Yesterday was difficult. Though I hadn’t intended to ride this leg of the tour alone, I hadn’t intended to ride it with just one companion either. Several folks were going to meet along the way, but pace has kept me from meeting up with everyone but the first one. My companion was a young man, newly out of the USMC. It was good to have someone along with good navigation skills, as that is my greatest short-coming when touring.
Unfortunately, we have parted company. At first, it was very depressing, as cycling alone for 3+ months is not what I’m about. AND, having just spent the most amazing vacation ever with my husband, I’m missing him terribly. Had a major airport have been close, this tour would be over. At John’s (the hubster) advice, I booked a motel for the night, got my clothes washed, had a good soak in the tub, and got a good night’s sleep. It seems to have helped.
Cycle Oregon is supposed to be this week, and coastal, so maybe I’ll see some of those cyclists. Similarly, perhaps with all the touring cyclists that have past me as I’ve been riding, I’ll meet another touring cyclist who is slower and definitely takes her time on the hills.
Speaking of hills, here’s how the ride went yesterday:
I headed out of the park, headed back toward the 101. It was about 6 miles or more, of back-tracking. After about 2 miles I decided to catch up on some of my blogging and picture uploading, and began looking for a coffee shop. Then I decided to try to cut across to 101, and then decided not to. Remember there had been virtually no sleep the night before, because I knew I needed to stay behind and do laundry and catch up, whereas my companion and I had just decided to go forward and hang with this great group that we had met up with. So, basically, I was getting nowhere, but was cycling needless miles. Finally, I stopped at a BK and worked through my blogging, and got brunch, figured out how to get to where I could begin again, on the trek we’d been following. I needed to go almost all of the way back to where I had begun in the morning! That’s OK. I was now responsible for my own navigation, and knew where to pick back up. Had I not been so muddled from lack of sleep, I would have known what to do to start with. Two miles in to what would have been the correct path, I turned left onto a road called Seven Devils Rd. For the next couple of hours, I would huff and puff and sweat, and crank and spin, attempting to see one of these:
Finally, seeing the last of the 7 devils, I headed to a laundr-o-mat and grocery, charged the phone, so I could call my beloved husband, and he could help me re-group, and begin again. Which I’m ready to do, today.
About the group that we had finally found ourselves in. It formed naturally, simply because we found ourselves in the same group campsight each night. There were about 24 people the 2nd night, when we recognized one another. Then about 18 the next night. There was Vincent, from Belgium, Rob from Wales (he’s done over 200,000 touring miles internationally), Ryan and Lana, Matt, Erin and her husband, Patrick, Julia, myself, John, and others, whose names I can’t remember. Ryan cooked amazing dishes. I wouldn’t have guessed a touring cyclist could carry what was necessary to do them, but he was great. A couple guys had their surfboards in tow. The thing is, it’s just what you want a group to be like, when you advertise for one, except, you never imagine that you’ll wind up with such a large, group. Everyone traveled at his/her own pace, and whenever you arrived at the campsite, you were greeted with smiles and leftovers:0) Home, away from home. I’m thankful to have experienced it. Wish I could have hung with the group! Is it better to have clean clothes, and clean drive chain, and a day of rest? Unfortunately, those things are necessary to my existence…… even on the road.
Hey Joann, I’m missing hearing from you. How are Ed and Ann? I guess Bella’s puppies all have home now, aye?