As we sit in the living room on a cloudy and a bit drizzly Saturday morning, I realized I hadn’t posted about my most recent ride. A week ago right now, I teamed up with Kim and Rob for a 40 mile ride around the Rogue River.
Who could resist a ride who’s mascot is a bike riding salmon
Kim and Rob have appeared many times in this blog. Rob of course is famous for the Oregon Coast
Reach the Beach
and most recently, the one day Seattle to Portland
Kim, of course, is well-known as one of the two best and prettiest Sherpas a cyclist could ever ask for.
But, she also cycled along in the heat of the Santa Rosa wine country, the same week she completed a half marathon
She and Rob had ridden the Ride the Rogue last year, and invited me to ride with them this year. Now that we are MUCH closer to them, it was worth the drive!
Michelle and I headed down to their house on Thursday last. They live in a small town called Shady Cove, which is just down the hill from Crater Lake.
I was dropping off our stuff in our room when I looked out the window. I spotted something I’d never seen before.
They have a flock of wild turkeys that live near them. Sadly I didn’t have my camera the time there were 10 of them scratching up their yard. (Kim HATES when they do that!!)
We were a bit worried Friday night, after coming home from dinner that the Dancin Winery
We noticed that smoke was moving in from a nearby wildfire. Turning the moon red
We were not excited to have to pedal 40 miles in the smoke….
Luckily, Saturday morning dawned a bit cloudy, cool and SMOKELESS! As you can see by the top photo, we were layered and read\y to go!
Is a pretty cool route.
It starts on a bike bath in the town of Rogue River and travels along the river for a while. (here is the token shot of the River from later in the ride)
The ride then travels along the roads in the area. There were one or two busy stretches, but for the most part these were pretty much low traffic roads.
It was a big change from my rides along the water nowadays. Southern Oregon reminds me a lot of Eastern Washington.
Adding to the list of things I haven’t seen while riding, a hemp farm!
As we all know, I do 40 miles pretty regularly after work, so I wasn’t worried at all about this ride. Kim and Rob were different. Rob had put in a lot miles prior to the big ride in July, but since then work and smoke from wild fires have kept him off the bike.
Poor Kim, though….
The plan was to train for this. But with all the smoke from multiple fires in their area, she had a grand total of 16 miles under her, um, butt… Given this, she knew it was going to be hard, but that woman is as tough as my gorgeous wife. She signed up for it, and by gawd she was going to ride it!
This route is fun, but there is one BIG hill. It is a mile long and pretty damn steady. As I was riding it, I saw one lady stop and just throw her bike to the ground halfway up the hill. If you hadn’t trained, it was rough. Kim stopped once or twice, but damned if she didn’t conquer it!
After the hill, there is a long fun downhill and then a ride to the finish.
As we rode to the finish, we ran into the only jerk of the ride. We were on a long straight rural road, There wasn’t a car ahead for miles. Three or four cars had passed us easily, most waving as they went by. Then the pickup came by. It was an older truck, and inside were 2 or 3 guys.
As they passed, they hit the horn loud and yelled out the window “GET THE F*** OF THE ROAD!!” As they roared by at high speed.
(I’d like to point out that I could see over 3/4 of a mile and there was not a car in sight in either lane… Driver musta been having a bad day. We pride ourselves on moving over to make it easy on cars if need be)
Rob made me laugh. “I have a rule,” he said, “when a driver is a jerk, but he is driving a car that is worth less than my bike, he is not worth getting mad at.” Good rule!
Five miles from he finish we hit a headwind. Compared to what I deal with here, it wasn’t huge, but for Kim, who was looking strong, it was rough! Rob and I got ahead of her, to try and block the wind. But she just put her head down and kept her feet moving till we made a turn and got out the wind.
Suddenly, Kim got barn hungry and took the lead! For the last 2 miles, she hammered the pedals and led us to the end.
It was a fun ride! I saw new sights, hung out with the only two people I ever ride with, and Kim rocked it! Later that night, and I wish I had a photo, she was laying on the floor, wrapped in a blanket, and flat worn out. But 40 miles is no short ride, and she did it on pure guts and determination!
Damn proud of her!! Good job Kim!