Day 04: Elma - Castle Rock
Saturday, September 10, 2005

82.98 @ 14.0 = 5:53'55, max: 41.0, trip total: 308.6

rain. lots of it. cold: 50° - 54° and generally wet.

banana, blueberry pancakes, bacon, hashbrowns, cookies, Black Butte Porter, pizza

Timberland Inn, $30.00 p/p

Bright and early to start the day... roight. I think I heard the wake up call through the moist cool air, "Shit, it's 7:10." And sleeping in a tent doesn't really provide a solid sound barrier, so everyone seemed to rustle around a few minutes and then get into game mode.

We took care of some bike repairs- true a wheel and change out some tires on Aaron's bike. Pack the van, get everything ready for the day and next thing you know it's past 9am. But we finally got rolling and headed off down the road.

It was overcast and gray without a chance for even one ray of sun to shine down. The rain was looming with bands of showers in the horizon. There was too many to count and not enough landmarks to really figure out which way the weather was moving. But it slowly crept around us just waiting to dump on us. And it did. Again and again.

We met Mark along the way on the road- a fellow cyclist going to San Fran with a loaded bike. He was happy to share his stories and we were eager to know more. As it turns out we ended up at the next town around the same time and we had breakfast together. I got some blueberry pancakes, bacon, and hashbrowns- a meal I was looking forward to for a while.

Great breakfast but it took so long to get that it was clearly considered lunch - we actually left the place at about noon! It wouldn't have been such a big deal but we were at about 18 miles for the day. So there were plenty of miles to go and the temperature was only falling. The rain intensified.

Again, the photos don't tell the whole picture - the camera doesn't really come out when it's raining. And with that in mind, most of the day is not captured in the photos.

But it was a semi hilly day- extremely hilly compared to some of the rides back home- and yet hardly hilly compared to the previous couple days. Luckily the flat stretches eased the strain of the day. Primarily it was the cold (and wet) that contributed to the the days difficulty- for me today was the hardest day even though it was technically not as hard as some of the other days. But the cold got into my bones and I was struggling to stay warm. I tried to keep the cadence high to warm up and even peddle when I was coasting or in paceline formation so I would keep moving. Slowly but surely I warmed up- it took most of the day.

video clip: working the line »

Not sure why one would put a zucchini in a sock? But there it was on the side of the road. Great material for hours of jokes and laughter.

So why is biking so relaxing? Could it be that when you bike all your complex thoughts are lost. The team pondered this over dinner and realized the the stream of conscience usually revolves around things like: that's a nice house, or what a large tree, or that was a huge logging truck, and is that dog really going to chase me down?.. and so on. Nothing like what's the meaning of life.

Anyway, looking forward to Portland tomorrow for many reasons. A place to stay at Ian and Kate's, a day off, catch up on things we've been putting off, look over the maps of the following days, and so on. Maybe even dry out some.


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