Few places in the Pacific Northwest are as primed for pedal-powered exploration as Seaside. I should know since I’ve ridden about everywhere a bike can take you in and around town. Pick up a two-wheeler — or even a three- or four-wheeler — and you’ve got miles of varied terrain to cover. From the boardwalk-esque Promenade to trails through coastal forests, there’s a lot for cyclists to love. But there are also a lot of choices: Fat-tire biking or a surrey on city streets? Kid-friendly rides or adrenaline-pumping mountain biking? This step-by-step guide has the tips you need to get pointed in the right direction.
Step 1. Choose a Route
You can, of course, cruise Seaside’s compact town center and make a million pit stops for sweet treats. But there’s more to cycling here than Broadway Street, so here’s the first big decision: Where to go? Check out this rundown of rides for an overview, and here’s a quick look at three of my favorites, ranked from easy-breezy to you’re-going-to-sweat.
The Promenade (easy): If you don’t want to exert too much energy (after all, you’re on vacation!), set out along the Promenade, a 1.5-mile paved, beachfront path that stretches from Avenue U to 12th Avenue. Note: the area around the turnaround can have a lot of pedestrian traffic, so walking your bike through this area is preferred.
Three-wheeling (easy/moderate):For more of a workout, hit the beach in a sling-backed, three-wheeled “Funcycle.” Remember those Big Wheels from your childhood. Yep, it’s like that and just as fun. Check the tide tables in advance so you can head out at low tide.
Mountain biking (challenging): If you’re like my teenage son and looking to show up your biking partner (that’s me), head into the hills overlooking Seaside on a mountain bike. The trails — which are reallymostly gravel roads — are located in the Lewis & Clark Oregon Timberlands. Some trails have technical sections where you’ll need to bike uphill.
To choose the right trail for your ability, study this trail guide.
Step 2. Rent a Bike
Next, pick your ride. From mountain bikes and fat-tire bikes to classic cruisers and four-wheel surreys, Seaside has got you covered. Here are two bike shops in town that have most everything you need as well as in-the-know staff that can answer many of your questions.
Prom Bike Shop rents kids’ bikes ($10/hour), beach cruisers ($12/hour), mountain bikes ($12/hour) and even tandem bikes ($20/hour). Or if you want to go as a group, chose a surrey; they come in different sizes and accommodate two to nine people ($20-$40/hour). Prom Bike Shop also has low-riding Funcycles for 1.5-hour rentals ($15). Helmets and locks are included for free. If you’re staying in Seaside for an extended period of time, discounted long-term rentals are available.
Wheel Fun Rental rents four types of low-riding beach cycles: the Chopper ($15/hour), the Quad Sport ($15) and the Deuce Coupe for two ($20/hour) plus the Funcycle at the same price as Prom. Various sized surreys are available ($25-$45/hour). You can rent a cruiser bike ($10/hour), tandem ($15/hour) or a fat tire for mountain biking ($15/hour). If you need a tag-a-long attachment ($10/hour) or kids’ trailer ($10/hour), Wheel Fun can hook you up with those, too. Rentals include a helmet and lock. Wheel Fun Rentals operates another bike rental location in Seaside on South Holiday Drive, but it has a more limited selection.
Step 3. Pedal, Pedal, Pedal
That’s it, really — wide smiles, wind in your hair and miles upon miles of more rides to try.
But before you set out, keep these pointers in mind:
• Keep your helmets on. Oregon law requires anyone under the age of 16 to wear protective headgear. Our bike shops provide helmets with their rentals.
• Surrey bikes are not allowed on the Promenade.
• Obey all the traffic laws when you ride on the open road, including hand signals when you’re going to turn and observing posted traffic signs.
• Lost? Need more help? Pop into the Seaside Visitors Bureau and local travel pros can connect you to all the right resources.