Today was a rest day which I needed and I suspect so did everyone else. I did some personal errands and had a massage. The massage was excellent and hopefully will help for the next few days. Today was also a day of reflection on the first section of the tour.
Family: All of my family came to Oregon to wish me off. On different days, we also celebrated my birthday and Father’s Day. The pictures are of Morgan and myself walking the beach in Seaside, Kim, Courtney and I in a restaurant in Seaside and our whole family around the table at Seaside including Courtney’s husband Jeff and Morgan’s girlfriend Christi. Their being there for me at the beginning and their love and support means everything to me.
Physically Challenging: I knew this would be a physical challenge, but glad I did not know how much so before I started. So far we have lost several riders either permanently or temporarily from the ride. One rider was lost the first day due to a bike accident. He is not sure what happened, but he was riding by himself on a wide paved shoulder at a slow speed and just went down and broke his collarbone. One rider went home for a few days to recover from allergies. One rider went home due to saddle sores so severe he cannot ride for at least two weeks. At least four riders have taken a day or more off due to knee problems, saddle sores or just plain fatigue. Whenever any of us talk about the ride, we always start with “hopefully” we will be able to complete the ride.
So far, I have tipped over and scratched both legs and an arm, had sharp knee pain, my feet hurt as well as another part of my body. Also, I was stung by a bee on the 116 mile day with about 16 miles to go. I am thinking, “really” after 100 miles a bee stings me. Anyway, it hurt like a *** but did take my mind off of other pains. The good news is so far I am not allergic and for the rest of the day and the next I had a new interest and appreciation for flowers.
Beauty: I knew the coast of Oregon was beautiful, but I have been blown away by the beauty we have biked through from Astoria to Ontario. We had day after day of breathtaking views and scenery.
Smells: On a bike, your sense of smell increases. So far I have smelled the Pacific Ocean, the smells of Portland, car and truck smells, the smell of pine trees, clean fresh mountain air, sage, recently mowed hay, and flowers. Also other bikers at a rest stop, not good, and myself at the end of the day, worse.
Other Riders: We have some amazing riders on the tour. Lucy’s continual smile and giggle, Bob’s 20 year survival from cancer, Terry at age 74 and Nancy at 68, Karina who after the stroke at age 10 has figured out every day is a gift and should be enjoyed, her boyfriend Jeff who is a very lucky guy, Jan and Andries who are brothers from the Netherlands seeing the US together on a bike, Gary who has his MBA, owns a business in WI, was born with mild cerebral palsy and walks with a limp but bikes every day, and others who I will mention in the future.
Tomorrow we start the next leg. Hopefully it will go well also.