While not for everybody, biking all or part of the Oregon  coast is the surest way to get on intimate terms with this spectacular region. Before going, get a free copy of the Oregon Coast Bike Route map from the Oregon Department of Transportation (355 Capitol St. NE, Salem, OR 97310, www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/ ) or from coastal information centers and chambers of commerce. This brochure features strip maps of the route, noting services from Astoria  to the California border. With information on campsites, hostels, bike-repair facilities, elevation changes, temperatures, and wind speed, this pamphlet does everything but map the ruts in the road.
Because the prevailing winds in summer are from the northwest, most people cycle south on U.S. 101 to take advantage of a steady tailwind. You’ll also be riding on the ocean side of the road with better views and easier access to turnouts, and generally wider bike lanes and shoulders. The entire 370-mile trip (or 380 miles if you include the Three Capes Loop ) involves nearly 16,000 feet of elevation change. Most cyclists cover the distance in 6–8 days, pedaling an average of 50–65 miles daily.
A number of companies offer preplanned group bicycle trips, with everything from the bicycle to the meals and lodging included. For example, Bicycle Adventures (206/786-0989 or 800/443-6060, www.bicycleadventures.com ) offers several coast packages, including a six-day fully supported tour from Astoria  to Newport  for $2,338 (a budget tour with fewer fancy perks is about $1,900).
Cycle Oregon (503/287-0405 or 800/292-5367, www.cycleoregon.org ) sponsors an annual weeklong supported tour of rural Oregon in September. Considered one of the best bike tours in the country, Cycle Oregon tours cover about 500 miles and attract up to 2,000 riders each year. Fees, which include all meals, showers, support, and entertainment, are around $850 per person.