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Ride Report: Oregon Coastal Detours

Into the woods

Many riders romanticize the idea of riding their motorcycle along the Oregon Coast. After all, what could be better than looking at large monoliths as the sun sets, frolicking in the twisties north of Florence or being stuck behind an RV for an extended period, all the while praying for the next passing lane to appear.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the last of those three is the most common occurrence for many a rider. But fortunately, there are alternatives. What better way to break up the day, than blend miles of scenic coastline with a few romps through the nearby woods on some of the best roads in America. However, time and nature have a way of changing things up. From south to north, here's a few of our favorites and what to expect if you go ride them.

Carpenterville Road (North of Brookings) - Several years ago this was a stunning stretch of roadwork, and it will be again someday. But rugged weather, combined with logging truck usage along this beauty has tarnished her charm with an occasional dropout and frost heave, more like what one might expect riding the east side of Mount Saint Helens.

SR 229/Siletz Highway (North of Toledo) - This road is in it's prime right now. The pavement is in excellent condition. The south end is a tad boring, but once you get north of the town of Silitz, the road follows the river where the twisties kick in and you're in heaven all the way to Lincoln City.

Old US 101 (North of Lincoln City) - For a taste of what it may have been like to travel the coast eons ago, this section of the old highway provides a glimpse. Today it remains in pretty good condition, but the occasional gravel patch appears now and then.

Bay Ocean Road (West of Tillamook) - Your atlas shows it, your GPS shows it, but this stretch of road west of Tillamook is closed until further notice. When we rode it several years back, it was indeed falling apart north of the Cape Mears Lighthouse. Now it's gated.

Lewis & Clark Road/Young's River Loop (South of Astoria) - Like the phoenix bird, this pair of wonders have risen from several years of reconstruction and will get you grinning from ear to ear as you ride them.

SR!/June 2018

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