Biking to the eclipse: Advice for best routes, gear to pack - KPTV - FOX 12

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Biking to the eclipse: Advice for best routes, gear to pack

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

In a city known for its love of cycling, it’s no surprise that cyclists may want to take two wheels instead of four to check out the best view of the eclipse.

Now, there’s a resource to help you find the best route and a packing list to make sure you’re not stuck on the side of the road in the event of trouble.

Portland’s Neal Armstrong is behind the website biketotheeclipse.com.

With ever-changing traffic conditions as more than a million people pour into Oregon, Armstrong and his team plan to find the best route for everyone.

“It comes through a lot of research and knowledge about road conditions and how we know traffic is with bike routes,” Armstrong explained. “Additionally we’re going to have a number of people who are going to text us and tweet us about road conditions so we know Friday, Saturday and Sunday what to expect for Monday morning.”

On the website, you can check out several routes heading south of Portland to areas like Aurora, Silverton and Stayton.

However, Armstrong warns that people are riding at their own risk.

“We want people to know they need to be self-sufficient. If you break down or get injured 20 miles from home, what are you going to do? You’re going to be as stuck as anyone else,” he said. “We’re encouraging everyone to prepare to be gone for two days, so that means having enough food, maybe a tent, maybe something that you can rely on if you in fact are stuck on the side of the road and have to survive.”

Cycling in groups may help for two reasons: Added visibility along crowded roadways, and the ability to share extra gear and supplies.

“It’s only 21 miles southwest for the totality from here in Portland, so that’s not that far to bike and I definitely think the idea of doing it in a group instead of individually makes sense for safety,” said cyclist Lynne Bangsund.

“I think it’s a great idea, you’re sure going to get home a lot faster than you would if you’re trying to get back on the highway,” added her husband, David Bangsund.

If you’d like to go, there will be a meet-up early Monday morning from 4:30 a.m. to 6: a.m. on the esplanade path under the east side of the Marquam Bridge, between Hawthorne and OMSI.

Armstrong and his team plan to make determinations on the best routes Sunday evening, and by Monday morning they’ll have paper maps to hand out to anyone wanting to participate.

“Hopefully people can come together and leave in groups so that we’re all protected as we get to and from the eclipse,” he said.

It’s an attractive idea to those worried about endless gridlock behind the wheel.

“You don’t want to be overly smug as you’re passing all those cars heading home,” joked David Bangsund. “Because they’re going to be sitting still and you can be riding along.”

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