Saturday, May 21, 2016

Biking the rails: The Railrider experience comes to the Oregon Coast

Coming soon to the Oregon Coast, the Railrider will provide you with the unique experience of actually biking on train rails from Bay City to Tillamook. Needless to say these Tillamook Bay Railroad rails are inactive during the times the Railriders are running.
Pedal the rails on this specially designed Railrider vehicle
I found out first hand how biking the rails can feel and I’m a fan. I biked with Railriders in eastern Oregon recently and heard about their plans to start rides on the coast too.  Railriders will begin offering rides on their unique pedal-powered vehicles just off Hwy 101 in Bay City by the end of May 2016.

Ready to roll!
So what’s it like? Well, first of all it’s fairly easy. Railriders are recumbent bikes with wheels designed to fit on train rails. You will bike on a Railrider with another person, or like on the Oregon Coast, with up to three more people. Groups will be guided by Railrider staff. Pedaling is easy… after all you have help. And you can brake your own vehicle.

Can you do it? Of course. I’ve given up standard biking because of crowded bike paths and lack of confidence in my sense of balance. On the Railrider, I sat back, buckled in and pedaled with a friend. Our guide told us when to slow down to cross roads and made sure the track ahead was free of obstacles. Easy, peasy.

It was a quiet, relaxing ride. I enjoyed wildlife, farm animals and the passing scenery. And, if I wanted to take a picture, we just slowed down. When you get to your destination, guides turn the Railriders around and off you go. You’ll pedal harder if there is a grade but remember you’ll have a friend or two to help you. Little kids can ride along with adults and really don’t have to pedal.

Oh yes, she's just kidding about derailing in the video. It's completely safe!

In eastern Oregon, there are a couple of routes. We took the one from the arts town of Joseph to Enterprise. There is also a route running from the confluence of the Minam and Wallowa Rivers at Minam to the city of Wallowa and back… gorgeous scenery! 

In the Oregon Coast area watch for the buzz as Railriders kicks off their first summer season.  I suggest you call ahead if you want to ride the rails because this is going to be hugely popular. Get ready for an experience unlike any other.

More Information

Pedal from Bay City to Tillamook
2 hours, 11 miles round trip
$20 per person / 12 years and older
$10 / 11 years and younger when accompanied by an adult.
Departures: 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. Thursday through Monday
Purchase tickets at the location on Hayes Oyster Drive in Bay City
541-910-0089 or 541-910-0981
Soft Opening May 26; closing for the season October 2.
A Grand Opening will be held July 2, 2016 in Bay City.