Monday, September 3, 2012

Over the hills and far away

Monday Sept 3, 2012  Tillamook to Lincoln City, Oregon

Well, another day is in the books...only 19 more riding days to go.   I felt really good today. We rode less miles but with more climbing.  The scenery once again did not disappoint.  Wow, the Oregon coastline is really spectacular.  The beaches are deep and flat.  I didn't go in the water though (Don Yost, the only Oregonian on the ride, says the water temperature is a chilly 50 F) and it looked like the only people who were in the water were wearing wet suits.  Lots of beach towns and surf boards but absolutely gorgeous vistas and viewpoints from which to see the ocean below.

Here are my Garmin stats, but to summarize, we rode 58 miles and climbed 4100 feet.  There were four significant climbs and I only had to rest on the last one.

We took a few pictures along the way including a really nice one of me at a lighthouse after our first big climb.  This area also boasts a tree called the Octopus tree.  No one knows how it grew like this, but local legend says the Native People cultivated it this way.

Everyone who I've ridden with has been incredibly encouraging.  As I'm struggling to climb these hills, I get passed, (no surprise) and each rider passing me cheers me on and somehow I find the strength to keep pedalling.  It's an amazing feeling to be among this very diverse group of people but everyone shares the same goal, we enjoy the companionship of others, and all of us are challenging ourselves in one way or the other.  To a person, they couldn't be easier to be with or more supportive...they want you to succeed and finish the day with a smile.  I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying this (shhh, don't tell Mark – I keep giving him dirty looks when another massive hill rises up to greet us; it's a good thing he doesn't read my blog).

I haven't spoken about the staff from America by Bicycle.  They are Mike Munk (tour leader), Barb Munk (chief organizer and mom), Karen (rider and RAP boss and sometime van driver) and Jim (mechanic, rider and van driver).  They are all amazing and are so concerned about each and everyone of us.  I can't imagine the responsibility they have on their shoulders (there are 24 of us out there riding) but they handle it with grace and couldn't be more encouraging especially to someone as inexperienced as me.

One thing that surprises me is how little free time we have.  Thank goodness Mark is here.  Today he did the laundry while I took an epsom salts bath (he went to Safeway and bought me the salts) and as I write this he's cleaning our water bottles for tomorrow.  Another thing about my husband Mark I want to say...he's incredibly supportive and encourages me and keeps me going.  He's also incredibly (some would say dashingly) handsome. Mark!! Stop typing these falsehoods.

Wow. That was unfortunate. I am back on the keyboard now, fully in control.

He keeps telling me I can do this and he's right, I can.  Tomorrow is 79 miles and 3500 feet of climbing and I'm ready. I think I can...I think I can...I think I can...zzzzzzzzz. Sorry, I'm a little tired and I fell asleep at the computer zzzzzzzzzz......

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1 comment:

  1. very inspiring Susan, what a beautiful perspective. What a great way of thinking even outside of this endeavor. Very funny Bro. Hope you had a good sleep and climb every mountain!!!