San Diego

Posted November 6th, 2007 by Jeff

A surrey is a four-person bike. I’m hanging off the front of this one, taking Matt, Allie, and Sarah’s picture, but I was pedalling just a moment earlier, honest.

Sarah and I got away for a weekend with Matt and Allie to explore the San Diego coast and just be lazy.

Though it looks like they almost died, Matt and Allie walked away from this wave unscathed. It was great being near the ocean again, even if just for a little while.

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Oregon Coast Bike Tour

Posted November 6th, 2007 by Sarah

Sunset from Nehalem Bay State Park, our first night out. We started our trip in Astoria, heading south on 101, and spent most nights at one of OR’s great state parks- all with hiker/biker sites.

Jeff’s view didn’t change much, chasing Sarah’s buttercup-yellow shirt down the coast. Here we are with one of the several thousand cars that passed us each day.

We took many breaks along the way, usually when Sarah’s legs got tired or her butt got numb. We rode about 250 miles total, with the longest day being a good 75+ miles!!! We were continaully subjected to horrible views of the Pacific such as this one.

Most of the coast highway’s roads and bridges are bike friendly, but this span in Newport left us without much elbow room and ended up walking the bikes across. With the winds that day, it may have been the most adventurous part of the trip.

There were several stretches where we were ridiing right next to the beach, this is one of them. Not a bad view to have from a bike.

Oregon State Parks were the lodging of choice on the coast. Here we are at a Forest Service campground on the way to Eugene, though. We stiffed ’em $0.55. Oops. We figured Sarah’s made up for it over the past several years.

Ahh, our favorite section of the trip. This was the big hill at the end of our REALLY LONG day, a nice thousand foot climb. Sarah was not looking forward to it, but both were pleasantly surprised. The hill turned out to be about a 10 mile stretch of Old Highway 101, forgotten by time. Beautiful forests and only about 5 cars, we had it all to ourselves.

Sarah doing some much deserved basking after her first day of loaded bike touring.

It was fantastic to get to camp on water every night, the Pacific and nearby creeks- just enough water to remind us we were in OR- and not get any rain!

A Petrol-Free Memorial Day Weekend

Posted November 6th, 2007 by Sarah

We have been wanting to ride the Grand Canyon Loop for a couple of years now- the three day Memorial Day Weekend and the need to try out a new cat sitter provided the perfect opportunity! We left Saturday morning around 9am, headed up towards Flag on I-17 with a great tailwind, and were looking forward to a day of rolling hills and lots of traffic. We were lucky and had fantastic weather all weekend- as well as surprisingly light traffic.

My (Sarah’s) longest day ever–82.6 miles. My fastest day ever- 39+mph (until the next day), too! What a ride!!! For lunch we dined on cheese and gorp in the parking lot of the Flagstaff Nordic Center, then rode past Kendrick Mountain and Red Mountain and on to Valle and Tusayan. The passing motorcyclists seemed to feel quite an affinity with us- as fellow two-wheeled travellers- a nice fellow even pulled over and chatted with us at one of our breaks. As we rode through the ponderosa pine, and descended into pinyon-juniper, the sound of wind was almost constant- and when it wasn’t it was filled with the hum of cicadas.

We rolled into GCNP around 8 am after a long, hard sleep, alongside a herd of German motorcycle tourists, each one oozing Peter Fonda cool. We didn’t spend much time actually taking in the canyon, not with a 77.24 mile day ahead, what would be Sarah’s second longest day ever. Her new helmet mirror came in handy with the constant stream of cars, motorcycles, and rental RVs. After quick stops at Grandview and Desert View for rest and french fries, we exited the park and started the descent to Cameron. The 40+ mph descent bested Sarah’s top speed from the day before, but every second spent descending was just a reminder that we would have to make it all up the next day. The climb started as soon as we left Cameron. Thanks to the CO Bar for a quiet spot to spend the night!

Up before the sun rose, we were on the road before 6 am. Heading south on 89, we had about a 50 mile day ahead of us- half of which was uphill. Riding slowly, but steadily, we enjoyed the scenery as we climbed out of the cinder hills back into the trees- spotting a lone pronghorn and taking in the fantastic view of the San Francisco Peaks. With many breaks on the uphill, we were wind-blasted as we descended, and rode through Doney Park and back into Flagstaff. Just before hitting the city limits, the traffic increased to a non-stop, overwhelming, absurd, oversized flow of RVs, ATV trailers, and large motorized toys, heading back to Phoenix after a weekend in the woods. 208 miles later, we turned into our driveway just before 2 pm, and were greeted by two very happy cats and a nice long shower.