Tuesday, May 05, 2009

birthday bike tour

Packing my beautiful new Blackstar panniers.

Milkshake on the MAX. This could be the last known photo of his awesome shades, they were lost later on in the ride.

This one's for Mace.

Some creepy old guy in a welding hat followed us for a while but we ditched him at the summit.

At the Gales Creek Tavern, a traditional early stop.

Girls eating sandwiches.

Milkshake claimed this was the first corndog he's had for five years. What a freak.

After this, no pictures for 24 hours. In a nutshell it was : climbing, rain, monster trucks towing dirt bikes, a super fun descent, snacks, wind, cows, more wind, cramps, knee pain, and a growing question of whether I really liked bike touring or not. The last 20 miles took a long time and hurt a lot but I made it. Rolling into camp at Cape Lookout was a relief. Mace, Junko, Cory and Dorothy were there along with the dog pack, Natty, Oden, Hodges and Bean. Also a roaring fire, dry clothes, comfy folding chairs, Russian sausage and Irish whiskey. Much better.

The next morning was warm and sunny and we hit the beach before heading out.

I was a little off my game on this tricky sloping court.

A nice grouping.

After the bocce Mace, Tiah and Milkshake rode off up Cape Lookout and up the Nestucca to Dovre campground. I caught a ride back to Portland with Junko and Disco then drove back down and met the bike crew. We had another fun night camping out by the river then went our seperate ways in the morning. All in all a very memorable birthday weekend.

Some conclusions after my first attempt at bike touring in 11 years :
I should work up to it. Even a few partially loaded 40 miles rides in the weeks before would have helped. Jumping straight into a 75 mile, fully loaded ride over a mountain range during a windstorm may not have been the wisest choice. So it goes. Also my compact double gearing is great on an unloaded bike but before my next tour attempt I'm switching to a triple chainring setup. I may not be as tough as I used to be.

View of the infamous gates of hell section of Nestucca River Rd. on a beautiful, sunny day.

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