Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day Two ROAM

This is the first long day of ROAM.  It is also further than I have previously ridden on any single day.  My plan is to ride carefully to conserve energy for the next day which will be even harder.  I also want to sure to drink enough water as it is scheduled to be hot.  So far  in our summer we have only had a handfull of days that were even warm.  Upstairs in the shop it sometimes gets to the temperatures we have today.  It normally takes me a week or so to adjust to these temperatures but then I am not working as hard as I do riding a velomobile for 10 hours or so in a day. 

Navigating should be much easier today as there are only two detours and if I make a mistake I can always just figure out a way to get to the campsite at the end of the day.  Started out early and was soon riding by myself.  I almost stopped for a "second" breakfast in the first detour at Hood River.  This would have been a disaster as I would have ended up behind all the other riders and  have taken time out of the day for me to cover the distance at a reasonable pace.   I did stop a little while later at a Subway and picked up a small sub and some chocolate milk.  A bunch of other riders passed while I was there but they didn't see me as I was on the other side of the street.  I rode on a short ways and they were all pulled up at a coffee shop.  I sat in my velo and ate half my sub and had some milk while they got coffee.  We had a few folks come by and talk with us while sitting there.  We had been on the TV news the previous night so lots of folks were curious about us.  This is about as close as I want to be to being famous!!!   Velomobiles already attact lots of attention and I would prefer to remain somewhat more anonymous.  I did end up adding a few extra km and some extra climbing to the day when I made a wrong turn.  Ended up with a nice view of the valley.  At the next detour I was on the right track and asked a local man who flagged me down and was sent down the wrong road.  At the top of the hill Tom was stopped and pulled us over to redirect us to the right route.  Tom being there was a good thing as I may well have missed the next turn and ridden a few extra km before realizing my error.  This saved trying to get through some construction on the freeway.

Just after getting back onto the freeway after Hood River I was riding with Joseph, Nina and two other Quests.  I was feeling pretty good at this point and stayed with them for a while.  I decided after a while that their pace was a little high for me and let them get away.  I watched as they pulled away with the sun glinting off their velomobiles.  On the next uphill you could see them all in a row all looking quite yellow in the reflected light like a bunch of ducklings  along side the road.  This is probably the image I will remember best from the trip. 

At the stop in the afternoon when I arrived Joseph and Nina were resting in the shade.  They directed us to a restaurant across the street.  When we went in the temperature was 93 on the bank sign and when we came out it was 98.  This wasn't quite the hottest it got during the day.  It was really warm riding that afternoon!!

After this stop I continued on riding a bit slowly when I heard a beep beep behind me.  It was Joseph closing in fast and wanting to pass.  I moved over and let him by.  Luckily at this monent there wasn't much junk on the shoulder and two velos fit side by side without  riding on the rumble strip. Joseph was soon out of sight but I was now riding a bit faster with a slight downhill grade and a tailwind.  I hate tailwinds, especially on this day.  For the rest of the day on I-84 I was in top gear cruising along at 45-50 kph in virtually dead air.  I was very much looking foward to getting off the freeway.  I had had enough of lots of traffic and the danger of getting a flat from the tire debris on the shoulder.  The last few miles before turning off on 730 the freeway was newly paved.  Very smooth and very fast without a rumble strip.  Delightful to ride on but a bit scary as the lanes weren't yet marked and you could easily edge out into traffic.  After turning off on 730 I met up with Nick and John and we stopped at Irrigon for dinner.  This was necessary as there was no food at the campsite.  We also stopped at the grocery store in Umatilla for food for breakfast the next day.  Rode the last few km with the lights on, arriving at camp after dark. 

Here's the link to he route,

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