Days 12 & 13

The last two days we have been continuing down the California coast with inland forays into old growth redwood forests. The redwoods were spectacular; I’ve been to redwood forests before but these seem more untouched. We camped in the middle of the forest and in the morning there were a herd of elk right near the campsite. The next day was a continuation of riding down the coast; I’m sure there were amazing views but they were completely obscured most of the time by the marine layer. Riding down 10% grades with logging trucks in almost no visibility was quite the challenge.

This area has been pretty heavily touristed for a long time; hence the huge Paul Bunyan in front of a old-style Disneyesque tour of modified redwoods with lots of talking trees and canopies. Very campy but kind of fun. Today we are in Arcata, a nice small town on the water where we were taking a rest day.

Days 10 & 11

Days 10 and 11

No Internet last night. The previous night we stayed at Coos Bay; it’s a small formerly industrial city currently depressed like most formerly industrial cities. In the morning, we went to a local café; it opened at eight and there were 20 people standing in line. Three or four of them were regulars enough that they already had tables preset for them. Sort of like a Ted Lasso diner in that everybody was nice, talkative and quirky. Along the route, we encountered a guy who was making woods sculptures, some of which are in the pictures. He was happy to talk and talk about the meeting meaning of each of them- most had some relation to his late wife.

The Oregon coast is strikingly beautiful. The marine layer rolls in and out multiple times during the day. That means we are either biking in hot sun or in cool mist. It’s an odd combination. We biked 65 miles yesterday and 80 miles today, but I think the hills get much higher From here.

Day 7 & 8

Days Eight and nine.

The last few days we have traveled down the Pacific coast. As the pictures attest, the country is amazingly beautiful. We are mostly on route 101, which unfortunately is a major trucking route and has only intermittent shoulders, so the trip is somewhat hair-raising. Every now and then there are small side roads that are empty and gorgeous.

Two of my riding mates have lived in Israel for 43 and 12 years. Last night at dinner we talked about life on the kibbutzim. The guy who has lived on the kibbutz for 43 years moved there just after graduating college at Cornell. He is bright, articulate, and informed, but spent most of the last 43 years milking cows and shoveling cow dung, because that is what the kibbutz needed. It is a level of commitment to a community that I don’t think I could match. I guess I’m not alone: of the 240 kibbutzim that were originally started in Israel, only 40 continue to have this collective model. I guess it is one of the few places were true communism has succeeded; one reason maybe that it is entirely voluntary.

Day 6

Today was our longest ride so far, riding nearly 80 miles and climbing about 3700 feet. We got our first good looks at the Pacific Ocean, riding past beautiful beaches and Bluffs. The road is intermittently quite busy with logging trucks and other large vehicles. Fortunately the shoulders are pretty wide. Tonight we are sleeping on a soccer field behind the YMCA.

Day 4/5

Day 4/5
Yesterday we biked 72 miles on heavily trafficked roads to Astoria, Washington, where we also stayed today. Astoria was the winter camp for the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1805. They followed the snake river starting in Idaho which emptied into the Columbia river and finally ended here in Astoria. This route has turned into a major shipping for timber and agriculture; if you look out on the Columbia river there is always a steady stream of freighters. Clark was commissioned by Thomas Jefferson to explore the Louisiana territory and points west soon after the Louisiana purchase was signed. Much of the early contacts US representatives had with Native Americans occurred on this trip west and which was surprisingly peaceful. In the winter of 1805 expedition was running out of food and camped near Astoria. They were able to trade for food and other supplies and stock up for the return trip the next year. Fun facts for all. Another fun fact is that because of county regulations, there is almost no Internet here. So in Astoria there is actually a booming video business; this is the first place I’ve actually seen video stores in decades.

There are memorials and sites named for Lewis and Clark all over this area. Tomorrow we begin our southern journey down the Pacific coast; this should be by far more scenic than our pleasant but undistinguished trip from Seattle to Astoria.

Day 3

Today was a fairly easy 47 mile ride through similar to rain as yesterday. We could see Mount Saint Helens from a distance and occasionally got views of Mount Rainier. The ride so far to the coast has been pleasant but certainly nothing spectacular. Tomorrow we end up in Astoria Oregon which is on the coast and then we head straight down. Sorry, not much more to report.

Day 2

Today we biked 62 mostly flat miles through rolling forest and farmlands. Most of the roads were fairly empty and the biking was pretty easy. The political leanings of many people living in this part of Washington seem clear; lots of American flags of different colors including a pattern I have never seen before; a flag with a white cross emblazoned over the stripes. Also a good number of Make America Great Again signs as well as let’s go Brandon. Had lunch at a diner where a couple had identical let’s go Brandon tattoos on their arms.

We are staying tonight at a church in Centralia; our hosts are incredibly welcoming and are actually cooking dinner. Tomorrow is another short day; only 40 miles. This trip is starting much more gently than my last one in 2019.

Welcome back to Jeremy Bikes!

It has been three years, one insurrection, and an on going pandemic since my last cross country ride to benefit Bike the US for MS and the Barrow Neurological Institute. Starting August 6, I am embarking on another long ride, this time from Seattle Washington to San Diego California. The ride is approximately 1800 miles along the coast and I’m looking forward to the challenge, the beautiful views, and to helping to raise money for good causes. Follow along below for new posts each day as I document this journey.

Day 1

Day one is complete. It started with a short flat ride past the space needle to the fairy which took us to Bremerton. From there it was a fairly flat 40 mile ride through forested areas and some lakes. I think it takes us approximately five days to get to the coast.

The demographics of this ride are quite different than my previous ride in 2019. That one was about evenly split between younger people in or just out of college and an older group either retired or nearly so. This group is significantly larger and, how do I say it, we are all pretty old. I’m not sure whether the timing is bad for younger people who might be starting a semester or whether this is a result of money shifts due to Covid. The group seems quite nice but it is too bad not having some younger people with us. Tonight we are camped out on the soccer field at the middle school.