Journal Comments - Taring Down the Coast - CycleBlaze

Journal Comments

From Taring Down the Coast by Robert Ewing

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Robert Ewing commented on Last Thoughts

Hi Jacquie
Of course on this early, early bike adventure we stayed almost entirely on Hwy 101 so didn't go through Big Sur. (Young teenagers were in a hurry and didn't stop to smell the roses along the way.) I did ride Hwy 1 from Leggett CA to Cayucos Beach (near Moro Bay) in 2009 starting at Crater Lake in Oregon. Hwy 1 is narrow, winding with lots of ups and downs, but spectacular scenery especial the Big Sur coast.

Of course this has to be one of the most ridden bike routes in the world. People tend to meet up at the hiker/biker sites. Often riding together for a day or two, split up and maybe regroup a few days later. Lots of camaraderie. Although in 2009, I was late in the season, maybe two weeks into October and at my last camp night at San Simeon SP I was the sole cyclist at the hiker/biker area. A family in a big RV took pity on me and brought me dinner.

I took the Amtrak train out of San Luis Obispo back to Portland. It is a good way to decompress and reenter civilization after weeks on the road.


9 months ago
Jacquie Gaudet commented on Last Thoughts

Hi Robert
I really enjoyed reading this. I rode most of the Oregon coast around 1990 with my husband and doing the whole route (at least through Big Sur) in on my list. I'll probably end up being one of those "solo adult women" because he says he doesn't want to come.

9 months ago
Marian Rosenberg replied to a comment by Scott Anderson on The Nickle was still worth 25¢

I got $20 travelers' checks when I first went to China in 2002. There was one that I ended up countersigning wrong and spent a great deal of effort trying to get turned back into cash in the US before deciding that the person I'd failed to give the original check to had taken pity on my lack of funds and given me $20 worth of stuff without the check and eventually giving up...

1 year ago
Robert Ewing commented on Last Thoughts

Hi Graham, That ride was a life changing. I'm still learning from it to this day. But as I tried to make clear the route no longer exists and was in fact disappearing as we rode south. With that said the Olympic Peninsula is a wonderland and the Oregon Coast with it very bike friendly state parks is exquisite. So put it high on you list.

1 year ago
Graham Smith commented on Last Thoughts

I really enjoyed reading this journal Robert. It was a pioneering tour in so many ways.
I’ve now added the USA Pacific Coast to my huge Wishlist of Cycletours.
Canberra Australia

1 year ago
Robert Ewing commented on Oregon

Scott, I think $10 and $20 travelers checks were the common denominations back then. I think $50 and even $100 TCs were available but far outside my economic sphere. When I traveled in China in 1998 I took $20 TCs and oddly they got a better exchange rate than US currency at the banks but nowhere near the exchange rate on the gray and black markets for $100 green backs. When I returned to China in 2005 I took cash and plastic. I think travelers checks must have been eliminated by then??

I've ridden enough of Western United States and Canada that when I pick a new route inevitably I ride at least for a short time on previous routes. Even in a short span of years things change and not always for the better. Big towns and cities grow and sprawl out at the peripheries. Small towns and villages that were just hanging on have turned to dust or worse, cheesy tourist traps. Then again some places seem timeless and beg for further exploring like the Klamath Mountains of Northern California and Southern Oregon. In small town farming country of WA, OR and CA my high school Spanish works about as well as English a block or two off the main highway and has spared me many times the ignominy of eating at McDonalds.

Two days before I started my ride down the length of the Columbia River I had my touring wheels mounted on my bike and was homeward bound from downtown PDX weaving through the PSU campus and decided to jump a curb. I hit what must have been the last open drainage grate in the US. Went right over the handlebars and flat on my back. My brand new Mavic rim was destroyed. The Bike Gallery had the same rim and built it up on my hub the next day and I was off to the headwaters of the Columbia on time.

There are not many of those giant grandfather trees left that filled a bunker trailer like the old days. Fortunately there are no saw mills left that can process the "big logs" anymore.

Thanks for reading my journal and commenting.


2 years ago
Scott Anderson commented on The Nickle was still worth 25¢

I remember the ten cent gas, but ten dollar travelers checks?

2 years ago
Scott Anderson commented on Oregon

I don’t think it registered before now how long ago this ride was, Robert. I was startled to have to describe taking the ferr6 to Astoria. The first time I rode down was in 1970. I’d never been to Astoria before and didn’t realize how new the bridge was then.

Great reminder too of what the drainage grates were like, and of how scary the log trucks were fifty years ago. I wa just telling Rachael about those old single log loads.

2 years ago
Karen Cook commented on The Route

I can't wait to read this!! :-)

2 years ago
Scott Anderson commented on The Route

Hooray! I was hoping you'd write this ride up for us. Happy New Year!

2 years ago