Cape Lookout SP to Newport, OR

In the summer of 2009 I rode my bike 2100 miles down the Pacific coast from Blaine, WA to San Ysidro, CA. I started riding on Aug. 12th and reached the border on Nov. 22nd. This is my ride diary. The prelude to this diary can be found here.


Cape Lookout SP to Newport, OR

  • Day 9-10 8/21
  • 70.31 mi.
  • 11.5 mph av
  • 6:39 hr
  • 588.9 tot mi.
  • 2270.0 odo

Today is my second rest day. I skipped writing yesterday because I was out late with aunt Gretchen and cousin Emily.

Yesterday I got up at 6:30. All the bikers in the area were still asleep. I had plans to ride with them to the Pelican Brewery so I hung around. I’m glad I did because I took a longish walk on the beach to where the beach ended at the base of a cliff. It was really cool. The water had eroded hollows in the cliff and the ricks were lined with mussels, barnacles, and some other kind of filter feeder that I dodn’t recognize. The waves were making crazy pools in the sand too. All of the pools were connected and slowly draining out to sea. Every now and then a big wave would come up and refill some of the pools and change how they were connected. I could stand all day looking at them and trying to figure out how they were created. I couldn’t linger too long, I wish I had more time.

I ended up riding with only one other guy that day. The girls were sick so they decided to go back to Portland. The morning ride was killer. Right off the bat there was a hill that was bigger than any I’d ever ridden up to this point. It was over 800 feet tall! Then there was another one that was about 600 feet tall!

After those two monster hills we stopped at the Pelican Brewery in pacific city. It was really good. I had a saison and a Reuben sandwich. In hindsight I wish I had eaten more.

I ended up riding slow the whole day. I blame it on not eating enough. After heading out from Pacific City I followed the guy I was with for a while but he was better at climbing hills so I soon lost him. At the time that I lost him there was another epic hill, 750 feet high. This time the hill was on 101. I had the option to take a more scenic route but I chose not to. I wish I had opted to take the scenic route. It was five miles longer but according to the Oregon Coast Bike Map it was the same elevation gain which would have been easier because it was spread out more. Plus I wouldn’t have had to ride with all the traffic. Grr!

After that hill the ride got easier. I reached Lincoln City and too a road around a lake to bypass most of traffic. It was nice but full of rollers and there wasn’t any place to get water. I stopped at a state park thinking I could fill up but there were no working faucets. A guy in a truck saw my dilemma and gave me his water! I was really glad to have it. He was a really nice guy. We swapped stories about riding bikes then I was off.

I kept riding on 101 till Otter Rock. That “town” had a road that followed the hwy but did so right along some crazy cliffs. It was so neat. I couldn’t really enjoy them because I was so darn hungry and I was literally riding in a cloud! I ended up stopping at a pullout and eating some trail mix. A little bit later I reached Devil’s Punch Bowl. While I was there I bought some coffee and chatted up the woman running the stand. We talked about the weird weather. She also said someone had seen orcas off the coast that day.

After those stops the riding was much easier and faster. I think it was all from the food and drink. By the time I reached Newport it was about 6 pm and I got my second flat of the tour. I tried pumping it with out fixing the flat twice before I finally stopped riding. I was at a bike shop and hostel that my aunt Gretchen told me about. Unfortunately they were closed. I fixed up the tire in their parking lot.

Aunt Gretchen picked me up at the closed bike hostel and took me to her place. After a shower and a change of clothes we went out to eat with her daughter, my cousin, Emily. It was really nice. After that we came back to her place and I crashed out.

In the end I decided to make the next day my second rest day. I did a lot of resting that day. I ate breakfast at my aunt Gretchen’s place then I went to the Rogue pub for lunch. My cousin Chris was working there and we made plans to go out later that night. Gretchen also showed up for lunch so it was a great time.

After that I watched some people filleting fish on the docks and went to the library. I tried to post a bunch of photos on Facebook while I was there but it didn’t work. About that time mom showed up with her friend Jeri.

We went down to the beach and flew kites for a while after that. It was relaxing fun and I got some goodies from mom before she left.

Later that night I met up with my cousin Chris for drinks. We ended up going all over town and I got hella drunk. I really picked up on the small town vibe that night.

I’m actually writing this the next morning (typing it two years later). I’m about to pack up the last of my things and head out. I am unfortunately still feeling the effects of last night. Hopefully I’ll still ride well.

  • Spent WAAAAY too much money yesterday!


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ElevationChart++: My first open source software project

Source Code and Documentation

While developing ridefreebikemaps.com I needed to create an elevation profile for the routes. Initially I used the example provided by Google. That worked for a while but after I got a few big updates out of the way I decided to work on the elevation profile more. I had three goals for the profile:
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Ft. Stevens SP to Cape Lookout SP

In the summer of 2009 I rode my bike 2100 miles down the Pacific coast from Blaine, WA to San Ysidro, CA. I started riding on Aug. 12th and reached the border on Nov. 22nd. This is my ride diary. The prelude to this diary can be found here.


Ft. Stevens SP to Cape Lookout SP

  • Day 8
  • 74.31 mi.
  • 12.5 mph av
  • 6:16 hr
  • 518.5 tot mi.
  • 2199.6 odo

I left Ft. Stevens today and rode to Cape Lookout. I got up on timeish and left the park at about 8. I stopped for coffee in this horrible ‘internet’ cafe. The price to use the computers was way too high and the internet wasn’t free either! On top of that the coffee was weak! Grr!

The ride was uneventful until I got to Rockaway Beach. At that point the land started to get more rural and scenic. Plus I rode past my 6th grade outdoor school! After that I rode past a lot of beautiful ocean vistas. The landscape is also getting drier.

When I got to Tillamook I stopped and grabbed a package of cheese curd from the Tillamook Cheese factory. I was really astounded at the number of people who were shopping there. It was packed!

Once I got to Cape Lookout I immediately entered into conversation with the cyclists camped next to me. One was a socially awkward older gentleman and the other was a less awkward man about my age. We swapped stories and destinations. As it turns out there are three parties (counting myself) heading south tomorrow. One was the younger gentleman I met and the other party was a couple of girls. I met the girls around a big fire somebody had started. They had some leftover beans that they gave to me. I used them in place of tuna in my soup. It was really good. I’d eat beans more but they are just too heavy. We all got talking and decided to go to the Pelican Brewery in Pacific City for “brunch.” I’m not sure how well that will work out because we are shooting for Newport tomorrow too.

I also did some shopping today. I grabbed some fuel, sunblock, batteries, food, and a beer. A little expensive but it will last. I also had to take out more money from the bank.

  • Spent $47 today
  • Spent $225 total


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Rest Day: Ft. Stevens and Astoria

In the summer of 2009 I rode my bike 2100 miles down the Pacific coast from Blaine, WA to San Ysidro, CA. I started riding on Aug. 12th and reached the border on Nov. 22nd. This is my ride diary. The prelude to this diary can be found here.


  • Day 7
  • 212.3 odo

After a week of being on the road I decided to take a rest day. I slept in till 6:30! Wahoo! It was still cold and foggy when I woke so I stayed in my sleeping bag till the sun came out and warmed things up. I need to get used to the cold mornings. I can’t be such a wuss :).

After breakfast I rode out to the Peter Iredale shipwreck and took some pictures. It was cool to see it again. I hadn’t been there since I was a kid. The wreck is slowly being eaten away by the ocean. I finally got the story behind the wreck too. It was built during the transition between wooden and metal ships, which is why you can still see the frame.

After that I went to see Ft. Stevens. The architecture was the same as Ft. Casey. The only difference was the size and armament. The guns here had been modernized a bit and the fort was much larger. It is older as well, dating back to the civil war. After overloading on military history I went back to camp and did some lunching.

While I was there I was approached by a park ranger. He informed me that I needed to register by 1 pm, it was after 2 at that point. I was wondering if the park would notice I hadn’t paid yet. If nobody said anything I probably wouldn’t have. After taking care of the camp fees I rode into Astoria.

First I stopped at the Wet Dog Cafe and Brewery. I got an IPA with oyster shooters. In hindsight oyster shooters are much better when consumed with friends. The IPA was good, lots of lemony citrus flavor. It wasn’t remarkable though.

Next I found the Ft. George Brewing Co. It was great. The beer selection was much better than the Wed Dog and it had a raw alternative atmosphere that some of the neighborhood breweries in Portland have (Lucky Lab and Amnesia). I got an oat pale ale and a chicken strip basket. The pale was good, more lemony hops with a bit of oat derived body. I think it was too bitter for the style though. The chicken strips were great. I could tell the chicken was really fresh.

After the tastings I tried to locate a Safeway. I thought I saw one on my way into town but I couldn’t find it. I went to the local organic co-op instead. I liked the store but it was small and didn’t have any tortillas. I got bread instead. Hopefully that won’t get squished. I also should have gotten bananas but I didn’t see any. I also tried to find another fuel canister for my stove but the local sporting good store didn’t have any. Before leaving town I wrote and mailed a letter to Colleen.

As I was riding out of town I ran into a couple touring who I had run into a couple weeks ago while I was doing my practice run. I just gave them quick directions at the time. I got a chance to chat with them this time. I found out that they are from Texas and they are riding the same route I am. They had matching Novarra Safari bikes and matching panniers. Everything they had was neon yellow or covered in neon yellow reflective tape. I wished them luck and hope to run into them again. I doubt that I will though. They seemed to be slower riders than I am.

When I got back to camp I immediately called Colleen. I figured out that I can plug my phone into unused RV hookups so I did that while talking to her. I’m excited for her. She is on the verge of relaunching Passion Fly and I think she is going to do very well.

After saying goodbye to her I took a shower and wandered over to the beach to see the sunset. I totally missed it though. On the way back I ran into two drunk brothers. They were funny. They would break into wrestling at the drop of a hat and neither of them were wearing shirts. One brother was much more drunk and he would make threats to whomever he was looking at. They gave me a couple of pulls from the vanilla vodka they were drinking. I tried to start conversation with the more sober of the two but the drunker brother kept making threats at me so I took off. I felt that they were mostly harmless but I didn’t want to find out if the vodka would make an exception.

  • 0 Bananas Eaten
  • $178 spent so far.


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County Line Park to Ft. Stevens SP

In the summer of 2009 I rode my bike 2100 miles down the Pacific coast from Blaine, WA to San Ysidro, CA. I started riding on Aug. 12th and reached the border on Nov. 22nd. This is my ride diary. The prelude to this diary can be found here.


County Line Park to Ft. Stevens SP

  • Day 6
  • 54.02 mi.
  • 10.9 mph av
  • 4:50 hr
  • 414.4 tot mi.
  • 2095.5 odo

Today was another hard start. It was a foggy and cold out. I finally had the sense not to wear my rainpants to combat the cold. The sun came out eventually and beat off all the cold and fog. I think it was eight-thirtyish when I got on the road.

The mornings ride was good. It was mostly uphill but it was in a long construction site that had a flagger so the cars were all grouped together and spread out over long time periods. I wasn’t riding very fast all day. It was easy because of that. I figured since it was going to be a short ride I might as well go slow.

There wasn’t a whole lot to see along the way. I took a ferry in Cathlamet to Oregon then out hwy 30 to Astoria. Before I got there I ate some devine ice cream in Knappa Junction. I don’t think the ice cream was really that good but the hills behind me and the sweat that was covering me made it taste that much better.

In Astoria I met a couple of bike punks heading north. We swapped travel logs and they told me about a place to camp in a marsh a couple miles out of town. I decided against that idea. I need a place with water. After that I went to a bike shop to have my wheel trued. The guy got it on the stand and fixed it within 20 min. I was impressed. He liked my bike buckets. He also wished me good luck on the tour. I also grabbed new brake pads while I was there.

Outside the shop I met a homeless guy who gave me a map of the Or coast bike route and advised me to take care not to leave my cyclometer on my bike. He really got me excited for the upcoming ride through OR. The hiker biker sites only cost $4 and they have free hot showers! I think the next leg of the trip is going to be great.

Tonight I’m camped at Ft. Stevens State Park. Tomorrow I’ll ride back into Astoria for a rest day!

  • Money Spent: $38

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Moustache Ride 2009: Infographic

I made this a while ago but I didn’t finish it. I dug it up today, added a few new stats, and now I’m calling it done. I got the idea for this graphic from the Foursquare graphs. I figured it would be a fun way to sum up my tour and visualize the records I kept while riding.

moustacheride2009infographic

Moustache Ride 2009: Inforgraphic

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Centralia, WA to Wahkiakum County Line Park

In the summer of 2009 I rode my bike 2100 miles down the Pacific coast from Blaine, WA to San Ysidro, CA. I started riding on Aug. 12th and reached the border on Nov. 22nd. This is my ride diary. The prelude to this diary can be found here.


Centralia, WA to Wahkiakum County Line Park

  • Day 5
  • 73.18 mi
  • 12.0 mph av
  • 6:05 hr
  • 357.3 mi tot
  • 2038.4 odo

Getting going this morning was tough. I got spoiled with the showers and a real bed. Not to mention not having to worry if my things were dry. I didn’t really eat breakfast. I had a slice of banana bread and one of the crazy protein bars mom got for me. Plus it was really cold this morning. So cold I could see my breath. So all this made for a bad morning ride. Which made this mornings hills hard to deal with as well. All in all today my mindset was crap. Especially when compared to yesterdays amazing ride.

The weather finally turned around today. After the morning clouds burned off the sun came out and it got hot! Not too hot, I don’t think it crossed 80 F. It was nice to see farmlands and forest in the light. Unfortunately the scenery wasn’t as nice as yesterdays. There were a lot of depressingly poor farms along the way. I did find a few things to take pics of but not much.

In the morning there was a cute little dog that started to follow me. I got his picture and a picture series of an old ad on a barn. The ad was for a tonic prescribed by Dr. Pierce for ‘weak’ women. I couldn’t help but think about all the bad associations that could go along with that statement.

Initially I hadn’t intended to ride as long as I did but I got to my initial destination at one and decided to press on. Shocking. It was against a fair bit of better judgement too. The ride so far had been through flat farmlands with one hilly section. The next 40 mi. or so looked like the hills could get worse. and they did. The farmland gave way to ranch land and the rollers that go along with it. At one point I actually climbed enough that the map had the elevation change marked (the marks only come every 500 ft). Thankfully the hills were not steep, just long and numerous.

I’m developing my first blister and saddle sore! I’m hoping that short ride tomorrow and a rest day after that will cure the sore. The blister will get moleskin tomorrow and be fine I think.

On a side note, the sun finally charged my Solio solar charger! Combined with the new charger for my phone I got from mom I’m doing well in the electronics department. She also gave me a Hulk action figure (among many other things). I tied him to the front rack so he’ll lead the attack on hills.

I’m camping tonight on the banks of the Columbia River! I stopped at the County Line Park in Wahkiakum County. The park is kinda crappy but it’s free for me. The host dropped by and said they didn’t make bikers pay! Not that I had intended to anyway. I’m attempting the laundry thing again today. If it doesn’t dry I’m just going to hang it from my buckets and let it dry while I ride. I only washed today’s clothes so this shouldn’t be a problem.

  • Bananas eaten: 5!
  • Money Spent: $0, $99.44 Total

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Twanoh SP to Centralia, WA

In the summer of 2009 I rode my bike 2100 miles down the Pacific coast from Blaine, WA to San Ysidro, CA. I started riding on Aug. 12th and reached the border on Nov. 22nd. This is my ride diary. The prelude to this diary can be found here.


Twanoh SP to Centralia, WA

Twanoh SP to Centralia, WA

  • Day 4
  • 89.9 mi
  • 12.6 mph av
  • 7:06 hr
  • 275 mi tot
  • 1965.2 odo

Update to Day 3: I got an unexpected surprise yesterday. I met a couple that was hanging out around the boat launch all day. They had planned on meeting their grandson but he had to cancel due to weather. Before they left for the day they gave me their left over firewood and beer! Upon receiving such an unexpected bounty I walked up and down the shore collecting live oysters. Then I built a fire and grilled the oysters, all while enjoying three refreshing Coors Lights. It was an amazing evening.

This morning I was awakened by people harvesting oysters at 4am. The park ranger had warned me about this. The tide was exceptionally low so the local tribe had organized some kind of oyster harvest. I laid in my sleeping bag listening the the tribe members plonk oysters into buckets for about half an hour before I decided I had to get out of my tent. I packed up and left by 7am. Unfortunately my laundry from the day before wasn’t dry so I had to ride with wet socks and my street clothes to a laundromat in Shelton so I could dry them. I need to figure out a better way to do laundry.

I made good time to Shelton. I got there at about 10? Doesn’t seem right. I was really trying to push myself today. My average was up plus I rode my butt off in distance! Almost a century!

Most of the riding was in farmland which was good scenery and very quiet. Also, very flat. It really lifted my spirits. I started taking more pics and updating Facebook because of it. I saw a guy building a literal tree house today and got pooped on by a bird. Ya win some and ya lose some.

At 1pm I got to Elma and decided to keep pushing to Centralia. I’m glad I did. Today was like covering two days in one!

As a result of the good effort and bad weather previously I decided to live in luxury and stay at the Olympic Club Hotel. It’s one the the McMenamins hotels. Their hotels are all restored historic buildings. The Olympic Club used to be a gambling hall and brothel, cool. The shower was excellent. So was the food. The family came up and it was really good to see them. They brought a lot of stuff for me. So much that I had to turn down most of it.

Anyway I’m about to pass out so I’m cutting this off early.

  • 1 Banana Eaten
  • Lots of $ spent.

Note: The last section of my diary was left minimally edited to preserve the evidence of how I was feeling. Which was utter exhaustion. My room was right above the movie theater which was playing Terminator 3, the final action sequence. Even with all the racket going on I passed out before my head hit the pillow.

The exhaustion was caused by riding 90 miles in one day and seeing my family. My mom, dad, sister, cousin and my cousin’s husband came up to visit me. We ate dinner at the McMenamins pub and came up to my room afterward. My mom gave me a giant bag of goodies for the road. She gave me so many I had to refuse some because I couldn’t carry all of it. I got some extra clothes, protein bars, banana bread, and most importantly: a mascot for the trip. The mascot was an Incredible Hulk action figure that clapped its hands when you press a button on its back. I tied him to the front of my front rack. The standard joke I came up with was that he helped me get up hills.

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Moustache Ride 2009: Kitsap Memorial SP to Twanoh SP

In the summer of 2009 I rode my bike 2100 miles down the Pacific coast from Blaine, WA to San Ysidro, CA. I started riding on Aug. 12th and reached the border on Nov. 22nd. This is my ride diary. The prelude to this diary can be found here.


Kitsap Memorial SP to Twanoh SP

Kitsap Memorial SP to Twanoh SP

  • Day 3 (8/14)
  • 50.54 mi.
  • 10.8 av
  • 4:41 hr
  • 193.8 mi total
  • 1874.9 odo

I’m writing much earlier today. It was a short day compared to the previous two. I also woke up at 5:30 am today to attempt to make an exit before the camp hosts made their rounds. I packed all my stuff and moved to the day use area for breakfast. Besides being out of the camp site that I didn’t pay for it had the advantage of being dry. It rained last night and my table at the camp site was pretty wet.

The host came by and said hello but he was focused on fiddling with the water shutoff or power or something. So I got off with another night of poaching a campsite. I’m hoping for a hat-trick tonight. Because of the short distance and early start I got to the campsite at about 1:00. I could have made it earlier if it weren’t for the day’s fiascoes.

I started the day with my first flat tire of the trip. That set me back a half hour. Then I missed a turn in Bremerton. I got epically lost from that mistake. I spent an hour riding around that shit-hole trying to get out. I don’t think there was a single cool thing in that city. Just a military base and the degree of trashiness that they cause on a town that supports them. The weather today is a bit better, no rain but still partly cloudy. Tomorrow is supposed to get better. I’m planning to stay in a hostel in Elma unless I get motivated and push to Centralia. If I do that I can eat dinner at McMenamins! I’ll see my folks, Evie, cousin Amanda, and her husband Chris regardless. It will be good to see them. Mom is going to bring a bunch of goodies plus I’m a little homesick. All those hours of riding do nothing to prevent me from missing the people I love.

The park I’m camped at isn’t made for bikers. The site I’m at is for marine/human-powered travel. That means it’s bordered by the hood canal, hwy 106, and a boat launch. However, this means it’s apart from the main campground (Twanoh SP) so I doubt anybody is going to hassle me about paying. I’m taking extra time today to do laundry. All of my riding clothes plus underwear are drying in a group picnic site that wasn’t being used. I’m hoping they will dry by morning.

  • 0 Bananas eaten but I bought some!
  • $19.78 spent today… food for a few days.


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Ride Free Bike Maps bug fix

So I made another little bug fix to ridefreebikemaps.com/map-creator. I don’t know if I want to announce it on the site cause it’s minor and another under the hood thing.

I’ve been plagued by a mysterious error for some time now. I could start creating a map and suddenly the markers and route overlay line would get all wonky. The wrong lines would get cleared from the map when I moved/deleted a marker. I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me. I made a lot of fixes but the problem just keep happening. Today I figured out that it was a server error on Google’s part. Google then would send my app that info but my app didn’t do anything with it. In fact I completely ignored weather Google had a route to give to me at all, oops. I made a quick fix today that should take care of the problem. Now if there is a random error the program will retry the offending directions. If the error is permanent, like trying to get directions in Antarctica, an alert will pop up and let you know that the directions couldn’t be calculated and it will delete your last marker.

Of course I’m having a hard time testing the random error so… time will tell.

Fake Edit: I’m still getting an error from that problem. I don’t have any more time to work on it though so I’ll have to pick it up tomorrow.

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