Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 7: Baker City, OR, to Ontario, OR

Today's Mileage: 83
Average Speed: 15.7 mph
Max Speed: 36.8 mph
Average BPM: 132
Max BPM: 157
Calories Burned: 1990
Actual Time in Saddle: 5:25

The cyclists biked across Oregon in six days (actually eight). On the seventh day, my butt stopped hurting ... as much.

Maddy's saddle was actually feeling pretty good for the first 65 miles. It was a fast ride with rolling hills and lots of downhills. I rode 17-20 miles per hour for longer spans of time than I ever have before. But with 15 miles left to go, my butt was feeling the pressure again. Barbara, Mike's wife, recommended doubling up on our bicycle shorts for extra padding so that pressure bruises caused by long hours in the seat can heal. I know that goes against anything that a notable bicycle shop would ever recommend, but apparently, riding with doubled shorts for a week worked well for previous riders' bruises so I'll be trying that out tomorrow.

In the meantime ... this is Jean.

Jean cycled with America By Bicycle several years ago. Every year since, she has met the Across America North cyclists with fruit and homemade treats when they pass a SAG stop near her hometown of Boise. Maybe I can try to do something similar in future years when ABB's AAN passes through New York State. That would be a nice tradition for alumni cyclists to formally establish, if they haven't already. The SAG van always has good treats to refuel (cookies, crackers, trail mix, fruit, Gatorade), but it's always nice to get some occasional variety. Pay it forward ... right, Sandy?

I rode with Alex for most of today's 83 miles (
click and scroll down for our photo op). Alex's mom is Helen, who has a blog that I often referenced throughout my preparation and training (or lack thereof). Alex's training for this tour was hindered by her study abroad program in Argentina, which ended less than a week before we cycled out of Astoria, but I couldn't tell today. She was already an experienced cyclist and has been pedaling strong across Oregon. She and Helen have even toured parts of Tuscany by bicycle.

About 10 miles from Ontario, Alex got her first flat tire for this trip. I expect that my number is coming up soon, too.

Remember when I said that I wished I had a video camera behind my eyes to capture all of the amazing sights on this tour? I wish so badly that I could share full, continuous panoramas of the sights I've had the privilege to see. Live streaming images of the splendor that surrounds me and my bicycle. If you could see some of the things we've seen, you'd get up every morning at dawn and start pedaling with us, too.

Jeff has been uploading various video clips on YouTube that provide vague snippets of what our days are like out here. I really liked this one and this one, but the landscape can be done no real justice in neither video nor photograph. There is a story behind each image that only your body knows. To feel your muscles strain as you pedal up a quiet summit. The wind in your face, howling in your ears, as you cruise from the peak. A downhill reward of effortless speed and rolling imagery that you've earned from your slow climb. Nothing between you and nature. No rubber and steel. No glass. You can only dare to live it to truly experience the raw beauty of cycling across America.

More images from Baker City to Ontario:

Click here to see my entire photo album of Day 7.

The Ride Leader's Official Report:
Ontario, Day 7
Across America North:
Ontario (Oregon, not Canada) Photos

1 comment:

Monique said...

Man. Triple up on the shorts if you need to...gotta keep cycling along! :) Love the pictures & links to other blogs :)