Did you REALLY need the wrench?

So I thought I’d go a little old school here today. A post strictly about a couple a bike rides I had here on the Oregon Coast this week. Both were memorable for good and bad reasons!

First off, as always, the important stuff.

Michelle and I are healthy, happy and still employed. I keep telling her that I am very lucky to be going through a global pandemic with a wife like her!

Pray for her though, she is trapped with me….

But now back to the rides!

On Sunday afternoon I saddled up for a ride. I waited until a little later in the afternoon, to allow traffic to die down some. Our tourist season is ramping up now that we have reopened town for overnight visitors, so the roads are busy.

As is usual lately, I headed out for a decent 30 mile ride to Devils Punchbowl and back. It was an easy ride south, traffic wasn’t too bad, and there was a tail wind. It was a VERY pretty day! These folks had the right idea!

When I got to the Punchbowl though, I knew it was NOT a good idea to stay. The place was mobbed, and I didn’t see a single facemask . (I may soon break my rule of only positive stuff and do a Facemask post… but not now..)

I flipped up my neck gaiter to cover my mouth and nose and beat feet out of there! I got back up to Cape Foulweather, found a quiet spot, and ate my cookie in peace.

Remember that tailiwind I mentioned?  Well going home turns it into a headwind! But I lowered, my head, geared down and just kept pedaling!

3 miles from home, I got that feeling ALL cyclists hate. The back tire felt squishy, and was fish tailing. I stopped, squeezed the tire, and yep, sure enough. I was losing air. It was pretty darn flat.

DAMN!!

But, there was a glimmer of hope! It wasn’t full on flat. More of a slow leak. I was tired, hungry and only 3 miles from home.  I didn’t want to change a tire on the side of the road.

Luckily I had some CO2 cartridges to spare. I loaded one and aired up the tire and YES! It was holding!

I saddled up and pedaled HARD!! (Not so hard I didn’t notice the low flying bald eagle very close to me! Alas, for once, no time for photos! )

I got a little over a mile before that sick feeling on the rear tire hit again….

I repeated the process and pedaled harder! Sure enough I made it to 1/2 a mile from home before it was too flat to ride…With a half mile left I just walked the rest!

The next day, inside a bright garage with a headlight and magnifying glass, I found the tiniest, sharpest piece of wire that was a culprit. 5 minute later the bike was ready to go!

So Wednesday. I was ready to ride again. It was a foggy day all day, no wind at all. I decided to do a good 25 miles or so.

This time, my turn around spot was where the above photo was taken. The top of Cape Foulweather.

There was a lot of good up there, but a bit of bad. To follow the veggie eating rule, (eat the icky veggies first then enjoy the rest of the meal) first the bad.

I was off by myself watching a whale (more about that soon) when 5 people came from their car, 2 smoking and none with masks, and walked right over where I was. I hate cigarette smoke!

Once again I masked up, saddled up, glared at them and left. Nor did I tell them about the whale below. Rude behavior is NOT rewarded!

ok enough bad!

Before the dumbasses showed up, I was watching a bald eagle swoop and soar over the waves. He was too far away for a photo to share with you, and for that I am sorry. But for me, it was so nice after a long day of work to ride a bike, stop and watch an eagle with the binoculars…. I love my life here….

But that was not all! there was also this! (please hold tight, if happens about 30 seconds in…)

Yep that’s right! The first close up whale of 2020. In fact the only whale since mothers day!

This was the one the dumbasses did not see because, well, they are dumbasses!!! (Sorry, I digressed again…)

On the way home, the clouds started to part and the sun came out

This meant that my calm, no wind foggy day, was suddenly bright. It also meant the winds picked up and I was fighting a headwind ALL the way home! Oh well, to quote Patrick Swayze in one of my favorite movies, Roadhouse

 

So once again pedal I did. But then, there it was.

Four miles from home was a nice boxed/openend wrench on the shoulder. One can NEVER have enough wrenches in the tool box!

So I stopped on the wide shoulder, put down the kickstand, and walked back 20 feet, picked up the wrench, and turned around. I turned JUST in time to see a big gust blow my bike off the shoulder, over the embankment and down into a ditch. It tumbled ass over tea kettle twice, and end up in some bushes with seat pointing down hill and tires up.

And it was a steep embankment.

Luckily it was soft….

Using my mountainstroh skills learned on Mt. Rainier snowbanks and glaciers, I plunged stepped (dug in heels each time) down the hill to the bike, and pulled it out of the bushes! Luckily, all the zippers were closed on the bag in back! All was safe.

But now I had to bet that sucker UP the hill!

I got the bike on the shoulder, then started up. Again mountaineering came in handy! I walked up at a 45 degree angle, kicking steps into the ditch for traction. Suddenly topping out with traffic whizzing by! Gotta wonder what the drivers though!

I was soon saddled up and pedaling the rest of the way home! All in all a great ride! I did stop one more time, this was too pretty to miss,

2 day prior this was where the flat happened, the Siletz Wildlife Refuge!

All in all a GREAT ride!

Yep two very memorable rides to share with you. thanks for visiting!

2 thoughts on “Did you REALLY need the wrench?

  1. I’m find myself fixated on the “tumbling ass over tea kettle” part of your story. Holy Moses! That musta been a strong wind. I can only imagine the thoughts running through your head when you started to see your bike tumble down the embankment. Dang! Glad to gear there was a happy ending!

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