Sunday, June 27, 2010

Redwoods and the Pacific coast

The past couple days took me through Redwood national park. My
literary abilities are insufficient to describe the grandeur of this
natural setting. Cloumns of unimaginable size rising like the walls of
a canyon on the side of the rode led me to ride almost the entire day
with a smile on my face. Ecologically, the redwoods require the
temperate slopes of the coast range and the sea mists that frequent
this area. It also seems that the redwoods require hills. Many, many
hills. When I wasn't smiling, I was panting for breath as route 101
follows the eel river valley, uncomfortably hot after the cool shade
along avenue of the giants.

Out of the redwoods, the temperature rose 20 degrees and the sun
blazed down, reflecting off of the now barren slopes. Frequent water
breaks and candy replenishment were a necessity. Then, at mile 106, it
came. Leggett hill. At 2000 feet this marks the high point of the
pacific coast bike route, and it certainly makes you earn all 4.5
miles of the climb. The descent and the view provided ample reward.

Then there's pacifc route 1. While arguably the most scenic section of
the route, it is also the most inconsistent. The road constantly
dipping into coves and over bluffs must make for amazing driving, but
it makes cycling a challenge. I write this is fort Bragg, having
delayed my travels in favour of the football and out of fear for the
next section of the route, which the book describes as having the
steepest mile on the pacific coast

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Newport, OR to California

Helping winds and favourable grades made the 230 miles to California
some of the best yet. With terrain ranging from high dunes to forests
and towering capes, the landscape was both challenging and
spectacular. The past two days were also a learning experience.

1. Always keep plenty of snacks on the bike - running out of energy in
a tunnel is no fun.

2. The worst words in the English language: "Passing lane ahead".
Translation: massive hill ahead

3. Stay well clear of anybody driving an RV, they're worse than

4. Mike and ikes can get you through anything

Redwoods tomorrow, very excited though I doubt I'll have any trouble

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Netarts bay to Newport

Soaring cliffs and some spectacular climbs took us the 80 miles from
netarts bay to Newport, OR. Highway 101 winds its way along the
coastline, giving rise to some perilous situations as a head turning
vista appears during a descent. One of the most memorable sections
ocurred when the bike route led highway 101 and wound its way through
an untouched old growth forest. Soaring cliffs gave way to massive
trees, the likes of which we will likely no see again until the
redwoods in humboldt. Hopefully there will be fewer RVs down south.

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