Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 5 - Prineville to John Day Averaged 13.9 mph

Day 5 was the most scenic so far, and this is saying a lot.  But it was a long day, 116 miles, from Prineville to John Day.

For bicyclists, a century is like running marathon, though in my estimation, a marathon is much more difficult.  At the same time, riding a bike 100 miles or more in one day is very challenging and this day was no exception.  I have ridden a number of centuries over the years and this was one of the most difficult.  116 miles, two mountain passes, 5,000 feet of total climbing, some head winds and starting temperature of 39 degrees.  The only part of my body that is not tired is my ear lobes. 

The day started chilly with a long climb of 30 miles to the first summit.  It was beautiful with trees and an occasional ranch.  There was also a mountain stream next to the road, a pattern that followed most of the day.  The first picture is me at the rest stop at the summit.  The second picture is of Bob from Goleta, CA.  Bob is a professional photographer and has cameras mounted on the front and back of his bike taking a continual stream of pictures.  More impressive, he is a 20 year cancer survivor.  He had bone cancer and had his knee removed.  He bikes and walks with a metal rod in his leg.  

We then had a screaming decline into the valley and then the next climb started.  This was a very difficult climb with grades of 10-12% the last three miles.  Below are pictures of the summit sign and a picture of me at the summit.  

The second decline led us into a beautiful canyon gorge and at the bottom we had our third rest stop.  The pictures are from that stop.  We also biked by the John Day Fossil Beds which is special because it contains 40 million years of fossil records.  I want to go back and tour this in more detail.  We also biked by Native American pictographs.  

The final picture is of my bike computer. 

Tomorrow will be a challenging day with 80 miles over 3 mountain passes.  

PS  I must have been well hydrated as I quit counting “rest” stops after the first few, but I know I was in the low double digits.  Another rider told me if I had a bigger bladder, I would have finished a half an hour sooner.

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