Even the cows thought I was nuts!

So this weekend, we had a change of scenery. For the last 2 years these three hotties met in Corvallis to do the Half Marathon.

Now it will come as no surprise that a half marathon is HARD! My job is to leap-frog the, with the bike with extra liquids, take extra layers if needed, and be the personal support crew. (Not a bad gig as all 🙂

After last year, the three decided “HEY, let’s do the 5 K instead! Then Mark and Tony can participate! And we did!! The 5 K post will most likely be tomorrow though, as there was a lot unpacked in a 1.5 days. And my brain is a bit fuzzy right now, So I will hold off to do justice to this.

What we will discuss today is the reason for the brain fuzz. I took the opportunity to ride the bike home from Corvallis! 

I’ve been lamenting the lack of miles this year, with the move and work and weather and all, finding time to ride has been hard. So I think it was Michelle who suggested we hook up the bike rack and take it with us.  I loved the idea! Sometimes you have to MAKE opportunities!

I spent the week looking at maps and checking routes on line. To drive there, we go south to Newport, hit Hwy 20, pass this sign

And drive about 55 miles straight to Corvallis. I was watching the road closely on this drive, and honestly, except for some stretches as you get close to College, it was NOT a road that would be fun to ride. I could do it, but I wanted a fun ride in addition to miles!

So, back to the maps and interwebs. It looked like if I took 20 out of Corvallis to Blodgette (never heard of it) I could take back roads to Nashville OR (who knew we had one) then on to Siletz which would then get me home, PERFECT!! Even found one rider who had done it! And y’all know the rule, If another rider can do it, so can I!

Yesterday was great! We had a blast and all did very well on the 5K. Plus the weather held, and with the exception of a brief squall, it was a gorgeous day. But we had scoped the weather and KNEW today would be wet, sure as hell, we woke up to rain.

Which, of course, is why they invented GORTEX!! I was geared up.

Michelle and I went out to the Broken Yolk early, and got a 50 mile omelet in me. I really should have taken a photo, but I was hungry!

By 830ish we had the room packed up, said goodbye to those that were still in town (Heidi had a LONG drive and took off at O dark thirty) and I was rolling the bike outside. The lady in the elevator told me how impressed she was with my rain gear, clearly I was ready!

With a kiss goodbye I was off, and lord how it rained! Luckily it was in the upper 40s to low 50s so it wasn’t cold rain, but it was steady!

Now 20 is a busy road with wide shoulder, but cars are noisy and moving fast. Everyone gave me plenty of room, but just as I thought, it was not a fun ride. I was happy I would not be on this road the whole time. In about 15 miles, I came to my cut off, and headed to Nashville.

Ladies and gents it was just too wet to stop for photos, I will do so on a dryer day, but it was amazing! It was a 2 lane, very little used road that traveled through a forest. 100 yards in I could not hear the cars at all! There was no shoulder, but with the speed limit low and traffic even lower, the 3 cars that passed me had no issues at all. This was the ride I was looking for!

I was soon in Nashville (Nope no Dollywood, just kind of a wide spot in the road.) And the sign pointed me to the towns of Summit and Siletz . Perfect! I hung a right and kept riding.

The roads were even more secluded here. And I could have been mistaken, but I swore I heard someone in the distance yell, “Squealll like a pig boy” while accompanied by banjo music…  Maybe I just had water in my ear.

Though I did finally stop for a photo, I couldn’t resist this! Maybe I shouldn’t doubt what I heard…

I had to go through Summit first, which as it sounds, was on TOP of a hill. I almost blinked and missed it before going down the other side! But of course, when on a bike, what goes down must go up again, I soon found myself climbing to finish going over the coastal range.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this!

OK no one mentioned a dirt road and I do not have a mountain bike!! But these were the considerations I had:

  1. I was already 25 miles and 2 hours into the ride
  2. Michelle, by this time, was already at the coast
  3. I would have to go all the way BACK to Blodgett to ensure I had a cell signal to call for a pick up
  4. I bought a bike that can handle some off roads, and I had new tires
  5. And, as mentioned before, if someone else can do it, I can!

I put my trust in the cycling gods and off I went! In all honesty it was not bad! Very smooth, plenty of places to ride with no rocks, and a better route than some paved roads I’ve been on in Seattle!

I made the top of the pass, and rode the brakes down to the pavement. No worries at all! What I didn’t know then, was I had just gone over the highest climbs  of the trip.

I was now on the downhill slide of that last tall spike. There were some rolling hills, but I FLEW for the next 20 miles. Better yet, with the dirt road behind, me, I flat didn’t see a car going my way until I was almost in the town of Siletz!

But this is where the cows come in! In the Puget Sound area, cows ignore riders. Not these guys. Even single cow, adult to baby, lifted their heads from grazing and watched me pass! I am not sure if they just don’t seen many cyclists or they just thought I was nuts being out there in the rain! Or both. It was kinda creepy to have them watch me…

I hit Siletz and had 25 miles or so to go! I found a convenient park to stop and use the facilities so I took the opportunity for a few photos.

This is called a boat slide… Seems a bit scary to me, but then, I am NOT a boat person

With the rain there were plenty of small waterfalls

And I just liked this bridge

I also loved the mossy trees I kept passing

Clearly, on the Oregon Coast, moss does NOT only grow on the north side….

The rest of the ride was easy and uneventful, it followed the river all the way to highway 101 (with a LOT of rolling hills of course! Can’t make it too easy!) Michelle had the garage door open, and I was faster than we planned, the homemade mac and cheese was just going in the oven! But it took a bit to shuck the wet clothes and get a hot shower! 10 minutes later I was chowing down!!

It was the ride I wanted, even with the rain! No cars, pretty views, and new things to see. I need to do this again when it is a wee bit dryer, so I can get more photos!

I also completed a bucket list item! I have always wanted to ride solo to the coast! I’ve done Reach the Beach but this is different! Truly a great ride!

 

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5 Responses to Even the cows thought I was nuts!

  1. You found your way home….whew…..

  2. sarburch says:

    What a fun ride (and a super fun sign pointing to Boston)! Call me biased, but your riding options would double (and even triple and quadruple) if you were to throw a tent, a sleeping bag, and a toothbrush in your panniers. You could ride 50-90 miles, camp for the night, and then loop back home the next day (or the day after). Heck, reserve a hotel room, and Michelle could drive out to meet you for the night! 🙂

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