Brian Ohlen
Pacific Coast
Newport, WA to Bandon, OR Some folks really get after it on a bike tour, riding dozens of miles day after day, and pounding out the Pacific Coast Route in a third of the time I’ll do it in. Up to this point, I’ve taken a pretty different approach, riding 35 to 55 miles per day and taking many “rest days” off the bike. This is in part due to the fact I’m doing the ride in winter, with less available daylight and crummy weather. I’ve also had the luxury of various invitations that require a day or two off the bike. I’ve welcomed these breaks as they have given me time to rest a nagging knee, wait out the deluges that have been hitting the coast and spend some time on the river. Off days come in many forms and I’ve take full advantage of all kinds in the past 4 weeks.

    Veg-Out Raid Day

On the morning I rode to Newport, I knew the rain and snow was coming. I woke up early, packed up in the rain, and hit the road. Luckily the worst of the weather held off until afternoon, and I arrived to the Lost Buoy Hostel just before noon. I spread out all of my soaking gear in the garage, and took a long, hot shower. After picking up a choice goodies from the convenience store, I did nothing the rest of the afternoon but watch the rain pour down and watch a marathon of movies. Doing nothing never felt so good!

    Steelhead Fishing

This is why I did this trip. I knew I’d hate to be biking over such storied steelhead rivers like the Hoh, Umpqua, and Rogue without the opportunity to fish them. Once such opportunity came this week when a local invited me to fish his favorite river. We hit the water perfectly, just as it was dropping from the huge storm I waited out in Newport. The big rains should have encouraged fish to move up the rivers from the ocean and fishing it just as it drops and clears is textbook. We fished two glorious, rainless sunny days. My new friend gave me the royal treatment, navigating to the best runs, pointing out the holding lies, and even took me out to dinner. It doesn’t get any better than that!

    Fat-Bike Yurt Camping

A group of friends drove down Sunday and me at one of Oregon’s many state parks. They even procured me a fat bike and we spent the afternoon cruising the sand dunes outside of Reedsport. Riding the dunes was unlike any type of biking I’ve ever done. The sand was surprisingly rideable yet had a few hidden dangers like soft pockets that throw you over the handlebars and quicksand (both were encountered on multiple occasions).

While I sometime feel like I’m not making enough progress down the coast, it’s hard to complain when my off days are so rewarding!


- IMAGES OF THE ROAD -

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Brian Ohlen

Gear List

- My Ride -

- My Favorite Blackburn Gear -

- Brian's entire bike specs and gear list coming soon! -

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Brian Ohlen
  • What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure? Realizing that biking from Canada to Mexico along the Pacific Coast would give me the perfect opportunity to fly fish for steelhead. Why not bike-fish my way down the coast?
  • Have you traveled by bike in the past? Yep. Mostly off road and gravel tours. The best ones lead to a fishing stream or hunting destination.
  • What is your goal for the route? I'd love to catch a steelhead in each of the three state's I'll travel through. Three fish doesn't sound like much, but those buggers are hard to catch!
  • What do you hope to get out of this journey? This trip will provide the type of physical and mental challenge that I crave. One that leads towards the discovery of amazing places, people, and coastal streams.

- Pacific Coast Milestones -