Tuesday, June 17, 2008

One Down

I'm very pleased that I passed the test of the first mountain pass. From the campground, it was 15 miles of almost continuous climbing. For most of the climb I think the temperature was 40 degrees. This was my first big test and it went well. The reward was dropping down 2,000 feet on the other side, coasting at 35 mph. That was great. Five more mountain passes and we're out of Oregon. I haven't dared look ahead to Idaho and Wyoming.

What wasn't so great was falling off my bike. I was biking up a grade before the town of Sisters. There was a passing lane. My bike lane was narrowed by gravel. Two trucks passed. I pulled into the gravel and off the road. Just last night I tried to adjust the cleats on my bike pedels so they would release easier, but I didn't have the right size allen wrench. So into soft red lava rock gravel I went, falling on my left side (the right side derailleur and gears need to be protected) both feet still in the pedals. The only thing hurt was my pride. I found a bike shop in Sisters and they're now adjusted for a faster release. I've also adjusted the angle on my bike seat to point down a little more. Biking in the mountains is fine, but just sitting pedalling on the plains gets a little uncomfortable.

Most of today's ride was in what's called the high desert. This area is at 3,000 feet and receives 12 inches of precipitation annually. While totally different than the Northwest coastal rain forest, it's very lovely.

Tomorrow will truly be a shorter day of 48 miles. The choices were to bike the Ochoco Pass (4,720 feet) and stay in Mitchell or also bike the Keyes Creek Pass (4,357 feet) Unfortunately there's no lodging or camping, or towns for that matter, for quite a ways past Keyes Creek. I think Google Maps said it would be about 90 miles to the next campground. The ride is off to a great start. I bonked once in training and I don't want to do it again. Tomorrow I stop and smell the mountain flowers.

Tonight we're staying at the 1st Baptist Church of Prineville. Tonight we'll also research a campground in Mitchell that has showers. The van needs to be washed, but Mary says she gets a hot shower first.


UP said...

Now do you have have the correct tools? It's important to have tools that are made to fit the bike.

Justin said...

Could've been worse. Could've been a luge you were going down. Kids never let you forget stuff.