Oregon is definitely not flat

I will be the first to speak up to correct ignorant comments about Iowa’s supposed flatness. However, I gotta say, boyz and grrls, there have been climbs here that kicked my ass. Like the first day out of Portland on Highway 6. Taking the light rail to Hillsboro (bikes ride for free!), we began our adventure rolling through some gorgeous, mostly rural, countryside. None too heavily traveled, for the most part, your humble cyclist was thinking it’d be a piece of cake. We knew we had to climb over the coastal range through the Tillamook forest but it all seemed manageable. Unfortunately, we had to climb a 1630 foot summit to even get within range of the the first campsite. With cars and trucks churning by at highway speeds, I was moving so slowly it was hard to stay upright. I finally caught up with Larry at the 1000 foot overlook. By then, I was in serious bonkage and just wanted to go home. Some trail mix, energy food, and water revived me enough to struggle the rest of the way. Just to make things interesting, there was some serious downhill before we got to Elk Creek Campground.

There have been other challenging climbs since then; On Wednesday we rode the Otter Crest loop on the way to Newport. By then, I was better at just cranking down into granny and letting the bike do the work. That day, we met an older lady name Monica who rides it every day between her home and rental property! Monica was wearing rubber boots and riding a Magna mountain bike. I think of her now when I’m churning up a hill on my nice Lemond and wearing clipped-in Keens.

Today, we rode the aptly named Seven Devils Road from Charleston, south of North Bend. The only thing that helped was Grateful Dead piped through some speakers hooked to a solar powered charger on the back of Larry’s bike. Brilliant!

Here’s Monica!

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This doesn’t look steep here but I had to ask for help from granny.

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