It's not raining and I am starting to get the hang of this!
We are a little more than halfway! I can't believe it. I get up each day and ride down the coast, and am up to 50 mile days. That I can get out there and do the hills and do long days--cool! It feels good to be going along and just ticking off the miles. There are things I like: great views at the top of a hill, fast downhills with a smooth shoulder, some sun/some clouds for the not too hot rides. There are some things that are not as cool: heavy traffic, pot holes and huge bumps, people yelling from pick-up trucks, weird narrow bridges, and tunnels (not a fan!) There are some things that are downright scary: log trucks, passing cars coming at you on narrow roads, ocean cliffs with no guard rails!
I wrestled the camera from Dagwood for a photo of him.
We have not yet seen any whales. Dagwood may demand a rebate of some sort if Oregon fails to produce its highly promoted whales.
Tomorrow we shoot for a 60 mile ride from Bandon to GoldBeach. Pray for tailwinds!
We are now 332 miles into our tour. I would like to go on and on about something: positive mental attitudes, mastering hill anxiety, how being on the road is liberating, etc. These are all things on my mind but I am tired. This is hard. You really have to keep your focus and keep your mind right. Worrying about hills in advance is counter-productive and really un-Zen. Being in the moment is the best thing to do and the best part of being on the road.
And, June 11th was the 6 month anniversary of my neck dissection and I spent it cycling through Washington catching glimpses of Mt. Rainier and watching a pair of eagles flying together over a meadow.
We are on the road! Getting out of Canada was not too scenic but biking through the border was interesting. We basically got personal service and did not even have to get in line! We biked through Bellingham but can't prove it as the camera battery was low. Once we left Bellingham and started biking around Puget Sound things have been gorgeous, if a bit rainy. We camped outside of Anacortes with a tame deer that came begging, squirrels that tried to get into the food and loud ravens.
Washington Park in Anacortes
We stopped in Coupeville, second oldest town in Washington, and had fresh mussels at Toby's, an old tavern filled with moose heads, skulls and all sorts of old stuff.
After Dagwood put the bikes back together, it seemed that a test ride was in order. Fortunately, our hotel is really close to the seawall and we just rode a few blocks and were down by the water. It was good to be out on the bikes in the sea air. The seawall path is fantastic and soon takes you into Stanley Park. You are right by downtown but riding along beaches full of herons, cormorants, gulls, and ducks. Gorgeous.
I got this blurry action shot of the blue heron. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of the racoon that ran out in front of me! A wet, bedraggled racoon jumps up from the beach into the bike path and kind of stops, looks around and then realizes bikes are coming. But he can't decide where to go-- back to the beach, stay in the middle of the bike path? He kind of dances around for a minute but finally makes a break for the opposite side of the path and jumps into the tall grass. I have never seen a racoon at the beach before.
Nervousness is setting in. We are packed and ready to go. This time tomorrow we will be in the air on the way to Vancouver! Whew. Maybe I will need something to occupy my time not spent pedaling, camp cooking, or staring into the beautiful scenery. I was thinking about doing some kind of embroidered piece about the bike tour. It might be like a sampler, kind of a loose collection of things held together by a border or done in some of kind of loose template (like squares). There are a lot of inspiring embroidered maps as well. Hmm. I will pack some fabric and floss and we shall see what happens!
It will most likely not be as detailed as these!
Long Isle Land by H. Adams, 1938 (George Glazer Gallery)
Well, that wasn't really what I would call easy. Took all day. Blood, sweat and tears (whining, anyway) were involved. No pictures, sorry.
- Getting done.
- All other phases of the process. Especially the parts where the bikes wouldn't fit into the boxes.
Two Wheel Drive was very helpful and I wish I had gone there initially. I got the boxes at Fat Tire, but the bike-packing widgetry they gave me there was incomplete because I didn't know what to ask for. The guy at Two Wheel just let me dig through their big bucket of widgets and scurry off with what I needed.
I also found these helpful:
Now the health and safety of our bikes is in the hands of US Airways. This end up, people. Clearly marked.
Cristy and I are getting ready to go on a nice, long bike tour. Vancouver, BC to San Francisco. We're at t-minus three days until liftoff.
Let's see. We're packed, for the most part. We've spent a lot of time packing. A lot. We packed, then repacked, got rid of two bags, repacked, got rid of a few more things. I wouldn't be surprised if we repacked again. We're that thorough. We're also that adverse to extra weight.
We're taking care of little last-minute things now. Making copies of the maps, making sure we have addresses to send postcards, worrying. That sort of thing. The last big thing to be done is packing up the bikes, which I'm planning to do tomorrow. I find this to be the least appealing part of the whole affaor, mainly because I'm afraid that our bicycles will suffer as a result of my ineptitude. But I have lots of tape, if not courage.
This will be my second tour, Cristy's first. We've spent the last 4 months or so training. We're ready.
So the route. It's the first three legs of the standard north-to-south Pacific Coast route, cartogrified and sanctified by the Adventure Cycling Association. Approximately 1200 miles. Some hills. Lots of ocean views, I imagine. I'm pretty excited, but I think Cristy is more excited than I am. In fact I know she is. But she isn't responsible for packing the bikes, so that might have something to do with it.
The plan is to chart our progress here on this venerable blog as we roll along. Will we do this every day, filling you in on the excruciating details of our saddlesores? No, we will not. I promise. Will we post lots of pictures of the ocean? Probably. Will we get lazy and post Youtube videos of sneezing pandas? Possibly. Will we brag about how we've become masters of MSR whisperlite stove operation? Absolutely.
Maybe tomorrow some bike packing photos, if I am not crying too hard to hold the camera steady.
There is a popular time lapsed video of cycling rush hour in Utrecht, Netherlands circa April 2010. And it is cool to watch and makes you think. However your mind works: carbon footprints, American car culture, let's move to the Netherlands, etc.
This video of cycling in the 1950s is a nice companion to the current bicyle rush hour piece. No doubt in my mind that cycling is an integral part of Dutch society and culture. I loved seeing all the baby baskets, the workmen going about their trades by bike, and cycling in your wooden shoes!
Cycling is much on my mind of late. I am concerned with gears, cadence, speed, and hills. But I never once considered the existence of cycling board games. In my family we were Monopoly hounds trying to bankrupt one another with zeal and evil glee. And come to think of it, our household had one rusty bike in the shed. Hmmm, it seems in our house entrepreneurial spirit trumped sports and exercise. But I digress.
Check out this interesting collection featuring games from the late 1800s to the present.