These first days have been a little more grueling than I thought. My daughter Jennifer took me to Astoria on Tuesday to get underway. It was great that she was with me as I embarked on this journey. I made it to Cannon Beach after a little more than twenty five miles. The coastal highway has some nice little grades, some over 7% and as much as 9%. Going up I have to use my lowest gears and going downhill I have to lean on my brakes. For the most part 101 is great for bikers but when a big truck goes by it’s a bit disconcerting.
On Wednesday I had intended to go forty five miles to Tillamook but fell well short and stopped in Wheeler. It may have been the most physically demanding day I’ve ever had in my life. Wind gusts of 50MPH buffeted me for most of the day and it poured rain from start to stop. I had to get off and push my bike and trailer up some hills because the headwinds were so stiff. At one point I had people stopping to ask me if I needed help. When I got down off the hills I started getting blown into traffic and it was at the point that I thought it wasn’t safe to be out there. So, found a nice little inn at Wheeler and put in for the night. Everything was soaked so I had all my clothes and gear laid out to dry overnight.
Thursday I finally made it to Tillamook after a rather uneventful trip. There wasn’t any rain but it was still a little windy. I’m finding that my trailer is quite heavy and not as easy to pull when fully loaded as I’d thought. Part of it is my fitness level. I’m fifty five and not thirty five. As a novice biker I’m learning as I go. My confidence isn’t very high going down steep hills with my trailer. I get going thirty miles an hour and it feels like I’m Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier.
Today I’m taking a day off. My knee is a bit sore and my muscles feel like rubber. A day off to recuperate is just what the doctor ordered. I’ll ice my knee and take a little ibuprofen and hit the road tomorrow for Neskowin.
When I’m out on the roads I find myself thinking about Share’s clients, those souls that don’t have shelter. Especially during inclement weather the homeless have a rough go of it. Being cold and wet is not a pleasant experience. I’m grateful that I have the resources to afford shelter when I need it. Many people aren’t that fortunate.