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Bike Tour 2012: Eat. Sleep. Ride.

Bike Tour 2012: Eat. Sleep. Ride.

Bike Tour 2012: Eat. Sleep. Ride.

Enjoying the flat roads
It is hard to believe that it is already our fifth day on the road. We managed to bike from Astoria to Eugene in 4 days and this morning we are headed to a campground just past McKenzie Bridge. We have biked a total of 255 miles (20 miles more than our maps indicate by this point) and this morning we begin following map 2 of our set of 12! An average of 64 miles per day is fine at this point, considering we will have plenty of long, flat days in the weeks ahead.

Days 2, 3, and 4 have been incredibly busy! Between logging miles, eating enough food to sustain our quickening metabolisms, and getting enough sleep to heal our bodies, there has been little time for relaxation, reading, or socializing. Actually, much of our time right now is spent trying to recuperate from knee overuse injuries. In hindsight, we pushed ourselves way too hard at the coast on our first two days. We felt so good starting out and we had so much adrenaline that we powered over the coastal mountains like they weren't there. Unfortunately, our knees paid a heavy price as we headed east into the Willamette Valley.

Road closureDay 2 highlights included picking wild blackberries on the side of the 101 before Tillamook, enjoying the beautiful Cape Meares Loop, coffee at our favorite shop in Oceanside (Brewin in the Wind), a decent climb up to Cape Lookout State Park, a fun downhill along the Three Capes Scenic Route, fish tacos in Pacific City, and then a final climb that we neither expected nor enjoyed. We were supposed to take the Old Scenic Highway 101 from Neskowin to Otis, but when we got there, signs said that it was closed to both cars and bikes. We figured it wasn't a problem because we would just take the 101 route that most cars take anyway. It turned out to be a very steep climb with no shoulder and crazy Labor Day traffic. An hour of biking that we'd rather forget. We did make it to Lincoln City where we soaked in a hot tub (turns out this wasn't the best idea for our inflamed muscles), ate chinese, and watched fireworks over the beach.

Saying goodbyes

Day 3 was momentous mostly in the fact that we said goodbye to my mother and finally began our journey solo. We started out the day with sore knees that slowed our average speed quite a bit. It wasn't a problem though because it was a shorter day riding into Independence. We were followed the entire day by more crazy traffic (we highly recommend NOT starting your bike tour by the coast during a holiday) but we got into town early enough to relax by the Willamette and rest our weary legs. That night we stayed at our first Warm Showers host house (thanks Mark and Kelly!) and it was in an airpark of all places (this is where a whole community is built around an airport and all the residents own their own airplanes...so cool). Warm Showers is a wonderful hosting website specifically for bike tourists and it is something we hope to take advantage of regularly on this trip. We also plan to return the favor once we have our own place.
Tired bikerRelaxing by the Willamette

Day 4 was long and flat...thank goodness. It started out with some serious concern over knee pain, but once we got warmed up we were okay. We biked from Independence to our friends' place in Eugene (thank you Will and Shelby!!) and enjoyed peaceful roads, a yummy lunch stop in Corvallis, a delightful coffee shop in Harrisburg (check out Rivals Coffee if you're in the area), and a gentle descent into this fun college town. Dinner and drinks with friends was exactly what we needed last night and now we feel more than ready to continue our journey east. Here's to more enjoyable stops, interesting people, and a rest day in our future.
Beautiful Willamette Valley


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