Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cat calls, sand dunes, and winds

***Pardon the typos! Writing this in a bit of a flurry and with limited internet access***

Jul 8
I left Tillamook bound for Beverly State Beach. The weather was great and fog had started to lift. The ride was gorgeous! Roads were relatively smooth and traffic wasn’t terrible….until I accidently missed the “Oregon Coastal Bike Route” sign and continued on the portion of the 101 sans shoulder and with high logging traffic. The scenery following Oretown turned from lovely bucolic to coastal views that were unlike anything I’d seen! Oregon is so unique and scenic. I ate lunch in Neskowin with an elderly couple, rehydrated in Lincoln City, and then plowed forward to the beach. I was STARVING when I arrived and ate all of the scraps of food I had in my bag and set up camp. I was exhausted, but decided to take a stroll to the beach, and HOLY COW! 

This is what I saw:


Absolutely incredible.

At camp, I met a variety of people all delightfully quirky and great conversationalists:
*Jonathon, older guy who had biked the coast several times and knows everything about every pullout and campsite
*A father-and-two-son trio from Texas wearing matching wool jerseys and wind pants (I would die of heat)
*A couple who was hiking the coast (they later clarified they were hitchhiking)
*A woman from Seattle who works with Anika’s friend Jill with two folks from Fort Collins
*Jo biking from ARGENTINA to SEATTLE. Insane not only because of the distance but also because one hits a headwind the entire time.

Some of the coastal views!

Jul 9
The next day, I bid the beach adieu, allowed myself to sleep in a bit, and was bound for Jessie Honeymann State Park as my first option (60mi), but wanted to see if I could go further.  The ride was again beautiful. I left around 9:30am and decided I wanted to stop in Waldport, noticing they had a bike co-op. My disc brakes had been rubbing and making a funny noise. The bike was handling fine, but just wanted to be sure. MISTAKE!

The bike mechanic was incredibly nice and well-meaning, however, the entire stop took over 2 hours and I wasn’t able to get going until 2pm. After noon, the winds in Oregon pick up to crazy levels. I made the mistake of not eating during the break (didn’t realize it was going to be so long), so stopped and grabbed some calories in the next town and hustled. Unfortunately, in the process of identifying the problem, the mechanic changed a few things, and I discovered this as soon as I left. Determined to make progress, I kind of ignored it and pushed forward. My brakes were too touchy for my liking and my shifting, which I would find out on a significant and intense climb up to Seal Rock. Basically, my derailleur had been tweaked and my chain slipped whenever I was in a certain gear, causing me to lurch and lose purchase. I tried to fix it on a pullout at Seal Rock—I’m telling you, the wind must have been whipping easily at 35-40mph! The shoulder was essentially nonexistent, and with my lurching, I was rather tense.  I finished the ride, though, and found a VEGAN RESTAURANT in Freeport!! I felt like celebrating. I cruised into camp, which was about 3 miles away from the outskirts of town.
There were a few parties set up at camp and there was the usual banter between parties talking route, destinations, significant things of note, etc. At camp, a few people gave me advice on my derailleur issue, which seems to have been fixed, based on today’s ride.
Just as it was dark, another solo rider blonde gal came in! Soulmate! We connected instantly, and I’m hopeful we can run into each other again.

Jul 10: This morning, I woke up and explored the sand dunes just outside of camp. They were…. sandy! Cool, but not entirely exciting. Today, I didn’t reeeeaaaally have a destination in mind! I want to bed thinking about Sunset Beach State Park (~50 mi), but thought I could push further…. But also thought about all the work I’ve been neglecting (hello, online class). Ultimately, I didn't want to stress and as I went to bed told myself I’d figure it out as the day went on. I didn’t have a ton of breakfast food and was planning on stopping in the next town (Reedsport) for caffeine and food.
In Reedsport, I was doodling around looking at maps on my iPhone somewhat obsessively and weighing my options, I saw Crater Lake. My eyes perked up and I knew what the day was to hold. I biked another 20 miles to Coos Bay and headed to Enterprise. There was absolutely no WAY I could pass up the chance to go to Crater Lake. It’s one of the most classic and scenic rides in the US (the world, perhaps)? So, off I went, rental keys in hand bound for Roseburg for the night. I got a hotel for the night, which feels surprisingly nice: shower, bed, and a break from the traffic.
Also, to be honest, the traffic on the road has started to get to me. There’s the frightening wind currents generated by semis who also like to hug the shoulder line quite close; there’s the logging trucks with bark flying off unpredictably; there’s the noisy bros and in their respective trucks and motorcycles revving as loud as they can when they drive by; and then… my two least favorite traffic varieties: the cat calls shouted out at 60mph (terrifying) or the HONK-HONK-HONK of people thinking their being supportive (or clever) that scare the CRAP out of me and make me almost topple over each time. Le sigh. Anyway, the escape to Crater will be great, and the respite in this bed is also admittedly quite nice (though overpriced). I’m wondering what the weekend coastal traffic will be like… hope it won’t be terrible J
In any event, I can’t wait to see Crater Lake!
I also cannot express enough how grateful I am for the support everyone has given me on this ride! I’ve met some INCREDIBLY kind and amazing people (also a fair share of rude people, but no need to mention beyond that). THANK YOU for all the positive vibes, words of encouragement, and donations to the Challenged Athletes Foundation. All of this really means so much to me- more than I can express.


No comments:

Post a Comment