Since spying this route on the Forest Service map last year, and doing half of it, The Logging Road Cyclist has kept his eyes on completing it. The ride comprises two loops connected by some back and forth along the 58 road (the Backbone of the Siuslaw!). The 58 runs atop the seaward rampart of the Coast Range and the loops drop from there down to The Ocean, and climb back up. Moderate in distance (54 miles), extravagant in climbing (nearly 10,000 ft!), the map of the ride resembles a pair of glasses as R. Crumb might have visualized them for one of his characters.
Indeed, the last panel pretty much describes how TLRC felt after the last climb to the truck.
The northern loop was already known, and since TLRC was concerned about a dicky knee (the result of pedalling his newly fitted road bike with an excess of zeal), he started centrally, in the bridge of the spectacles (the better to bail if necessary) and attacked the southern, unknown loop first.
A few miles along the 58 lead to the 1055 road that drops down the big ridge between Tenmile Cr. and the Rock Cr. Wilderness. This is not all downhill. Since this area has not recently been logged, views are restricted, but one can still get some wonderful vistas through the trees that don’t translate well into photos.
Eventually the road ends at
following which is about a mile along Hwy 101 south to the Rock Cr. Rd. This short stretch of 101 served to increase TLRC’s bewilderment about bicycle touring along it. Even granting that the drivers are alert, sober and courteous (which TLRC is adamantly not willing to do), just spending days having heavy traffic passing within touching distance at high speed seems unpleasant to him. This stretch was mercifully over quickly, and TLRC could return to his natural remote and gravelly habitat.
The run up Big Cr. is classic grinding and doesn’t get very steep until up at the top, in the last couple of miles before the loop closes. TLRC trotted up this and got back to his truck for the little picnic he had left there, replenished his water and dropped off clothing that the warm afternoon had rendered moot.
All body parts working well, TLRC took off for the second loop. Unfortunately the Desalvo developed some clunking and shifting issues that nearly caused TLRC to shed his usual unearthly calm. He was, however, determined this time to circle both lenses and he persisted.
Fortunately, this northern loop is a lot easier than the southern (although there is some substantial climbing before the bottom drops out on the last wonderful few paved miles of the 5614 into Tenmile), because after all of this grinding away uphill, poor TLRC was pretty tuckered out, and did much of the climb out of the beautiful Tenmile Cr. in an embarrassingly low gear. Fortunately, he was in his usual solitary mode, so no one was around to criticize, and it is only his unfailing honesty and personal integrity that brings this lamentable situation to light at all.
This ride is one of the best in the TLRC oeuvre and it is highly recommended. Remote, quiet roads in a beautiful setting. The strenuous nature of the ride makes it a worthwhile accomplishment.