10 October riding destinations in the Pacific Northwest
Summer 2012. It was a good, long, dry one. But all those fires
didn't help and made for some blaz-A riding days. October may be a
great month to make up for some of that if you can swing a few days
here and there.
Of course with fall settling in, so are colder temps. We suggest
a Gerbings heated jacket as your primary liner, a pair of Gerbings
heated gloves as your primary hand covering. As for camping - that
may be a bit less fun than it was - say in September, but if you're
insistent consider a few nights in the tent mixed together with a
few nights at a motel or resort to shake the chill off.
The rain is going to come in any day now - right? So we've picked
10 great places to tour out to here in the Pacific Northwest in
consideration. Five are along the coast, and if the yucky marine
rain pattern is in, we've got five to the east of the Cascades as a
1. Vancouver Island, BC - Starting with Victoria, Vancouver
Island makes a grand touring destination. You could pull together
anything from a 2 to 5 night stay over and tour out to places like
Port Renfrew, Tofino and Gold River. And imagine what the Butchart
Gardens look like in early fall!
2. Olympic Peninsula Culinary Tour, WA - You like good food -
right? Take a few days to tour the Olympic Peninsula and feast on
its bounty of great food places along the way. Check out the details
3. San Juan Islands, WA - The tourist season is officially over.
Saddle up the bike and explore one island a day figuring a day to
get to the first one and a day to get home. Use a
Benchmark atlas to find your way around.
4. Kings Valley, OR - If ever there were a place we'd want to
return to year after year, the Kings Valley between McMinnville and
Philomath is the cat's meow. Grab a copy of our guide to
Through Western Oregon and seek out these awesome roads.
5. The Oregon Coast, OR - Any monkey with a paper map can figure
this one out, only now the RV population is greatly reduced. Be sure
to add in a few interesting side trips off the beaten path, like
Applegate Valley or the Vortex House of Mystery.
6. Road 31A - Kaslo to New Denver, BC - This road goes down in
the books as one of the most stunning in Canada. It's such as great
road it's even awesome in the rain. But it's not gonna rain while
you're there! Getting to and from will be your adventure.
7. The Cascade Loop, WA - It's your last chance to ride Highway
20 before they close it up between Mazama and Ross Dam. But do you
know the entire route when done in full includes a ride down Whidbey
Island. Get the official map at:
8. The Palouse, WA - Brisk sunny mornings, deep blue waterways,
the last wheat cut of the year, a corn maize or two. There's nothing
like a few sunny days in the Palouse to wrap up a grand year of
riding. Be sure to make the trek up to Step Toe Butte, enjoy the
fresh seal coat along the Starbuck Highway, and if you do your
homework you can cross several of the dams on the Snake River that
have been closed since 9/11.
9. Cour d' Alene, ID - Grab a room in town and do some
exploratory day rides up to Sand Point, down to St. Maries and all
points in between.
10. John Day Fossil Beds Tour - In the fall, the walls of the
monument glow during the hours around sunrise and sunset. During the
day the roads here are some of the best riding in the Northwest.
Shaniko, Fossil, Condon, Heppner. These names cause any rider who's
been to them to start salivating just upon hearing their names. Grab
a copy of our
through Central and Eastern and Oregon guide and go tear it up!