Day 15 (2)

A couple of cool things happened today. As I reached Humbug Mountain, I also reached 600 miles for the trip. I think that means I’m more than halfway back to the bay area. Another cool thing is that I finally found the ripe blackberries!!

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When I finally found them, I only needed a few minutes to completely fill my water bottle. After lunch I stopped at a bakery in Bandon and got a fresh loaf of bread, and stopped at the last grocery before Humbug Mountain (side note- I keep mixing it up with Big Sur and want to call it ‘Big Hug’) and picked up a quart of milk and a can of tuna. Dinner tonight was absolutely awesome. Tuna out of the can, soft hunks of fresh wheat bread, and a desert of more bread with honey (from a local road-side place), and blackberries less than an hour off the bush. Washed it down with the milk, and it was so good!

Net access on my phone is a bit sketchy here, but I’ll try to get the rest of today’s pictures up at some point in the morning.

Day 15 (1)

I went to Moe’s Bikes in Coos bay, and Moe had a look at my rim and said it was going to be just fine. I went ahead and bought a new tire and tube, and made decent time to Bandon, where I had an excellent Cuban sandwich in Old Bandon.

I’m trying to get to Port Orford, though I’m not in a huge hurry for the next day or two since I have a mail drop arriving in Crescent City on Thursday or Friday. No sense showing up early for that!

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Day 14

Not much to report today, no riding. I slept late, and I think I had a lot of body recovery. My allergies have been going off and on.

Tony gave me a ride to see a few of the local spots, and that was cool. I got to see some things I probably wouldn’t have stopped for, or known to go out of my way for.

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This is a cool rock formation caused by erosion. The ocean was very calm and flat and low while I was there, but I heard that sometimes in winter the waves are 15 feet high and pound the coast violently. I’d kind of like to see that, but not on a bike tour.

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A botanical garden!

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I’d never seen one of these before, it’s a monkey puzzle tree.

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There was a section full of roses- mate not good for the allergies, but pretty!

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Check out how big these leaves are!

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Also saw a pond full of lily pads. I think I got better pictures with my camera.

Day 13 (3)

I made it to Coos Bay, staying at Tony’s place. The Internet comes through again, and the kindness of strangers!

The wheel didn’t give me any trouble, but I know that it’s better not to press my luck. I’m going to hang out until Tuesday, then I’m going to replace the thing- but this time I’m getting a new tube and tire, and will go ahead and get an extra tube or two. Tony warns me that some stretches of the California coast get kind of remote.

In addition to stocking up on repair stuff, I’m also going to mail home a few tools that I don’t need. I’ve decided that Seattle to Oakland is enough biking for me this time around, so I won’t need my pedal wrench again. If I get the strong new wheel, I can lose the big crescent wrench and freewheel removal tool. Apparently I’d need a chain whip for those to do me any good anyway. I’m doing OK not blowing up my ground pad most nights, and I could probably do without my U-lock, and just use the heavy cable that I normally use for my wheel, and the padlock that I brought for hostel lockers. I could wrap some length of duct tape around a pencil so that I’m not still carrying the extra large roll.

I’m doing alright physically, but I know that if I carry less weight then less things will break, and I will make more miles per day. This has been an amazing journey, but I am ready for it to be half over. I’ve done 13 days and 542 miles, and have seen and done some cool stuff. I’m fairly sure that if I do just that much more then I will be good and ready to go get a regular job and start working on other endeavors.

Some pictures from today- first, a triangular jetty thing that they use in Winchester Bay for cultivating shellfish:

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It looked quite large!

Next, the bridge that I was so strongly encouraged to walk over:

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The wind was gusting like crazy, so I carefully put my phone away. I wanted better pictures, though, so I said “no way did I haul this heavy DSLR and lenses for 500 miles on my bike to not take a picture of this!” So I think you can look forward to a few good ones when I do the Flickr gallery.

Here’s the plaque, if you’re curious about the bridge:

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Notice the quantity of finger in the shot, due to my death grip on the phone. I was actually using a two handed grip here, for two reasons. First, I dropped my iPhone back in Shelton due to ‘cycling hands’ and so I’ve been careful ever since. Second, the wind was gusting hard enough that I could imagine the phone being ripped from a weaker grasp. I must have been over a hundred feet above salt water (AppleCare protection plan does not cover this).

That’s all for tonight, unless I think of something else. Now I get to make some couscous and read my book.

Day 13 (pics from 12)

Sitting in Reedsport and charging my phone over a coffee with free wifi seems like a great time to upload these.

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Yesterday’s breakfast spot- tasty and friendly!

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I passed through an area that was so pretty, people were literally hanging out painting it. Beaver creek, I think.

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You got your stuff, objects, and whatnot, but need to part with some things? Here’s the place!

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Looking at this bridge in Waldport, and some of the other cool bridges that were going in during the 1930’s, with solid engineering, aesthetics, and art deco touches, I have to wonder if I’m seeing and feeling some of the things that so obviously moved Ayn Rand to write as she did about bridges and other structures. They’re pretty, and functional, and apparently (for her) kind of a turn on. Almost makes me want to go on a 60 page monologue that boils down to a justification of being an asshole. Don’t worry guys, I’ll restrain myself!

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Climbing the road toward Yachats, some of the most beautiful coastal scenery came up. Holy cow!

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If I’d had time and felt inclined, it would have been possible to walk down all those switchbacks and experience those tidal areas up close. Some day I’d love to come back and do that!

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Another sweet bridge.

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Forget the name of this cape, but I saw a whale!! I got a picture on the Nikon, so you will see proof in the Flickr gallery, but it wasn’t much of a picture. Oh well, at least I saw one!

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I made it through the second Oregon tunnel yesterday, and hopefully that was it. This one was better than the other one; not as steep in the tunnel, shorter, and it didn’t seem to be in the middle of such a bad climb.

Well, my battery is up to 78%, and this lunch break has been almost two hours long. Better get back on the bike so I can get to Coos Bay without having to turn it into a death march.

Day 13 (1)

This morning I took my tire off the new rim, and gave it a through inspection. Here’s the one and only crack:

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Oddly enough, there was some sort of white substance on the inside of the rim, straddling the crack;

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It makes me think that maybe this is where the rim was joined- I guess welded together? I don’t know how rims are manufactured.

Anyway, I see no sign of the lip giving out, other cracks starting to form, or other conditions that look likely to allow sudden catastrophic failure as long as fire pressure is high.

I decided to continue on the Coos Bay under my own power. Tony offered to pick me up, but from where I was I know that it would be a couple of hours of driving for him on the round trip. If the situation was more desperate I would take him up on the offer, but I think I can do a few careful miles on this without much risk. That’s my own judgement, and for anybody reading this who is thinking about riding on a broken rim, I’d discourage it!!

I left this morning and made it to Reedsport, where a lot of cyclists were having lunch. Check of out!

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The majority of these folks were doing a cross-country ride as a cancer fund raiser. They were just on road bikes, and they have a support van. They’re going another 50 miles today, and they passed me going quickly earlier in the day. I guess they must be doing a solid 80 to my 45. That’s a way to do it!

For brunch I had an Elk patty, here’s a picture for you foodies:

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Exotic, right?

Day 12- wheel woes (the sequel)

Right about now I’m feeling discouraged. I had a good ride and saw some amazing scenery between Newport and Florence, and the new wheel held up great. It seemed that the slow leak in the tube was still quite slow, and I was having no trouble keeping air in it. I didn’t get a new tube in Newport, since they didn’t have any good touring tires in my size. It turns out that may have been a mistake.

Less than 8 hour after forking out $100 for that new wheel, I cracked the rim. I was about three miles from camp, and I stopped at the store for some milk, produce, and a bottle of beer, and when I came out I failed to notice that the slow leak had released all of the air from my tire. I’m talking about 10 or 20 psi left. My brain was fried from a long day, so it took me a full hundred feet to notice the lack of air. As it turns out, it was long enough to bottom out the tire on a small low speed bump and crack the rim all the way through.

There are highs and lows on this trip, and that was a fast transition. Hopefully I’ll feel more optimistic in the morning.

More pictures tomorrow- very poor coverage here in camp.

Day 12- new wheel

Another spoke broke when the shop was replacing my missing spoke, which wasn’t really a surprise- the wheel needed to be rebuilt in a bad way. With the cost of labor, new spokes, and lost miles, it made a lot of sense to replace the wheel. It was a hundred bucks, but I moved from 32 spokes to 36, plus a double wall rim. If I break this one, then folks were right that I’m really carrying too much stuff.

Hoping to make Florence tonight, and Coos Bay tomorrow. Here we go!

By the way- the Newport bike shop was beyond awesome. They had a lounge and a shower and good coffee, and I got to take advantage of all of these.

Day 11- the pictures

Last night I got into Newport too late to get into the bike shop, and this morning I found that even with the spline, and even with an 8″ crescent wrench, I really couldn’t get that freewheel cassette off. (serious bike guys, forgive me of I’m screwing up terminology, I am obviously not a bike guru)

Since I couldn’t seem to hold the chain and wheel firmly enough to get full torque on the removal tool (and frankly I wasn’t sure if the arrow pointing which way is tighter was referring to gear movement or tool movement) it was clear that I needed to get to a real bike shop to buy/borrow a chain whip, and/or have them do it for me again. The bike ago doesn’t open until 10, so I get to have some breakfast and do the blog.

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This was some kind of pretty view- wish I could remember where the hell it was.

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These were some wildflowers, I think they were just outside of Lincoln.

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This was Devil’s punch bowl (though I think there are more features in the area with that name), and I got more angles with the Nikon.

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I think this trip has covered stores for things, stuff, and objects- this here is where you can get some whatnot.

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This was the view from Cape Foulweather, it was not so long after the bridge from my last post. Not far, but I had to climb Otter Crest (did not see otters) to get there. Big-ish hill, and I was getting tired! Anyway, the Nikon came out again, so you’ll see this one again in the eventual Flickr set.

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This odd melon thing was just hanging out on the fence by cape Foulweather.

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Off in the distance there you can see the Yaquina Head lighthouse. I’m not going to try to get an awesome picture of it, its a little out of my way and it’s the kind of thing that I’m sure I could find a better picture of on a post card.

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A welcome sight after a long day with a broken spoke! It’s true, Newport has been friendly. Let’s hope their bike shop lives up to what I’ve heard!

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Finally, that’s where I just had breakfast and wrote all this. Tasty waffles, friendly people!