Day 7 — Florence to Bandon, OR

81.1 miles, 4026 feet climbed

Today my goal was to make sure I visited the Bandon Dunes golf courses, one of the top golf complexes in the US. I thought it might be a bit off course but it was not. I was rewarded for my initiative by a flat tire on the access road. I spent most of the day riding with Lou(ise) and John, who didn’t stop for photos and thus my two shots are from the courses, now 4 in number.

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Day 5 — Tillamook to Lincoln City, OR

48.2 miles, 3094 feet climbed

I’m writing this on Day 14. Why so behind with postings? Several factors, chief among them flaky WiFi at many of the hotels along the way. We don’t start riding as early in the day as I’m used to on other tours, which means arriving later in the afternoon. For the most part I’ve been going out to dinner with other riders and not at fast food joints, taking more time from blogging. And the one beer I generally have with them puts me in a sleepy state. So, be patient and express no surprise if it is a week or more after the tour ends before you have a complete set of 25 days plus an epilogue.

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Day 4 — Long Beach, WA to Tillamook, OR

87 miles, 4450 feet climbed

Today we crossed the Columbia River into Oregon, familiar to me as the starting point for America by Bicycle’s America North ride, which I’ve done twice, in 2004 and 2019. After leaving Astoria, we rode through the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park and then over to the coast at Seaside. Near the end of the day, we passed the Tillamook Creamery, just north of its namesake.

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Day 3 — Westport to Long Beach, WA

79.8 miles, 2529 feet climbed

Today was a bit of a slog, with headwinds from the southwest for the second half of the ride. I’m not sure how I did it, but about a mile before Raymond, I managed to twist my chain such that it wouldn’t go through the rear derailleur without turning sideways and the chain would flip between adjacent gears on the cassette. Dominick was about a mile away where most of the riders had stopped at the coffee shop next to the Northwest Carriage Museum. He picked me up and we changed to my spare chain at the coffee shop rather than the side of the road.

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Day 2–Shelton to Westport, WA

67.9 miles, 2341 feet climbed

Looking again at the elevation profile, it is difficult to see where the 2341 feet of climbing came from. But that’s what my Wahoo bike computer tallied and I’m sticking with that story. Our motel was over half a mile to the nearest eatery and 2 miles to the downtown core. No Uber or Lyft drivers. The support vehicle, while emptied of luggage, still was full of bike bags and boxes. Bob and I ordered pizza and salads, which the very accommodating front desk lady (and perhaps the owner too) offered to pick up for us.

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Day 0 — Another Cycling Adventure Begins

August 26, 2023, 0 miles, 0 feet climbed

Tomorrow my newest bike ride–from Seattle, Washington, to the Mexican border, begins. I tried to ride America by Bicycle’s version in 2021 but it was cancelled due to insufficient interest. Interestingly it was not due to COVID, from which we were just beginning to recover, though that might explain the lack of interest. The route, supported by Bike Adventures, a British company, adds to the front by beginning in Seattle instead of Astoria, Oregon, and to the end by going all the way to the border south of San Diego instead of stopping in Costa Mesa, California.

We have 17 riders, hailing mostly from the UK excepting 1 Canadian and 5 from the US, plus two guides–Dom and Steve. Bob Mountz, whom I’ve ridden with on my last two rides–ABB North in 2019 and Crossroads in 2022–is one of us yanks.

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