Thursday, July 17, 2014

Location: - STILL Eugene OR Miles = 27, Ave MPH = 10.7, Cum. Miles = 196, Cum. Ave MPH = 12.7

Wednesday July 16th

Sandrine traded Tomoto her bike for a Burley Trailer. I am to pull her the rest of the way.

Good Bye to Tomoto. She had led us to the edge of town. We are setting off for McKenzie Bridge an easy 55 mile ride and to meet another couple this time from Couch Surfing.

I forgot to mention yesterday that we have had the wind against our back quite literally and figuratively during our new adventure. It was made clear as we rolled into Eugene to watch the flags we would pass be in almost a straight line in a favorable direction, as if they were pointing the way to the destination. 

From a figurative perspective we have had many other "road rising up to meet us" signs of good fortune. Perhaps the most significant, because of how bad it could get otherwise, is how well Sandrine and I bounce off each other. She has taken on the task of finding us accommodations along the way and with her bright and perky personality she does quite well at it. I appreciate this very much. As we get into a rhythm which will help us better predict when we will be where, then we will be even more successful. I'm not sure what role I will take on to pull my weight but perhaps it will be fixer-in-chief.

Additionally we have had the most awesome experiences with our first three Warm Showers hosts - can't say enough about how we have been treated and how much help and encouragement we have received.

We have had some unusual positive experiences as well. Last Sunday night as Sandrine and I were exhaustedly finishing dinner I said I hoped that when we got back to Mary Lou and Les' place that perhaps they would volunteer to help me take the rental car back to the airport. I was not looking forward to taking the train back and then hailing a cab back up the hill to their house. Thirty seconds later Mary Lou calls and asks ..... no actually insists ... that she help me take the car back.

A similar experience happened on the road to Eugene. We were pulled off the road into a little pocket of shade consulting the map. Sandrine mentioned how much she wished someone from the nearby house would come out of the house so we could ask for water. Again not thirty seconds later the door opened and  a man came out and started watering his flowers. And yes of course he would be happy to give us some water.

We knew that at some point the wind was going to change for us and today was the day, but it wasn't the actual wind but more the figurative. We had been riding along a river and enjoying seeing the many swimmers and tubers taking advantage of the water to get out of the plus 90 F heat when we came on a stretch of fresh tar/gravel that just had been applied. For some reason they did not compact it down with the rollers and as we were riding though it the stones were being kicked up into our drive train, and our luck changed. Sandrine's rear derailleur hanger snapped of and the derailleur still attached to the cable chunked it's way around and through the wheel and into the spokes.

 Sandrine's looses her derailleur - the hanger is cracked:

So there was no way we were going to make it to McKenzie Bridge that night. We were only 15 miles into a 55 mile ride and we had started late (1pm) which is a bad habit we are going to have to break for sure. But as luck would have it there was a bike store within 3 miles of where we were according to a cyclist we flagged down.

Sandrine started hitch-hiking while I did the cyclists version of the man hiding in the bushes while the woman hitches; that is I rode on down the road about a mile while she snagged her man with a truck. I met her at the bike shop and it took  1 1/2 and $202 to fix the bike. She did get an extra 25c kevlar tire as well which I am happy about as she is on 23c's and had been w/o a spare.

In the meantime I called Tomoto and asked her if we could come back and spend the night and she of course in her super-kindness welcomed us back and made us feel as if it would have been her choice. So over all if you have a breakdown it couldn't have been in a much better place and to come back to Tomoto's hospitality was great!! We took Tomoto out to dinner at a family style restaurant that kept serving one dish after another. Fantastic choice - thank you Tomoto.

BTW we did find that iPhones can handle this heat as they keep shutting down with overheat error when we mount them in the holder on the handle bars and use the Google Maps GPS function which we needed to to get back to Tomoto's house. It's hot out here but hard to tell because of the low humidity.

Here are some photos of  the scenery of the for the area we did cover today.

Dudes jumping into river. They have to pick just the right spot, to find just the right hole to not get injured.

Welcome home and why have you been away so long?

Meet Miss Nutella (I say just Nut) - she is addicted to this stuff. Apparently Sandrine uses the prospect of a long climb to ingest this poison.

View over Eugene at evening:

Well we went 27 miles yesterday - some of it walking - and got nowhere. Today with an earlier start we will make our 2nd attempt to get to McKenzies Bridge for an attack on McKenzies Pass tomorrow. Hope to take in some hot springs near McKenzies Bridge in the evening - thinking it will be good for the muscles.

Until then.....

The Usual Disclaimer: 
And finally please remember the cause -  I will go into this in more detail and perhaps some level of haranguing later on, but for now here is the link .... and an additional link for donation   SoldiersBestFriend - Donate Please :):)  As you donate please enter my name in the appropriate spot so the folks at SBF can tally the results to encourage me and let me know WE are getting something done TOGETHER. Oh and I would be a lot more comfortable if you use the "honorarium" option vs the "memoriam" option - you'll understand when you click on the link:):).     I will be inserting this call-to-action in all of my blogs so I hope you don't mind.

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