Saturday, June 16, 2012

Exhilarating Day One

Well, after a lot of training, preparation, anticipation, excitement and, yes, trepidation, Bob and I set off today on day one of our adventure. Our route (see below) was a little over 53 miles, but was anticipatorily making me nervous because it included a 10 mile steady climb over a pass at about 1200 feet. Certainly we're going to be tackling tougher climbs in the course of this trip, but for day one this arguably was a stretch.

However, we chose this route because it was supposed to be lightly traveled and lovely, whereas the Adventure Cycling route, on Rte. 30 was a known and not all that desirable quantity. ACA uses that route because it has lodgings and services along the way -- but what it also has is a lot of fast-moving traffice (I know because we drove it yesterday getting to Astoria). The route Bob and I chose is not supposed to have any lodgings, so it's reserved for those who are willing to camp. But, as readers of prior blogs will know, I'm a big devotee of Google Maps (even if OS6 is casting them aside), and it found the Coastal Sport Mountain Haus for us, a luxury spa right at the mid-point.

And the route itself (Oregon's 202) was fantastic. Woods, waterfalls, deer, Elk viewing stations (OK, we didn't see any, sorry), all in the course of a winding road generally following the course of the Nehalem River, with incredibly little traffic. And the weather was great for cycling. Cool, but not too cool, with the sun occasionally appearing and warming us, but not staying out so long that we overheated.

Oh, yes. The pass. Well, it may have been first day adrenaline, or it may have been that my training regimen was tougher than I gave it credit for, but it wasn't a bad climb. The grade never got steeper than 9% (my NYC training rides to Nyack routinely had segments in the 10 to 20 percent range), and it was possible to maintain a high cadence in a low gear, even with a fully-loaded bike. So it was a real confidence booster.

Speaking of fully-loaded, I'm moving about 60 lbs of equipment (yes, I'm excluding myself), 29 of which is the bike itself (including racks) and about 30 of which is my panniers with clothing, tools, etc. So next time you're blowing by me on your 18 lb carbon fiber bike, don't feel quite so proud.

As for the Sport Haus, it's lovely and is likely to spoil us for the next three months as we futilely hope to match its amenities. Shower heads larger than Frisbees, our wash done for us, big cotton terry robes, lovely hosts, and hors d'eouvres and Oregon Pinot Noir served to us on the patio overlooking a meadow with rare Italian bred cattle. In fact, I think I need a wine refill, so time to sign off!

Here's what we rode today:

1 comment:

  1. Very cool, Rog. Your blog is very professional looking: clean graphics, great layout and, oh yes, an interesting and articulate post. I'm not sure how you have the energy to summon up more than a "Rode 52 miles. Am tired. Bye."

    I noticed from your email that you left from Astoria, Oregon. Maybe you should end your trip in Astoria, Queens? You can dip your front tire in the East River. True, the effluent in the river may eat away all the rubber on your tire, but at that point, you won't care. Just hop on the subway and you're home!

    Much love, bro. This trip is awesome!