Yaquina Lighthouse Century

Hosted by: Yaquina Wheels Bicycle Club

Start/Finish: Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, Newport Oregon.

2005 = 62 miles

One day, while surfing the net, I find a link to the Yaquina Wheels Bicycle Club page, and it lists this Yaquina Lighthouse Century. Its a great looking page, the ride is on a Sunday, the day after the Vine Ride and day before our one year anniversary. This will make a great tie in and provide a good reason to go to the coast. I quickly confer with Lisa, to get the approval, then verify with the ride organizers that there is still room, ( they are limiting it to 100 riders). Once assured that yes, theres room, I can make a reservation at the Agate Beach Hotel, in Newport, where the bicycle club has secured a (slightly) discounted rate. After an upgrade to a nicer room, with ocean view, the accomodations become a little spendy, but its not just a ride, it is our anniversary. We are able to get all our questions answered from the web site, or from mail to and from the organizers. They are really responsive. They mail everyone two days before the ride just reminding us its coming, (we didnt forget) and to let us know of an early packet pickup on Sat night. We get to the hotel, after our days riding in the Vine Ride, about 400. Time enough to check in, unpack, relax and make our way to packet pickup prior to dinner. The route actually goes past the hotel, so in the morning, we simply ride the 2 miles to the start, passing many riders heading out. This is an out and back ride, so we pass a lot of riders on this day, and everyone is friendly, giving us the typical bikers wave/nod/smile. Its foggy and slightly chilly in the morning, but we are assured it will burn off, and there will be no rain. So, we get to the start, the route starts with a quick spin around the lighthouse, then back down to 101, for a short bit then winding along the coast north of Newport, before ducking beneath the Yaquina Bay bridge, into the old Newport bayfront, on its way out along Yaquina Bay. Staying right along the Yaquina river, we make a short and steep climb into Toledo, then continue upriver to Elk City, for the second rest stop. Then turn around and go back the way we came. Very little traffic. We are surprised by this, but consider that there was less traffic on this ride than any ride we have ever done in the valley. Quiet, with some challenging, though relatively short climbs, with something wonderful to look at. Great food, with plenty of tasty cookies, and the guys at the stops were more than helpfull and friendly. The winds started to pick up in the afternoon on the way back in while we rounded the northern section of the bay, heading west, to the shore, but that didnt last long.  The next day we even got mail from the organizers, with a picture of a bar end that was found in the parking lot. No other ride has ever followed up with a notification for lost and found items. Talked with one guy about his idea for an even better route for next years ride. Wow, he has a ride that is even better than this one?

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