|Miles travelled: ||65 (206 total) ||Average speed: ||12.2 MPH |
|Time on bike: ||5:20 ||Top speed: ||40.7 MPH |
Another great night’s rest in the hammock, warm and toasty as droplets of rain sporadically peppered the rain fly above. I was up around 7:30am again, as were many of the other campers in the hiker/biker area with me. There were at least a dozen tents setup here, and all of them were bikers.
it was impossible to get all the tents in one picture; my hammock is at the far right
One of the most enjoyable parts of my trip has been meeting and talking with other people touring. There is quite a variety out there. One couple I met the first night at camp in Lincoln City, and we happened to pick the same campsite the next night as well. They were middle aged, the guy having toured pretty much all his life, been through the Alps, etc. Plenty of great conversation.
There were another couple of guys who had met up on the road, one from Mexico (though I’d never guessed from his accent – sounded a bit European) and the other from New Zealand. I’ve enjoyed talking with every Kiwi I’ve met, and this guy was no different – he had hit the road on a whim and didn’t have much more than his bike and a blanket. He’d been living off of Burger King and Starbucks the whole time, and was just picking up gear along the way as he could find it.
Then there were the two dads with their two sons, each around 10 to 12 years of age. Both had two tandem bikes with BOB trailers and were touring with their kids. I can’t wait for Zach to get old enough so I can bring him with me on one of these treks. They said the kids were actually pretty good about pedaling along; they kept the mileage to around 40-50 miles a day. These guys were the polar opposite of the New Zealander – they had a full kitchen setup and were cooking up pancakes and other assorted vittles for breakfast.
one of the dad’s tandem rigs; dad in front, stoker/kid in back
I headed out around 9:30 en route to Florence. The weather was overcast, nice and cool for my ride. I passed through the Cape Creek Tunnel along the way (pretty sure I recorded it, but not turning up the video just yet).
sea lions chilling out by the world’s largest sea cave
looks like I’ve made it to the Oregon Dunes
I stopped at the Fred Meyer in Florence at around 11ish to pick up some more bagels, bananas, and to snack on a pepperoni stick. The snack would prove to be important as lunch was still a few hours away.
As I rolled on I hit this hill that just wouldn’t quit. On and on it went, and Reedsport seemed like it wasn’t getting any closer. The sun started peeking out, the heat started rising, and my kickstand started to come loose, smacking my left heel and crank as I pedaled. tink-tink-tink-tink on each pedal… aggravating. I’d push it back in and a minute later it was tink-tink-tink again. The third day was proving to be as challenging as I predicted.
As I scooted up at 6mph I looked over and saw what looked like raspberries, but growing on what was not a raspberry bush. I stopped and had a closer look, and discovered a berry that some friends of mine were telling me about just the previous weekend – thimbleberries! At least they looked like what they described; I hadn’t actually ever seen one before. They said they looked like half a raspberry, delicate, melts in your mouth… looked like it fit the bill, so I started stuffing my face with as many as I could get my hands on. It was a welcome respite from all the climbing.
what is adventure, if not eating berries you’ve never seen before?
Thimbleberries, by the way, are fantastic – my new favorite berry. I ended up stopping a few times up the hill to harvest them along the way, giving me a little something to snack on as my lunch moved further into the afternoon. Some of the most prolific blackberries I’ve ever seen as well… it was as if Mother Nature was throwing her finest at me to try and slow me down. Eventually I moved beyond the never-ending hill and its tantalizing fruit, and made it into Reedsport around 2pm for some McDonalds. (Sometimes you just get that craving for crap food, you know?)
After my lunch I Bing’d for cycle shops in town with my phone, and found one a just a couple blocks away. It wasn’t the type of cycle I was thinking of, though – this was a motorcycle shop in someone’s garage. They didn’t have metric hex wrenches, but did have one close enough to tighten the kickstand bolt down. They thanked me for helping to save the environment with my bike riding; I replied that I’m just having fun. (I also asked if they had a spare engine lying around they could hook to my bike, but no such luck.)
Off I went, destination unknown. I had a friend who was working on a project in Coos Bay, but wasn’t sure if they were around; I left a message as I planned other options, such as Sunset Bay. On the way I broke the 40mph barrier… those flames on the bike aren’t just for show, kids.
Heard back from my friend as I was passing by the Umpqua Lighthouse – I had a place to crash in Coos Bay for the night. I rolled on there, parked at a coffee shop for a while, and ended up getting a flat tire. I filled it up enough to get to my destination, putting off dealing with it until the morning (there wasn’t anything visible puncturing the tire and was leaking slowly.) I got some laundry done and was even treated to a nice seafood dinner in Charleston later in the evening. We drove out to check out Sunset Bay as well, which was an amazing view. An enjoyable close to a productive day.
like a postcard! Not shown is the sound of hundreds of sea lions going “ARR ARR ARR”; hilariously monotonous
Most Exciting Moment
As I was heading into North Bend, I’d stopped to take a few pictures and was packing my handlebar bag on the side of the road when three cyclists passed me – two girls and one guy. The girl in front said something to the effect of “draft us if you like” and I started to tail them. Man does it make a difference when you have someone pushing the wind out of your way! It was a welcome relief for weary legs after 50+ miles of riding that day. Here’s me riding with them as we crossed the bridge into North Bend and Coos Bay.
- two ravens
- a green snake with a black stripe (or perhaps a black snake with two green stripes)