Portland to Cape Lookout State Park

Pre-trip Family Photo in Portland!Pacific Coast Bike Trip: Day 1

Well, we’re off to a good start on our two-week odyssey down the Oregon and Northern California Coastline. We started off from the Portland suburb of Hillsboro, heading west towards Tillamook with Johanna’s cousin along for the first section. No more than 5 miles in, Tom got a flat, which he quickly fixed. We were relieved that when we heard the burst behind us it hadn’t been our rear tire going flat. With so much gear on back, our tandem has become somewhat less nimble and light.


As we continued on, riding down hwy 8, we were greeted by deep forests of green all around and very little traffic. The light traffic part ended when we hit Hwy 6, but when we split with Tom so he could make his way home, we were already talking about how beautiful  and fun this trip was turning out to be.

Then, we hit the major climb of the day in earnest. We saw pitches reaching towards 15% and consistent grades between 5-8%. We dropped into the granny gear and spun up that thing relatively well, particular despite it having become very warm.

Soon after cresting the top of the climb in Tillamook Forest, we came upon Lee’s Camp, a welcome sight where I picked up a milkshake made with Tillamook Ice Cream and Johanna got a tasty hot dog, which the place is known for. We were happy to hear for the shopkeeper that it was a gradual downhill with almost no climbing all the way to Tillamook, so we started out for the cheese-town.

Reaching Tillamook saddle sore and a little worn, we made our way through the town to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. We got to sample some award-winning cheese, and picked up some cheese and crackers for a mid-afternoon snack in the shade.

After getting going again, we made the decision to skip the “scenic route” and head the more direct way on hwy 131 to our campsite for the night. We heard afterward from a fellow bicycle tourist named Brent that we had made a good decision, as he’d faced a nasty headwind and lots of potholes for the overcast view of the bay and ocean.


We arrived at Cape Lookout State Park about an hour before sundown. The hiker/biker sites were excellent and we got some great tips on best sites and hottest showers from one of the park employees. We wandered over to the beach for a bit after showering and setting up our tent, but were quickly overcome with hunger and sat down to a nice Mountain House meal of chicken and noodles, plus a few Clif Mountain Mix Bars.

Garmin 500 Data Summary:

Distance: 76.21 miles
Avg Speed: 9.8 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 13.2 mph
Max Speed: 39.1 mph
Elevation Gain: 2,208 feet
Avg Temperature: 83.7F
Min Temperature: 64.4F
Max Temperature: 91.4F

Garmin GPS Data for today’s route



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