Well, I just completed my first full week of work since coming back from the bike ride. It wasn’t easy. It honestly is just not as much fun to work 5 days in a row in an office than it is to ride 8 days in a row (Yes I know this is shocking!) . I found it hard to focus at times, as my mind would wonder back to the days on the road. So for this post, I thought I’d capture some of the musings. It may be a bit ramble, and the funny stuff might only be funny to me, but here we go…
We had a few phrases and terms we developed along the way. Thinking about them, Rob was the originator of most if not all of these!
“You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it!” This was a phrase he learned in the Navy, and he first said it after cresting the first long big hill near Cannon Beach. Funny, this phrase would be said time and again when a hill was coming.
“I can rest on the downhill!” As he got better at hills, there were still times I would be waiting for him on top
But instead of needing a rest at the top, he would just utter the phrase, surprisingly NOT out of breath, and keep going. A good downhill has recharged me more times than I can count! He learned this quickly.
“The double hump!” (hey I am noticing that so far all these phrases have to do with hills!) The double hump was a climb, normally a pretty significant one, with two summits. You finally get to the top, and start down, Just as you start enjoying the ride, the climb starts again to the other summit. The double hump soon became the norm instead of the exception. After one rough one, I was heard to say, “I remember a time I used to look forward to double humps….”
“Barn Fever” Rob said, that I, just like a horse who has worked hard all day and is close to home and the feedbag, get barn fever about 10 miles from the end. We would be going along and a good pace, and then the 10 miles point would hit. The closer we got, the faster I would go! He could tell I was hungry!
“Tony Free Miles” As the more experienced rider, I didn’t want Rob to worry about the next day too much. So the first night, after the first double hump and the tunnel, he asked how far the ride was. I heard myself saying, “Well its close to 50, but we will be starting at the top a big hill, so the first 3 – 5 miles don’t really count….” I am not sure if it was Kim or Rob who came up with this term.
Someday I will have to sit down and figure out the rest of the miles. If downhill are free, and flat are just a mile, how to uphill and headwind miles factor in. Twice as much? What if it is uphill AND a headwind… Hmmmm
“Support crew is hard!” This was uttered by both of the lovely ladies who shepherded us down the coast.
I am sure there were more, but none are hitting me at this moment.
We traveled 391 miles from Astoria to Crescent City. Most of it was on Highway 101. Sometimes we had a huge shoulder, other times there was no shoulder at all and construction.
In that time, we ran into two people who were jerks. Both of them owned white diesel pickups. Both of them tried to blow coal (Hit the gas hard which blows black smoke out the exhaust into the face of cyclists) We laughed because in both cases they did it so poorly, that very little smoke appeared. Otherwise, the drivers gave us plenty of room. There was one time a semi slowed for quite a while until it was safe to pass.
In the picture above, we let the camper go first and we jumped in right behind him. The car behind slowed and held traffic back for us until we got to the other end of the bridge. He then honked and waved as he sped up. Never did I worry about the roads we were on.
It is just plain fun the different people you meet on a ride.
This is Aussie Bob. We saw him time and again along the coast. Where we were feeling pretty good about out almost 400 miles, Bob here flew into Seattle, rode to the Oregon coast and was heading for San Francisco. Well over double our miles. I never did understand why he carried the helmet though. Not once did he wear it, even going over the Coos Bay bridge,
Port Orford local:
This was the nicest old guy. He flagged us down just outside of Port Orford. He knew of a side road just up the highway a bit that got us off of 101 and had great views. He was excited as could be to let us know about out and gave detailed directions.
We took a look at it, but it was a pretty good extra climb on a day after bad head winds… We decided to stick to the main drag, but I appreciate him doing this for us.
The flaggers also took extra care of us, they were always fun to talk to and made sure we had no problems at all.
Well except for the one in California, she was annoying and didn’t know that YES we were allowed on Hwy 101
Then there were just the people in general who would come up to us to ask us about the ride. They were amazed that we were riding to California. And I swear, every one of them mentioned the hills and how hard they had to be on a bike. They also wondered about the traffic and how the cars treated us.
A few of them, though, expressed an interest in doing this themselves sometime. I hope this happens. I remember back in the 80s when I first saw riders on the coast and I wanted to do it some day. Now I can say I have done it twice!
The week is full of memories, and this is but a few. I told you it was rambly, so I will leave you with this.
These alone should let you know it was well worth it!