Days 3-5: Dampness, winds and the people you meet

The last three days of the ride have included spectacular vistas, oddly boring stretches, rainy overnights, cool days… and those damn headwinds.

One touring rider we ran into coming from the south is enjoying the hell out of his unexpected luck. Me? I get to pedal down hills so I can avoid being ground to a stop. Someone once called headwinds “invisible hills” and I think this trip has more than proven that.

The weekend included a portion of the southern Oregon coast near some beautiful dunes. Unfortunately the route largely keeps you away from seeing them, but within earshot of the din of ATVs and other dune buggies. It was also Dunes Weekend so traffic was thick with trailers full of sand craft. For the most part the trucks have been respectful of our space, but the traffic noise can get a bit much over time.

Road conditions vary so much it’s almost like an odd obstacle course. Some counties have paved nice smooth asphalt all the way through the edges, while some (cough cough Lane cough County) prefer vintage (degrading) chip seal, making the bike lane impassable at times.

Physically, things are going fine… At this point in my CA ride I was having Achilles problems, but I’m not feeling anything like that. Day 5 and now day 6 feature some steeper climbs than is typical for the Oregon coast, but coffee, calories, low gears, music and patience seem to be the cure for those.

Cell signals are hit or miss. I’m drafting this without one in hopes I can post from one of the upcoming towns. California has longer “dead zones” which feel oddly isolating despite being with MJ and a few others.

The people you meet on the road are often the most interesting part of a ride. Because you tend to ride the same distances, you’ll see many of the same people at the next camp. We’ve spent two nights with a guy who built a surf board rack out of bamboo and a Bob trailer… He’s surfing the coast as he finds good waves. Amazing. The unfortunate thing is these groups don’t last forever, and you often don’t know if someone will go further or take a longer lunch and not get as far as you. Such is life on the bike tour.

Make the most of your day – I’ve got some hills to climb and a moist tent to pack…