I was reminded this weekend, that there are many many different reasons that people ride a bike. Now, I will admit I am very biased, in that I can think of no BAD reason for riding. I tell anyone who will listen that all miles are good miles. Being on a bike makes you healthier, and I honestly think happier.
But I will further admit I like my reasons for riding better than some others’…
Let me start at the beginning. With some big rides coming up in the next couple of months, it is time for me to kick it in gear a little and get some miles under my belt. At the end of May, I had only 1500 miles so far in 2018. These legs need to be cranking out more soon.
So Saturday, I decided to take a step in the right direction, it was time for 100 miles. I ruled out heading south toward Newport since they were having a big marathon along my favorite route. So, for the first time since we moved here, it was time to pedal north when I left the house. The original plan was to ride to the Cape Meares Lighthouse and back.
But plans can change…
As I headed north out of town, I realized I was finally going to get a photo of one of my favorite street signs ever.
Yep, right at the north end of town I cross the line that makes me closer to the North Pole than the equator. The science geek in me thinks this is incredibly cool!
As I traveled further north, I remembered there was a road that cuts off to the right, away from hwy 101. The Oregon Coast Bike route sign points that way. I’d never taken the road, but 101 gets pretty dull. So when I got there, I took a chance handmade the turn. Sure enough, it took me to Old Scenic 101, a 5 mile climb, but no cars! And very pretty!
It wore me out some, but the 5 mile downhill made it all better! Soon I was back 101 and approaching Pacific City, and that is where plans changed.
I have never clocked the miles from the house to that lighthouse. But here I was, not even at the Pacific City and I was already at 25 miles. I did some quick math, and realized this would be closer to 115 or 120 miles. I hadn’t planned for that long a ride, so I called an audible!
OK actually I called Michelle and told her I was cutting east along the Little Nestucca River and over the hill to Grand Ronde and then back. I was going to turn around when I hit 50 miles. (seen I do math good, 50 miles out plus 50 miles back…) It’s always a good idea to alert your support crew of route changes, JUST in case…
I REALLY like this road. Its quiet, lots of trees, great views of the river
And very little traffic. Even though it’s a long slow climb, I enjoyed it!
I went down the other side and hit 50 miles. It was time to turn around. But, not before hearing and discovering this!
Just a pretty little waterfall I woulda missed in a car. Which brings me to one reason to ride. Discovering things cars miss! You can hear, smell and feel what is around you. Some of my favorite photos are taken where cars can’t stop! Someday I will do a post of just photos like that!
As I slogged along home, once again heading up a long climb, suddenly, the clouds parted, the angels sang, and the bike gods smiled on me!
OH HELL YEAH!!! There was a tiny community church doing a rummage sale, along with a bake sale. Homemade big brownies, 50 cents for 2!! I slapped down my dollar and ate two as I stood there. They tried to give me change, but I told them to donate it to the cause. I think because of that, and I was polite AND I thanked the lady’s mom for excellent brownies, they let me in the church to top off the water bottles. Well worth the stop.
Ladies and gents I LOVE to eat!! Brownies and Chocolate chip cookies are my weakness. But this weekend I also had a marionberry fritter from the Depoe Baykery. If it weren’t for the miles, I would be called Fat Tony! I ride so I can eat what I like!
Funny, though, this stop introduced me to a another reason to ride.
I shared the sign pictured with a Facebook bike group I am a member of. One of the other riders saw I stopped and posted “DUDE! You ruined your average speed and overall time doing this, NEVER stop!!” He rides to go as far as he can as fast as he can… NOT for me, but he enjoys it!
I fought a headwind all the way back to 101, but it was behind me as I headed south and even though the legs were tired, I was making good time. Soon though, another rider came up from behind me, and asked “How many racers have passed you?”
Racers?? “You are the first I have seen, there’s a race?”
Evidently, the Transam Bike race started in Astoria Saturday. They head south to Lincoln city, then cut east on the way to Virginia.
I asked where the official stop for the night was. He looked at me like I was nuts! “It’s a race!! You ride till you can’t. Then you sleep in a ditch for a couple of hours and keep going….” And he was off! Some people ride to compete and evidently to sleep in a ditch…
I would like to point out that after the return 5 mile climb and down hill, I caught and PASSED him!!!
I say again, all miles are good miles! A coworker of mine was recently told “Lose weight or else!” so she bought a bike. Others ride to work, our new neighbor goes out around the block to spend time, and maybe tire out, his youngest kid.
In short, I wish everyone would ride, the world would be happier and healthier if we all did….
OH one other reason! I also ride so I can look back and say “HELL YEAH!! I rode that!”
If you don’t have one, buy a bike and ride. If you do have one, saddle up! you will not be sorry!
Like the wind!!