Cyclists! Actual other cyclists! 100km in to my 6th day and I found another cyclist. More on that later.
Have you ever dreamt of broccoli? Well I did last night, I can’t believe it, but I am seriously craving fresh produce, any fruit and veg will do. Up and on the road early once again, no breakfast, but I did manage to obtain an apple and banana from the motel yesterday evening, so I had the apple with a coffee before I left and started the targeted 80KM towards my first rest stop.
I’m not sure whether it really was, but the morning felt very hilly. No real nutrition after back to back days in the saddle meant I was feeling very weak. I cycled on and soon managed to make it to Tillamook in good time. Eyes peeled for a green grocer, I suddenly found myself through and out the other side of the town! Darn it, I can’t even try to be healthy, Golden Arches it is. I turned around and cycled almost a kilometer back to another ‘health sensation’. To be fair, fatty, greasy, high calorie food is what I need, so it did the trick. In fact I ate so much, I almost went in to a food coma. Setting off was tough, for the next half an hour I was in a bad place.
As I bumbled along and the food processed I was greated by some spectacular views.
Unfortunately the sun couldn’t break through the clouds, but the coast really is something.
The vistas, coupled with a fantasticly smooth and wide hard shoulder, soon got my speed back up and my spirits heightened. Then it happened.
After riding for 5.5 days, I looked up, and there he was. A cyclist! As I closed in on the unsuspecting two wheeled wonder, my eyes were wide with anticipation, my brain whirling with questions. Where had he come from? Where was he going? Shall we have a coffee? Talk to me!
And then he was there, I sidled up next to him and chirpily wished him good morning. A stilted response set up the next 20 seconds of conversation, this man was in no mood to talk. The front and back, double panniers, handlebar bag and giant paper map on top (yes, a paper map), were clearly making this chaps day less fun than mine. And that was it. 5.5 days, huge anticipation and massive deflation, I wished him well and pushed on.
Thirty minutes or so later and a replica couple of cyclists appeared on the horizon, but this time with the addition of matching his and hers luminous jackets. It wasn’t windy or raining. I tried again, and even less came back. Off I went.
As I cruised along, I was suddenly struck by the story of the tortoise and the hare. A temporary paranoid set in, so for the next two hours, even though I was feeling increasingly fatigued, I couldn’t stop. How would I be able to enjoy a coffee and a cookie under a tree if the tortoises cycled past me?
Break over, there was only one hill and 40KM to go until the end of the day, as I hit the crest 4 more cyclists appeared, one taking a picture, a decidedly friendly and interesting French man, who had come from Alaska and had been on the road for 78 days. The other three were Oregon teenagers on their first trip, they were coming to terms with the realisation that perhaps they didn’t need to bring quite as much with them as they had. To be honest, somewhere between what they had and what I have, would be the optimum. Another set of clothes may have been beneficial to everyone I sit next to when I’m off the bike eating dinner. All 4 of them restored my faith on other cyclists and what we’re all doing, they were having fun.
Downhill safely in to Newport and checked in to my Motel, there was only one choice for dinner and not because I really needed it! The only eatery within 2 miles was the restaurant in the brewery next door. What a slice of luck!
Unfortunately, yet again, the only nutritional options involved frying and or grilling meat and putting it between to pieces of bread. I upgraded my chips to sweet potato, that almost counts doesn’t it?
Day 6 in the books, hopefully an early night and another longish day tomorrow.