From the Brochure:
Oregon has been supporting bicycling since 1971 by developing bikeways throughout the state. Thousands of bicyclists enjoy the natural beauty of the Oregon Coast Bike Route annually. For the most part, it follows US Highway 101 as a shoulder bikeway. In several areas, the route departs from the main highway and follows county roads and city streets. These sections are closer to the ocean, are more scenic, and have lower traffic volumes and slower traffic speeds. The total length of the signed bike route is 370 miles (595 km). It can be lengthened to 380 miles (610 km) by taking the alternate Three Capes Scenic Route. On average, most cyclists take six to eight days to tour the coast, by cycling 50 to 65 miles (80 to 105 km) per day. This is a reasonable rate, due to the mountainous nature of the coast: the total rise and fall is close to 16,000 feet (4900 m).
Note: Some alternate routes were used when creating this map. The original map can be seen below.

On Dec. 16 the Federal Highway Administration released an update to it’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Included in the update was a slew of early Christmas goodies for cyclists. I ran across the news on the and blogs.

Among the changes were improvements to signage related to bike traffic. Shared lane markings (a.k.a. sharrows) along with “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” signs were added. I got to experience both of these while riding around San Francisco this summer. I really like them both. They reinforce a cyclist’s rights on the road. I believe that this will help ease conflicts between cyclists and motorists while boosting cyclists’ confidence.

Another exciting addition to the signage repertoire were U.S. Bicycle Route signs. These signs are to be erected on the 50,000 mile bike route network created by the Adventure Cycling Association and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. My experience with such signs has been mixed. Some areas seem to have better signage than others. Generaly there were more in urban areas which left me to wonder and worry about the lack of signs in rural areas. Hopefully this update will increase the signage in the areas where it is lacking.

I’m betting that I won’t see much of an improvement around Bellingham but these new guidelines give me hope.

How to Go on Tour – Thoughts From a Cyclist That Rode the Pacific Coast (Part 1)
By

Whenever I tell people about my big Canada to Mexico tour they invariably say what an accomplishment it is. I reply with a smile and a word of thanks but really I’m thinking something different: “There is no reason why you couldn’t do it too.” I saw all kinds of people on bike tours while I was riding. With every cycle tourist I met I saw a different way to go on tour. The range of people was truly vast; I met a trio in Oregon that was riding 100 miles or more every day; in California I met a man who was touring with a broken ankle that never healed. The biggest difficulty in touring is finding a system that works for you.

Camping vs Hotels

There are some big categories of ways people tour. How you spend your nights is the biggest division. You can either stay in hotels and bed & breakfasts or you can camp. Obviously sleeping with a roof over your head and a mattress under you is going to be easier. Of course the big drawback of doing that is going to be cost. In OR and CA the cost for a hiker-biker site in the state parks is about $5. Staying in those hiker-biker sites also lets you meet other travelers.

Training

Training is the largest amount of preparation you will have to do before going on tour. No matter what you do to train you are going to have to do a lot of it. When you are on tour the object isn’t to exert yourself to the fullest every day. That approach is not sustainable. Instead your goal should be to find a balance between exertion and distance. What you do for training will determine how far you ride each day. Training methods don’t have to be complicated, just go for a long ride at least once a week. Each week increase the length of the ride. Simple. When you feel like the rides are getting too easy or take too long start adding weight. If you are going camping I’d recommend an overnight or weekend trip to work out the bugs. Once you have that down you are ready to roll!

In part 2 I’ll focus on eating while on tour.

Ian Harper is an avid cyclist and publishes a blog about bike maps and other topics. The blog also hosts a bike map creator web app.

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Things You Will Need:

  • A craft knife
  • A stiff piece of paper-board
  • 3 strips of Velcro (cord keepers work well)
  • A pencil
  • A large Ziploc bag
  • Clear tape

Things you will need

Instructions:

  1. Hold the paper-board up to your bike and mark where you want to position the Velcro strips. You will need two near the top corners and one in the center. The strips in the corners will wrap around your handle bars. The one in the middle will wrap around your handle bar riser.
  2. Cut out 2 horizontal holes large enough for your Velcro in the top corners of the paper-board.
  3. Cut out two holes for the middle strap. The holes should be a little farther apart than the handlebar riser is wide.
  4. Now put your paper-board into the plastic bag.
  5. If the bag is much bigger that a map then cut off the excess and tape the top shut.
  6. On the underside of the bag cut 4 slits that correspond to the holes cut for the Velcro. They should be in the middle of the holes and about 1/4 inch longer than the holes.
  7. Cut 2 slits at the top of the bag in line with the top two holes on the paper-board.
  8. Feed the Velcro through the paper-board and the bag so the Velcro exits the bag through the slits on the underside of the bag.
  9. Now attach the map holder to your handle bars. The upper Velcro strips should wrap loosely around your handlebars and the strip around your bar riser should be tight.
  10. Map holder attached to bike.

  11. Go for a ride!

Notes:

This is really easy to make an essential for one day rides in new territory. You can make the holder as large as you want but I think anything much over 6 X 9 might get to be cumbersome. I saw this design on another How To but instead of paper-board they used some kind of plastic. I chose the paper-board because it is much more common, recycled, and free. You could really use anything as long as it is stiff and easy to work with.

The map in the holder at the end is the 2009 edition of the Oregon Coast Bike Route. It’s published by the Oregon Department of Transportation. They give the map away for free and at kiosks in the state. I found mine in a kiosk near a bridge in Astoria.

In this simple guide I’ll show you how you can recycle a square bucket and make your own panniers which are incredably useful. I used four panniers just like this on a 2100 mile Pacific Coast tour with great success. This kind of panniers are also called Bike Buckets.

Things You Will Need:

Things you will need.

  • A bike with a rack
  • A drill.
  • Wrenches, screwdrivers, and/or allen keys.
  • A razor blade or a sharp knife.
  • A plastic bucket.
  • 2 rope hooks.
  • 2 bolts
  • 2 nuts
  • 4 washers
  • ~ 60 inches of 1 inch wide webbing
  • 3 webbing slides
  • 1 side release buckle

The things you need for this project are pretty standard except for the webbing and webbing hardware. I was able to find everything at a local hardware store and a sporting goods store. If you can’t find webbing in your area you can always try Suitable buckets are also easy to find. Mine came from cat litter and mayonnaise. It is worth asking around for the mayonnaise buckets because they have much better lids.

Instructions

  1. Using your razor blade cut out a portion of the ridge next to the bottom of one of the handles.
  2. Cut bucket

  3. Drill two holes in the bucket just under the portion of the ride that was cut out.
  4. Align a rope hook with one of the holes and tilt it toward the edge of the bucket. Make a mark on the bucket where the second hole of the rope hook is positioned.
  5. Drill holes where the bucket is marked.
  6. First three holes drilled, last hole marked.

  7. Bolt the rope hooks on the bucket. Put the washers on the inside of the bucket.
  8. Strap the bottom end of the webbing on to your rack using one of the webbing sliders.
  9. Put the bucket on your rack.
  10. Wrap the webbing around your bucket, around the top bar of your rack, and back over the side of your bucket. It should hang down to about the middle of the bucket.
  11. Sizing the webbing.

  12. Attach the free end of the webbing to the top bar of your rack using a slider.
  13. Starting from the top of the webbing pull it taught over your bucket. At the halfway point of your bucket cut the webbing.
  14. Attach the female end of the buckle to the top piece of webbing using the last slider.
  15. Attach the male end of the buckle to the bottom piece of webbing. The male end should not need a slider to attach.
  16. Give yourself a pat on the back!
  17. Finished product

    Notes:

    I’ve gone through a few different versions of this design. In this version I tilted the rope hooks so the natural wobble of the buckets will be lessened. Prior designs where the hooks were vertical had a tendency to crack along the sides of the hooks. While not new to this design the quick release buckle makes life a lot easier. You could make this work using only sliders and adjusters. A previous design of mine used this but it was cumbersome to take on and off.

    You may want to wrap something around your rack or around the hooks. After heavy use the hooks can damage your rack. I’ve wrapped webbing designed for rock climbing around the hooks with good success.

    Of course you will need to determine if this will work with the brand of rack you have. The majority of racks I see are the universal delta racks which work well but don’t have a horizontal bar at the bottom of the rack. For the purposes of this demonstration I attached the bottom piece of webbing in a way that would mimic a delta rack. As soon as I took that picture I moved the webbing to the horizontal bar. If your rack has one I’d suggest using it.