C2C Day 1 – Astoria to St. Helens, OR

A spectacular day and a spectacular ride through Northwest Oregon.  What a way to start a coast-to-coast adventure.  An 81 mile meander through the forested hills and fern-laden river valleys between Astoria and St. Helens.  Sure, Highway 30 might be a more direct route – but cyclists seek the alternate, less trodden paths… and this one was a backroads gem.  About the only traffic was from logging trucks – and those trucks move along pretty fast, but they shared the road with us, mostly.

I had the unique experience of being passed by a highway striping crew that was re-painting the white shoulder line.  The sad thing is those striping trucks only go about 12 mph.  But I was climbing a very long and steep hill – at least that’s my excuse!  I was able to overtake the crew on the downhill, although I missed the golden opportunity to temporarily change my tire tread from black to white.

One of the best parts of a tour like this is building camaraderie and kinship with fellow crazed cyclists.  I had the pleasure of cycling alongside Brad from North Carolina,  Herman from the Netherlands, Garry and John from Australia, and Arlene from New Jersey (and I had a hard time keeping up with Arlene!).  Always great to hear other riders’ stories and experiences.

Tomorrow’s ride:  75 miles from St. Helens to Welches, OR.  3,000 feet of elevation gain.

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