As John from Prollyisnotprobably.com warned me once about touring, “it doesn’t have to be fun to be fun”. After yesterday I will add my own line to that… “it doesn’t have to be fun to be fun, AND sometimes even then it’s not fun.”
The morning started out with Seth leaving the group and heading back to Seattle. We had so much fun with him leading us around . In his honor we started our ride with a nice little unplanned deviation from the bike route. No real reason to add mileage or extra climbing (fun?) to our route except that we thought it might be fun. It gave us a great downhill run on a winding road. My descent was improved with drafting a huge dump truck and just flying down the mountain.
The weather was good, a bit overcast and almost wet but didn’t rain. I was freezing from the start though and that would be the hardest part of the day for me… I just couldn’t get warm. We only passed through a few small towns during the ride and not one had a open clothes store.
I’ll be honest, it was the hardest part of the ride for me yesterday… Just so cold and progressively more and more unhappy about. I finally threw my jeans on and started riding in them. They weren’t the best riding clothes to be sure. I couldn’t really spin anymore because the jeans were so tight, so I took to standing and hacking at the pedals bmx style. I also pulled the pedal straps off that were soaked and making my feet numb… Returning my bike to flat pedals to further the bmx feel. It actually helped to keep me warm and seemed to speed me up. For once I could keep up with the guys on the hill climbs, and I discovered I’m much more comfortable as a stand up hill climber. To try and work out my cold and grumpiness I zoned out a few times and would push way ahead of the guys. Just pedaling hard, concentrating on breathing and enjoying the fresh air up here all alone.
The NW to me is fresh air. It’s so wonderful! All my Austin allergies evaporate and every deep breath tastes and feels good and clean. Love it up here for that. That and the amazing cliffs over the ocean beaches every 50 feet.
About 1pm we rolled into Florence and as promised by the locals the weather instantly got sunny and warm in “Oregon’s Banana Belt” region. And of course this was the first place I found to buy some warm clothes. A set of track pants and a thermal shirt later we were off. I was feeling annihilated after being cold all day so I stopped off to have a warm lunch and the guys rode out to the beach and sand dunes. They didn’t find much but they did spend a few laughing hours trying to draw gps map dicks in a huge parking lot with the strava app.
We met up and struck south again. I felt much better being warm and started to smile and have some fun. We had a couple big climbs and rolled into Reedsport. There’s a nice big skatepark there that was empty so I took a few pathetic carves on the road bike just ’cause I had to. Around 7:30 or 8 we made the decision to push even further down to Coos Bay. A lot more hotel selection there then Reedsport. That last push was a lot of fun. We actually got some organized pace lines going and drafted each other. Drafting is amazing on road bikes. You can’t believe what a difference it makes. The guy in front of you is pedaling his brains out and you can just coast and pedal lazily. Also, you can get Sandy Carson’s farts injected into your lungs at 30 mph… Ha ha..
We rolled into Coos Bay at dark and in the growing cold, found a hotel and even managed to find a pizza place willing to stay open and feed us pizza and beer.
Couldn’t get internet in the hotel room last night so I crashed out. Typing this post at the breakfast room this morning before we strike out south again..