Day 12: Astoria – Nehalem Beach State Park.
Distance: 44.04 miles.
Average Speed: 8.3 mph.
Today had a relaxed beginning, a frantic ending, and some amazing scenery in the middle!
On paper, today seemed quite easy, and so it appeared when, 7 miles in, I shed my rain gear, basked in the warm sunshine, and pedalled along happily on the flat.
8 miles in, my front tyre went flat and a torrential downpour arrived to accompany the puncture repair. There really should be a saying for that. I’d been expecting a front tyre puncture, as the tyre I bought in Orcas Island had a large gouge out of it, despite its alleged high level of puncture protection.
Luckily, Seaside at 17 miles had a bike shop so I could stock up on new inner tubes. Afterwards I headed to the ‘Crabby Oyster’ for lunch, my ‘Oyster Shooter’ wasn’t very Crabby but it was enormous.
Having spent too long in Seaside, it was time to get back on the road. I arrived in Cannon Beach and was delighted to find a bakery and ice cream parlour next door to each other, so I visited both. I was busy thinking what a nice place Cannon Beach was, and then I visited the beach…
The views just kept rolling after that and it was difficult not to keep stopping.
The last 8 miles included two climbs. The first one, through Oswald West State Park, started with a long uphill tunnel, with flashing lights for cyclists to operate before travelling through. Then, just before I was about to start the second climb, up Neahkahnie Mountain, my rear tyre went soft, and it started to pour down as I pumped it up.
Continuing up the road, I came out at the Neahkahnie Mountain viewpoint and was staggered by the view south over Nehalem Beach, and spent a while taking pictures, before descending down the other side.
It was now 8 o’clock so I dashed into the shop at Manzanita to pick up a few things for dinner. Leaving the shop it was lashing down, but I set off down the hill. To my dismay my back tyre went completely flat, it was a mile to the campsite but I’d need to change the inner tube. The combination of the weather and the sizeable load over the back wheel, was clearly taking its toll on the bike.
Arriving at the campsite at half 8, I was thankful the hiker / biker area was near the entrance. I set up camp and boiled some water for a coffee. In the meantime, I had a chocolate milkshake I’d picked up at the shop. It tasted amazing, a sugar rush I needed. It had been just another one of those days.