Saturday, December 10, 2016

So many Adventure Cycling routes to choose from!

Adventure Cycling Association route stickers by our front door.

As mentioned here, Portland is a great “Gateway” to bicycle tours because of how many different cycle-touring routes are nearby! And four of those routes are mapped by the great non-profit Adventure Cycling Association.

So what are these routes?

  • Portland is directly on the Lewis and Clark route, which stretches from Astoria, Oregon to Hartford, Illinois on the Mississippi River. The route roughly parallels the route Lewis and Clark used during their “Corps of Discovery” in 1804-6.

  • The new Sierra Cascades route, a route that travels the backbone of those two mountain ranges and parallels the Pacific Crest hiking trail, is about a day’s bicycle ride east of Portland.

  • The TransAmerica route, the original cross-country bike touring route mapped out by Adventure Cycling Association in the mid-seventies (back when it was known as the Bikecentennial Route), extends from Astoria, Oregon to Yorktown, Virginia. The start in Astoria is one to two days away via bicycle. Portland is the closest major airport to Astoria and also provides easiest Amtrak access.

  • The Pacific Coast Bicycle Route, arguably the most popular route for cycle tourists on the west coast, is just a one or two day ride from Portland.

Conveniently enough, the Hawthorne Hostel makes a great base for cyclotourists starting or ending these rides, or who are somewhere along the route. With the choice of four great routes that offer all the variety that bicycle touring in the West offers: verdant valleys, rugged mountains, picture-postcard coastal views, and wide open desert.

The Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) is a non-profit organization, founded in 1973 in Missoula, Montana. Their mission is to inspire and empower people to travel by bicycle, and they do that mostly through their awesome Adventure Cycling Route Network, one of the largest bicycle route networks in the world at 41,420 miles. They also offer guided tours and tons of resources for bicycle travelers. ACA is a member-based organization, 45,000 members strong! The Hawthorne Hostel is happy to be a friend of Adventure Cycling!

To give you a little bicycling inspiration, here’s scenes from around Oregon and Washington of all four of the routes listed above!

Cape Perpetua, on the Pacific Coast route.

Painted Hills country near Mitchell, on the Trans America route.

On the Lewis and Clark route in the Columbia Gorge, just west of Hood River

Clearwater Viewpoint near Mount St. Helens, on the Sierra Cascades route