roads and bullards
From the onset of this tour, everything felt just right. On paper the groups looked relatively similar in ability for the most part and that would make things easy to keep a reign on. Well our night in Eugene set the mood and the standard for the week. From the outstanding motor inn to the first few miles on the road, things were going to be sitting pretty in the saddle. Eugene is separated from the coast by a thick forested mountain and the backroads over are some low traffic, high joy. the Smith River transported riders to the coast and deliver miles of smiles.
The 101 Hwy was a bit of a step back after over 24 hrs of seeing no business and barely a vehicle. Our early arrival in Florence and the long days afforded us a hike on the Oregon Dunes that proved tougher than the climbs on two wheels.But as with most things that are hard, reward lay ahead. We then continued south to Bullards, where the beach was in contrast of the SoCal variety, cool, windy and very damp. A well deserved rest day found the group exchange bike saddles for bar stools to watch the semifinals of the World Cup at Bandon Brewing. The night was capped by Chinook salmon right off the boat and right into the mouths of the wheely hungry.
We began the second half of the tour with a 22 mile carless carefree jaunt along the Coquille River, where wildlife and marshes met us at every curve. More farming roads around Coos Bay then the 101 to Reedsport for lunch before pedaling up the Umpqua River for scenes of elk herds and rising temps with the rise to Loon Lake. A dip to cool off, dinner prepared on a campfire and the heavy eyelids took hold hold after our toughest day.
The next day was altered by the recommendation of a local.as we all soon realized that he drives and the hill he omitted in the description would soon have this bike ride turn into a hike a bike. Only a few attempted the steep grade, one being our daring, stubborn tandem pair. Once all regathered, a glorious descent out of the thick forest and into farmland.Civilization came again at lunch and thereafter the rest of the day as we made our way to camp. Our final day was a return to the coastal mountains to relish in the quiet roads and wildflowers of Oregon. blackberry lined and trafficless paths led us back to Eugene. The final miles of open space and large estates led to the bike path to lunch. Cheers and beers capped the adventure off the only way it should.