Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bah Humbug

Thursday Sept 6, 2012  Bandon to Gold Beach Oregon

Today started a little later than the previous 4 days because we had a shorter distance to ride (only 57 miles; imagine a world where 57 miles, or 95 kms, is a short ride!!!).  We rode the first 10 miles or so in a light drizzle, more like a cloud cover than anything else...I should have had windshield wipers on my glasses.  As it was, I didn't take my jacket or extra gloves off all day and the temperature never got above 56 fahrenheit.

Oh, by the way, I ate breakfast this morning beside another rider named Phyllis.  She is an experienced rider and is 55 years old.  She burned 3200 calories yesterday according to her Garmin and I burned 1300.  This is really starting to piss me off.  There is clearly something wrong with my Garmin, so I went online and googled this issue.  Apparently this is a software problem, so that's my story and I'm sticking with it.  I am a human software problem.

About 5 miles from the SAG stop, Mark and I were climbing up a hill when he stopped.  I continued to the top and he yelled something and I saw that he was off his bike.  By the time I could get my phone out it was ringing and Mark told me he had a flat tire.  The timing of this is kind of funny, as just this morning, Mark asked the tour leader when he was going to give us a "tire changing clinic" (like the one he did during Mark's ride 2 years ago).  I guess asking for a tire clinic is like saying the number "7" at the craps table, you say it and then it comes true...bad luck.

It was a pretty uneventful day other than Mark's flat tire and we rode for a good portion along the Pacific coast (what we could see of it).  Around the 33 mile mark we rode up and over Humbug Mountain. Bah Humbug I say! This mountain don't scare me none. I "crushed" the climb. OK, I didn't crush it, but I did make it safely over, even going through a construction zone.  Here is a video of me riding on Mt Humbug:

As you can see, I'm not having a good time at all.

We are staying in a pretty cool "old school" motel a short walk from the beach. It's the kind of place you've driven by a hundred times and more than likely said, not stayin' there, ever. But the room we're in is really cozy and is quite nice, plus it has a view of the sand dunes and the ocean.  A couple of riders walked down to the water and went swimming.  The water was no more than 55 degrees.  Too cold for me, the only people I know brave enough to go in water that cold is Benji Lipson and the Vancer.  We have an 81 year old man named Herb doing this ride and he went in the ocean.  As he walked to the beach, one of the other riders said "break out the CPR paddles". If Herb weighs 140 pounds soaking wet it's a lot but he went in and said it was wonderful.  Go figure, maybe that's what keeps him young, that or all the red wine we're told he has in his room.  He keeps offering me some, but I'd have to bring my own paper cup.
Mark Koltz took this picture of Herb frolicking in the surf.
That's Leo standing by ready to offer CPR.
Anyway, the reason we saw Herb walking to the beach is that we were attending the flat tire clinic led by tour leader Mike. Holy cow, Mike is amazing at both changing a flat and showing us how it's done. Then after that, I had another "bail-out" gear added to my bike to make the climbing (which is f-ing tough for me) a bit easier. We'll test it on the road tomorrow.

Tomorrow we leave Oregon and cross over into California.  I sure hope it warms up a bit soon.  We ride 60 miles to get to Crescent City California and our day off on Saturday!!! Massages for Mark and I and a manicure for me.  Yeah.  My legs and bottom need a rest too.  Any by the way, my ring finger on my left hand is still numb. Hello shopping in San Francisco!


  1. Susan. I am very much enjoying your blog (I hate hills too). Say hello to Mark for me.
    Did you know you can put a 9 speed derailleur (Shimano Deore XT Shadow) on a 10 speed road bike then add an 11-34 rear cassette and slightly longer chain. Hey presto, substantially lower gearing.

  2. Ian,
    So nice to hear from you. Last night at mechanics, Jim put a new Shram cassette on my bike with a 32 rear ring and he added to the chain to make it work. It was better today for sure. If this doesn't work for some reason I'll try your suggestion.
    I'll say hello to Mark for you and I'm glad you are enjoying the blog. Day off tomorrow!!!