Day one on the way to Scenic, SD
I had the camera most of the time. I tend to not take many pictures because it makes you stop and fiddle with the camera instead of just enjoying where you are. But, I did take a few and there is photographic evidence that Dagwood was there (aside from all the glamour shots he took of me).
Day One, still on Pine Ridge
I really loved the rolling hills. Saw lots of horses-- many followed us or came up to the fence to check us out.
The bar in Scenic, SD was (in)famous. Now defunct. The only thing open in town is the Post Office. We camped in Scenic at the end of Day One.
Scenic was obviously prepared for the heavy drinking of its heyday. Hence, the drunk tank next door to the bar...
as well as the two celled jail down the street.
An interesting barn I saw covered in metal. Pretty cool looking.
And, a beautiful tree lined part of the Mickelson trail.
This quote comes from an anecdote from the Bike Snob NYC. And it is a sentiment with which I am in whole hearted agreement. Sidewalks are for pedestrians, children, dog walkers, strollers, etc. Bikes belong in the street, following traffic laws. I get nervous in traffic. But, I still ride in the street. I follow the rules and behave predictably so that drivers will not be second guessing me and putting all of us in jeopardy. Good behavior on your bike makes you safer in the moment and helps motorists learn what to expect from cyclists, keeping all of us safer in the future.
As you may or may not know, Cristy and I rode our bikes from our home in Albuquerque, New Mexico to Cristy's parent's house in Austin, Texas. I made some posts from the road along the way, but they were not very interesting and the pictures are weird because the lens on my cameraphone is scratched. So here are some random thoughts and observations about our trip. Which will be, hopefully, more interesting. And maybe some better pictures too.read more »
She is ready to melt the bike for scrap but keeps trying to go forward anyway, screaming all the time. Amen, sister. I know the feeling. I am not sure if Dagwood will be amused by this or have some sort of PTSD.
I wish I had understood that, or believed that, sooner during the bike tour.
When you are new to something and working hard at getting better, you see results. Ater a week of biking every day, I could tell that me legs were getting stronger. I could tell I was more confident at handling the bike. My shifting was getting better and making the ride smoother. I was improving as a cyclist. So, in my mind, that meant that my conditioning and skills would progress to the point where cycling was just plain old easy. Dagwood tried to tell me that riding 40 miles of hilly terrain was always going to make you tired and be, um, 40 miles of hilly terrain. But I had visions of flying up hills with great speed and dexterity with no effort at all. Magic! I guess you might say that this was unrealistic.
After a while, I decided maybe Dagwood was on to something. The hills in week five were still hard. I am sure I was doing a better job technically, but I still had to exert myself and push. They were not becoming effortless. I still wanted to hold on to the magical thinking that soon I would be just floating up hills. We came home and decided to do our training hill for fun. We wanted to crush it. And, we did crush it. I went faster than ever before. It seemed shorter and less steep. It was easier. But, it was still hard. It is still a big ass hill with a steep spot near the top. And no one gets to the top without putting some hard work into it.
Why wish for things to be effortless? While competency is great, you take things that are too easy for granted. And there is something to be said for really giving things your all.
So, I guess Greg Lemond knows what he is talking about after all.
On our bike tour we needed calories and this was a great justification for eating whatever we wanted. Beer. Cinnamon rolls. Beer. Seafood.
We had decided that we would not even attempt to eat our "largely vegan diet" on the road which was smart. There were times when even vegetarian options were few and far between and making do with the vegan options from a convenience store would not have sustained us. I am aware that French Fries can be vegan, but I don't think French Fries and Cokes is the diet recommended by cycling champions. There were a few times that I scoured the menu for a popular item that was ordered a lot--meaning food turnover and freshness in the kitchen-- and hopefully avoiding stuff that had been moldering in the walk-in all week. Just thinking it through to figure what would be least likely to cause food poisoning. In those cases, all dietary restrictions rules are out the window. Safety first, people, safety first.
We started out eating breakfast and lunch in restaurants. But, it took too long, cost too much and was too heavy. It made for stomach aches and leaden legs. So, we started eating smaller meals and snacks all day and then going out to dinner once we stopped for the day and got settled. We started carrying cereal with us and buying milk when we hit town since it seems that even the smallest, saddest motels have refrigerators in the room. We would stop for a second breakfast around 11am and get the gooiest, most decadent pastry we could find. (We really miss being able to eat pastries.) We made sure to always have food with us for those afternoon carb rich snacks like bagels with peanut butter and honey, Lara Bars, raisins and almonds. We would hit town around 4pm, get settled and search out the best dinner option that included beer. After a day on the road, a beer tastes pretty darn good. And, you have totally earned it even accounting for your giant cinnamon roll.
Some culinary highlights: delicious steamed mussels at Toby's Bar in Coupeville, WA; a free potato pancake in Lincoln City, OR; pan fried geoduck in Caste Rock, WA; berry pie after the ferry ride into Oregon; berry pancakes across from the Trees of Mystery in CA; and a berry milkshake in Fort Dick, CA.
Craft twist: you can illustrate any food story with felt/knitted foods. Crazy!
Dagwood riding through the redwoods.
Riding through the redwoods is fantastic. While there are times when sharing the road is hard simply because there is no shoulder and nowhere to go, there are those peaceful quiet moments where it is just you on your bike. Sunlight coming through the trees, bird song, a cool breeze. Nice.
Cristy in the redwoods
Happy day off at the beach!
Today we took a day or R&R in Westport to enjoy the beach. Yesterday was a tough one-- 54 miles with lots of climbing. We started in the morning at an elevation of about 400 feet and had to get over a pass of 1800 feet. So a day of rolling hills all taking you higher and higher until you reach the final climb over the big pass, followed by another decent hill that totally makes you ready for a beer. But hey, that was the highest elevation we have to get over!
Westport is a quiet town with a funky community market and a kind of fancy-pants hotel/pub. We recommend the Westport Inn which is only 6 rooms, family run and includes a breakfast of coffee, toast and Otto's homemade jams. The jam is great but Otto's hospitality makes the place special. It is really like staying at someone's house and having breakfast in their living room!
Only a few more days of riding and we are in San Francisco! Yippee!