Cross Country Recumbent

Saturday July 12, 2003.  Florence OR to Eugene OR


Start time
11:24 am
End time
4:20 pm
Time pedaling
Average speed
Starting temperature
Ending temperature
Fluid consumption
~130 oz.

July 10th, 2003
For some reason I just couldn't seem to get everything done today.  It was 2am before all the working, shopping, packing, house cleaning, last minute beer drinking, and nervous pacing were done.  Some crude measurements were made as to the weight of it all:

Bill weight: 183 lbs
Bike weight 33 lbs
Gear weight: 33 lbs
Water weight: 10.7 lbs (170 oz)
Emotional baggage: N/A
Total (less food) 260 lbs

The food weight wasn't included because I hadn't yet packed it.  For the detail oriented (calling all engineers) these measurements were made on a scale provided by my good buddy Jon.  The results were suspicously high; so I corrected them based on a later measurement of my weight on a scale I did trust. (Note to Jon: 0.945).  Even though I felt I had packed very parsimoniously the total is still surprisingly hefty.  Oh well, there is a reason the granny gear was invented.

The next day promised a great deal of fun as I and friends were leaving early to catch the Oregon country fair on our way out to the coast.  It is about a three hour drive from Hood River to the fair location in Veneta, outside of Eugene, so we had planned to get going around 7am.

July 11th, 2003
Best laid plans and all of that, we got going around 8, and were in the fair by noon.  This was my first OCR, and frankly I don't think I can possibly do it justice. This is not your typical fair.  To all who have been: you understand.  To all who haven't: you cannot imagine it, you simply must go.

About 5 we left the fair (reluctantly: my goodness I had no idea hoola-hoop could be so sexy!) and made our way out the final leg to Honeyman state park, just South of Florence.  Three sites were reserved for me and my friends who had been enduring my endless pining over the previous year.  I wasn't smart enough to get a good picture of the dunes but (like the fair) they are something to see.  The evening was very special as I was reminded many times over how wonderful friends are.  Adventures like this are made ever so much better when you are supported by those who love you.

July 12th 2003
So much for an early start!  The previous nights celebration and the need for a good sleep had us making breakfast at 9am.  By 10:30 we had everything packed up.  Here is a photo of the bike fully loaded.  We actually unloaded for the trek to the ocean.
Loaded bike at honeyman

Soon the caravan of supporters were rolling out to the South Jetty for our ceremonious visit to the ocean.  The day was beautiful with a light sea breeze pushing the puffy clouds around.  The Oregon coast is one of those magical places that somehow injects peace into your heart.  I needed it.  Despite all the preparation I was still barely able to contain my fright at what I had committd to.  It was about a quarter-mile walk over sand to get to the water.  Of course I couldn't get the bike sandy so it had to be carried:
Bill carrying bike at South Jetty

Here I am with the rear wheel in the Pacific.  When I get to the other side there'll be another picture with the front wheel in the Atlantic
Rear wheel in Pacific ocean

The next picture has the entire group who came out to be with me.
Group photo at South Jetty
Back row (L-R) Sharree, Candace, Kym, Mark, Ross, Robert
Middle row (L-R) Helen, Jon, Jeanette, Art
Front row (L-R) Marius, your smiling author

Finally the riding started at 11:24.  It was seven miles to get from the end of the Sourth Jetty to Florence proper where the route begins.  As I was riding out my friends passed me on their way to resume their lives, each cheering me on.  From there the pace settled into the regular long distance rides that I'd been training on.  The only exception is that this was mostly flat (something foreign to Hood River).  A little tail wind had the speeds holding in the low 20s as I rode up the Suislaw river.  Climbing the coast range turned out to be pretty easy with the worst grade only 6%.  Don't know the elevation, but it couldn't have been more than 1200', it was pretty easy.

The miles rolled by underneath me and I settled into a content feeling that I was finally doing it.  Climbing into the coast range I watched a hawk soar, hunting, riding the sea breeze as it blew up a ridge.  He was absolutely still and steady as I rode by.  I wonder: was he looking at me?  Did he wonder about my strange contraption and all the stuff strappd to the back of it?  I'm sure some of the cars going by did.  I even saw some cyclists going the other way.  One pair looked loaded down by huge panniers.  They were grinding their way out of Eugene, bucking the wind that was giving me a nice boost.  They were so focused on the work they didn't even see me, though I waved.  I wondered if they were just finishing their cross country trek.  Whatever they were doing it must have been hard that day because they sure seemed dispirited.

Coming out of the coast range I passed by the fair again (I stayed on 126 the whole way rather than detouring through Noti loop road like the TA does).  The last stretch into Eugene was nice because I got to follow the Fern ridge bike path into downtown.  The day ended with me rolling up to where I would stay.  The parents of a good friend of mine had offered me their home for the evening.  Chuck and Doris put on a tour de force of hospitality as they went out of their way to feed me and make me comfortable.  Relaxation and good coversation have whiled away the evening and it is 11:30 as I write this.  Time to go to bed.  McKenzie Bridge tommorow.

Chuck and Doris
Chuck and Doris