Here’s What It Looks Like to Railbike the Oregon Coast
This summer, you can ride abandoned rail tracks past estuaries and cheese factories, over bridges and under blue skies—all on a custom foot-powered, four-seater contraption.
If you’re like me, you never quite got over a childhood fascination with all things rail-related. Maybe you even wanted, at one point, to be a conductor. (Sorry, mom: I know you expected more of me.) That train may have passed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still ride the abandoned rails—on bike.
That’s the premise of the Oregon Coast Railroaders—the new seaside branch of a railriding outfit first launched last summer in Joseph, Oregon, by husband-and-wife team Kim and Anita Mettlen. The couple, who formerly ran a bike shop in La Grande, expanded their DIY business to a stretch of unused track near Tillamook this past May, with a “grand opening” scheduled for July 2. (2016)
Needless to say, this rail buff couldn’t wait for the official start date. (And you don’t have to, either—the operation is already up and running.) We hopped right on this 11-mile, two-hour, pedal-powered trek from Bay City to Tillamook and back—and recorded the whole thing in photos. We show you how it’s done in our slideshow, here: http://www.pdxmonthly.com/slideshows/2016/6/14/here-s-what-it-looks-like-to-railbike-the-oregon-coast