Intro to Road Touring - Oregon
As the experts on self-contained bicycle travel, we’d like to share our knowledge by offering our Introduction to Road Touring (IRT) course. Two days of open-air, informal campground discussions will be followed by a fun, four-day tour. This will give you the opportunity to test ride what you’ve learned in camp as the route eases us into the experience, with healthy doses of scenery and adventure. After this four-day loop to the beautiful Oregon Coast, you’ll arrive back at the starting point of this trip ready to set out on your next adventure.
Note that you’ll need to come to this intro course with some cycling skills and experience under your belt. But after graduating, you’ll be ready to hit the road on a loaded tour, whether it’s a solo outing, a trip with friends, or an Adventure Cycling group tour! Upon completion, you will qualify for our Learn and Earn tour incentive!
"This course gave me the confidence to pack my panniers, go out the door, and live self-contained on the road."
Day 1. Veneta, Oregon, 0 miles
We’ll begin our Introduction to Road Touring with an orientation and discussion of the course schedule and general housekeeping rules. Once we are all acquainted and have a general idea of the framework of the course, we’ll prepare dinner and begin learning how to live on the road in comfort and style. After sharing our first meal, we’ll cover the week’s schedule, cooking rotations, group gear, and budgeting, among other topics essential for bicycle touring. Once we know the basics, it will be time to hit the hay.
Day 2. Veneta Shakedown Ride, 12 miles
At 7:00 a.m. sharp, it’s up and at ‘em! Your leaders will cook up breakfast before we delve into discussion about bike-touring equipment and what a savvy bike traveler should pack. Then we’ll address how one should best carry all this critical stuff (and we’ll attempt to settle the classic trailer vs. pannier debate.) After we sort out the gear issues, it will be time for a hearty lunch. Following the lunch break, we’ll discuss what it’s like to live on the road, exploring topics of safety, attitude and etiquette, and general touring rules. Once we have all of this under our belts, we’ll put some of this newly acquired knowledge to work on a shakedown ride for our multiday adventure that begins tomorrow. We’ll also stop at the market and buy food for the next day. Learning what food to purchase will be important; there’s almost nothing worse than a hungry cyclist! Returning to camp, we’ll enjoy an evening meal before settling in for discussions about map reading, trip preparation — including preparation for inclement weather — and roadside repairs. After a full day, it’s time to catch a few winks before we head out on our tour.
Day 3. Veneta to Alsea, 51 miles
Today we leave our camp and head off on our tour. The first half of the ride is flat and generally on low-traffic rural roads. After refueling in Monroe or Alpine, we head into the mountains of the Coast Range. The road starts rising gradually, and then we tackle a two-mile climb that averages an eight percent grade. Fortunately we are on the South Fork Road, a BLM scenic byway. There is little traffic and moderate speeds. Our climbing efforts are rewarded by a gradual descent into Alsea. We’ll stop for groceries in town, then continue down the road to our campsite for the evening.
Day 4. Alsea to Waldport, 37 miles
Alsea is a former logging community that has fallen on hard times as the timber industry changes. Today we ride west enjoying a gradual downhill with a few small hills following the curves of the Alsea River to the Pacific Ocean. After this remote road, we’ll enjoy busy Waldport. This is an exciting day for participants who have never seen the Pacific Ocean!
Day 5. Waldport to Mapleton, 47 miles
Today we ride the well-traveled Pacific Coast Bike Route. Legions of cyclists as well as drivers make their way here every summer to enjoy the fabulous scenery. We’ll ride through the Cape Perpetua Recreation Area and Marine Reserve (Oregon’s largest marine reserve) and enjoy more beautiful views of the ocean. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to spot some of the rare marbled murrelets that nest in the old-growth coastal rainforest! We’ll also stop at the Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint for a photo opportunity and a tour of this beautiful old building. As you continue your ride, a stop in Florence’s historic Old Town is a must for food at Mo’s and a stroll along the water before finishing the last few miles into Mapleton where we’ll spend the night.
Day 6. Mapleton to Veneta, 47 miles
Today we leave Mapleton and pedal back over the Coast Range. We’ll pass through the town of Deadwood, home of the historic Deadwood Creek Bridge. Farther along the route, hop off the bike for a short hike down to Lake Creek Falls, where riders are treated to a view of salmon ladders and can take a dip in the refreshing swimming hole. We conclude this day’s ride, and the tour, with a fun downhill before bidding each other farewell.