Sunday, July 10, 2016

So Close to Quitting...

Last night I looked at the forecast for today. It said 70% chance of rain. So, it was going to be raining...and windy. How exciting! I prepared as much as I could the night before. I brought my rain gear into my tent, and scoped out the park as to where I could cook my breakfast. There is a big shelter (seats 250). That would do nicely.

Sure enough, it was raining when I got up. I took my tent down under the rainfly. I'm getting pretty good at that now! I moved Tilmann close to the tent, and loaded everything quickly. Once everything was packed up (I was in full rain gear), I rode over to the shelter and commenced with cooking breakfast.
I talked to the camp hosts while I was eating breakfast. Apparently, Ride Oregon was coming in today for a lunch stop. They were bringing in potty shacks, big tents, and all that stuff. The powers that be neglected to tell the camp hosts that this huge supported bike event was coming to the park. They were a little...surprised.

I finished up, and headed out at my usual time of 8:00. It was still raining. The wind wasn't too bad, but I was also heading up over Gap Rd, the highest point of the route. As soon as I got over the second hump, the wind was up to its old tricks.
At first I thought it was water running, but it was the wind blowing the trees. Great!

I resigned myself to slow going. It wasn't too bad until I turned onto Coburg Rd. Now I was heading directly south on a 10 mile long straight road with nothing but fields on each side. At times I was racing along at 8 mph. Mostly, however, I was doing good to go 7 mph. The wind was also driving the rain directly into my face. Mostly, I looked at the road a few feet in front of me.

As I was going down this endless road, I started to think this was no fun. Then I thought, I know...when I get to Coburg (the town), I'll call Kyle and have him come pick me up. Yes, that's what I'll do! I've already done this section of the route a few years ago when Kyle first moved to Eugene. There's no need for me to do it again.

Finally, I could see the end of this miserable road. It did get a little better as I got closer to Coburg because there were some trees and houses that seemed to help block some of the wind. Okay, and it had stopped raining. I stopped in the town at a Dairy Mart and got some chocolate milk and some of those little donuts. I sat in the store eating, and decided I would just go on to Armitage County Park, the official end of the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway. From there I would call Kyle. At least I would finish the route. It was, maybe 3 more miles to the park. I got there and took a couple of photos.
With Tilmann
Without Tilmann.

I had finished! Although the wind was still blowing, it wasn't as bad because of the trees. If I just kept riding, there would soon be buildings and traffic to break up the wind. And, it was not too much further...okay, I'll just ride the rest of the way. Actually, it was the easiest part of the ride! I pulled into the driveway just a hair before noon. I had ridden 31+ miles. Not very far, but with the awful headwind and rain, it seemed like more.

In hindsight (which is always 20/20), I should have taken the train to Eugene, stayed with the kids, then ridden from Eugene to Portland. It would have been a much more pleasant ride. Except for the wind, the route was a good route--well signed, and not terribly difficult. I would recommend it for a first tour (from Eugene to Champoeg, or Portland). 

Now I'll be in Eugene for a week, then riding up to Olympia in the car with Kyle , Mallory, and Grayson.

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