. Michelle and I are still healthy, happy and gainfully employed. We, like everyone else, are hoping someday things will be more normal; but until then we are being careful. We always have a mask ready when outside.
Today the post isn’t about the pandemic though, I have had success on the back of the Gravel Bike!
First though, I have to share this, we had a new visitor to the back yard today. Look at that face!
Momma was right there keeping an eye me during the photo. I made sure to let them eat in peace afterwards. With the morning starting like this, should know it would be a good day!
Ok back to the bike!
Now if I HAD to try and find a negative about riding the coast (aside from headwinds, this summer they have been hard ever on me!!! (but I digress)) it would me the lack of loop rides.
In Seattle there were so many routes and roads and paths that it was east to ride what was essentially one big circle. I prefer these rides as it always feels like you are going forward and making progress.
Here on the coast, they are, with one long 85 mile exception, out and back rides. I will ride south for X amount of miles and then turn around and come back. Now considering I get to see the ocean both ways, its not too bad.
Ever since getting Roscoe though
I’ve been exploring the hills looking for a loop. I want to go up one dirt road and then end up coming down the other side somehow. I have been exploring since January. I keep finding promising roads, but in the end they Peter out. I then turn back and ride, mostly uphill, back the way I came. It’s still pretty and still fun, but not quite what I want.
Two weekends ago was a breakthrough of sorts. I went up Schooner creek rode and kept going when it turned into gravel.
It is a VERY pretty creek and the road was easy to follow. I even saw an otter. Sadly this was a the best photo I got. (Yep that’s an otter butt, NOT a furry rock)
At the end of the gravel, it intersects with the road that takes me to Drift creek falls trail and down the other side. Its a 30 miles loop with some serious climbing. But is mostly black top. I liked it, and its pretty.
But the road bike would not do well not he gravel section, and Roscoe isn’t as much fun on the road. I know, I know I am sounding pretty darned persnickety, but hey never hurts to keep trying.
That brings us to today!
I took off up a road I have been on before. The entrance is gated, but horses, hikers and cyclists are allowed, its about 3/4 of a mile from the house. The last time I was there, I found a very promising route that looked like it would take me down to the center of town. It was a great downhill, until it ran out!
Yep, I turned around and slowly pedaled back up. It was pretty, but a long climb.
Today was a new day!
I was just playing around a bit at first, getting some views and seeing the sights.
The one road I wanted to try has just been regraveled. These are not small pea-gravel type pebbles, but big, sharp rocks! It maintains the road for logging truck and big equipment, but it sucks to ride on! I went for a ways, but then turned back, it just was not fun. It looked like another ‘out and back ride’
But on the way back I saw a road off to the right. It was a bit less maintained, not as well used and looked like it went down quite a ways. Which meant, if it dead ended. I had a long climb ahead.
But, I said I to myself, “There is plenty of daylight, you got water and a cookie! What the hell! Lets do it!” and down I went.
This is an excellent road. Bumpy, but not rocky, it goes through the woods, downhill but not too steep. I was having a blast, and it kept going down….
Suddenly I came to this.
The wide open gravel road was gone, but this was still going the same way… So I pondered….
I was already a good mile down. If the road died, I would be climbing back up the same mile. the fact it was overgrown didn’t give me a lot a confidence it would go all the way down.
But, damn it was pretty, and I HATE not knowing where a road goes. and I still had water and a cookie….
And away I went! Another half mile or so, I came to another gate. I went around it, and up the hill and sure enough, there was a paved road! It took me back to hwy 101 and soon I was at the beach!
This is the route I’ve been looking for! Come fall, when it gets dark earlier, or I get a window in the rain on the weekend, this will be a great short fun ride!
I went up and over Spanish head. where my favorite Hotel, the Inn at Spanish Head is setting a great example
Looked out at the waves
And, I saw an osprey fly overhead with a fish as big as he was! (Sorry, I was so surprised, I forgot I was holding a camera!)
I decided to go to the Siletz Bay for a photo, because it was still early, I had water, but alas I had eaten the cookie while watching the waves! It was still fun!
Then a stop for this photo looking up Schooner Creek
All in all, it was only 11 miles. But it was such a fun ride! I will do this often.
I know I could reach out to other local riders for their routes, but this is one I can claim as my own! I found it, and I will find others!
I should end here, But I am going to add a bit of snark, my apologies to the readers.
Last week, a local on Facebooker accused me of living in fear because I wear a mask, and want others to do so as well to control the pandemic. Yep, this includes outside if I can’t keep a good distance from others.
I would REALLY like to know what the guy who accused me a living in fear did after work today… Bet it wasn’t as hard or as fun!
OK enough snark! Thanks for reading! Take care y’all!