Hello friends and family. Long time no see. It’s been just over a year since we finished up our mega tour through the 48 states, but there’s nothing quite like it and you find that you have to get back at it. This time around, it’s Timmy, Kyle, and I (Lizzy), who will be riding down the Pacific coast. Kyle is heading out around Coos bay to head inland and meet up with his folk, but Tim and
I are in the long haul, heading for Santa Barbara, to catch a train on the 27th to get back up to Portland (somehow I didn’t feel it’d be good to take two months off work… maybe I’m a homebody now).
ANYWAYS, so, well, we’ve already left. I didn’t really post a “Getting Ready for Tour” post, because, well, I was very busy getting ready for tour. Fixed up my bike real good at the Community Cycling Center, my favorite non-profit bike shop in Portland (conveniently just a mile from my house?), and pack up all my gear, trying to pack “light” this time around. Haha. I’m riding a 2014 Trek 520 these days, as I got hit by a car and irreparably damaged ol cyclescoot last February, and let insurance foot the bill for a slick new touring machine. It’s been quite useful for toting around all my tools for work this past year, as I began working in deconstruction, and traveling all around the city with about as much weight as I have for tour now…
I conveniently drove Timmy’s sister’s old car to Mac on Wednesday, as it needed to be there anyways, and also happened to save me a three hour bus ride, or four and a half by bike… Timmy, Kyle, and I all met up for the first time to plan, and quickly (vaguely) hashed out some details over a cup of coffee. We scooted out the to YCAP non-profit bike hub to check out all the work Timmy has been up to, volunteering there the past year, cleaning up and organizing the bikes, parts, and tools. We hit the food bank dumpster on the way out and scored copious amounts of heavy cans of beans and such. Good deeds.
We split after that. I saw some family, worked on patching up my old tattered clothes that I opted to bring on tour (for comfort and style). My pal Linsday from Portland drove down for one last hangout and joined Timmy and I for Winco grocery shopping to get the snack situation in order (very very important). We went and saw my brother’s family, and then met up with Timmy, Kyle, and Timmy’s sister, Kristen for a final drink on third street, wherein we hashed out some final deets. And also accidently almost decided to go three days out of our way to go get vegan ice cream and gluten free treats from Back to Eden up in Portland. (Yes, we are a traveling crew of dietary restrictions). After much debate as to the merits and the hilarity of bucking our only plan right off the bat, a consensus was agreed to actually head south. and maybe redecide in the morning.
Come morning, we all met up at Timmy’s, bright and early. Kyle’s mom rode with him and gave him a good send off, and soon enough we were hitting the road.
It all came immediately back to me. We rode out the door and onto familiar roads, stopping for lunch break at the casino halfway though our day. Got some letter writing and journaling done, and also maybe drank large amounts of free coffee and made lemonade water mixes to get us over the upcoming coast range.
We stopped at the post office just down the road in Grand Ronde to mail that first sweet postcard, and pick up more stamps. While I was inside, Timmy and Kyle started chatting with a woman and when I came out she looked totally familiar. We each listed names and places and times and events for about five minutes, but eventually just chalked it up to small town goodness. She also handed us a box of vegan gluten free pies ??????? YOU ALL KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT PIES. Super perfect.
Anyways, we moved on, and the lemonade water did it’s job. We headed out and quickly reached the top of the range, no issues, just smooth sailing. Just passing the last peak, it began to sprinkle and I knew that it was gunna be a soggy ride the rest of the day (maybe even week??) (March is not the best weather on the Oregon coast), so I donned rain gear and was quite thankful.
It was more easy riding the rest of the way into Lincoln City, where the steepest hill we climbed was the one to get into the Grocery Outlet (Groc Out, and it has been lovingly deemed by many) and stock up on MORE SNACKS. I even hit up the dumpster and pulled a fine bag out apples out from certain doom. Yum. Free.
We looked up where a nice place to sleep might be, options including a secluded church parking lot, or dish out cash for a hiker/biker spot at the state park, but en route to a church deemed worthy, I saw the real prize: dugouts.
These were nice ones, walled, roofed, and most importantly, DRY. We rolled in, and made ourselves at home, taking advantage of the community center across the street for a warm atmosphere and flushing toilets. Made an easy dinner of two cans of foraged refried beans and warmed up corn tortillas. Delicious. As we were prepping for bed, a small head of deer dashed past us and continued to graze the manicured lawn.
Thankfully, we weren’t disturbed in the night, and got a full night’s sleep, cozy and dry for our first night on the road. Soon enough we were climbing out of bags, and rolling up our lives, ready to get back at it. We stopped at a moving sale a few miles out of town and filled water bottles, as well as eyed very reasonably priced goods that I KNOW I would have bought if I didn’t have another thousand miles to go (sorry knick-nack shelf and whirly popcorn-popper). I asked about the house, which was this lovely beachy old mobile home with the coolest round vintage kitchen you ever did see, and found that roofers had broken all the trusses last year while doing repairs, and they had to get rid of the place. Turns out, my brother’s girlfriend, Ashley, works in the plant in McMinnville that the lady had custom ordered her new home from. She’ll be there working on it!
Saying goodbye, we headed back out and to Newport for lunch break (and blog writing, always more blog writing), and had a bit of a time, with heavy headwinds and light showers the whole way, but quite happy and worth it, especially with grand views of the coast to our right, and many sights of lazy ol’ seal flopping around on the rocks below.
Anyways, glad to be back at it, and I hope you folks will enjoy the adventures. I’ve set up another Watsi campaign to raise funds for patients in need along the way, so you might consider heading over there and checking it out: Within Biking Distance Watsi campaign Also it’s at zero right now and looks sad. Just saying. That may be because I only just secretly set it up. Whatever.
Oh. p.s. Ghost rat beefie is joining us for the journey. I’m wearing my Travelin Rattie Beef shirt as we speak, er, I type.
Okay, bye for real.