Day 62 - Friday, August 9, 2002
Total to date: 4072.57 miles (6554.2 km)
Moving time: 5 hr 0 min.
Average Speed: 12.1 mph (19.5 km/hr)
Total ascent: 1201 ft. (366.1 m)
Minimum elevation: 4 ft. (1.2 m)
Maximum elevation: 744
Ending elevation: 9 ft. (2.7 m)
Wind: 10 mph tailwinds for first 15 miles; variable winds for next 27 miles; 15 mph headwind for last 20 miles.
Great joy. We are in view of the ocean which we have been so long anxious to see, and the roaring or noise made by the waves
breaking on the rocky shores may be heard distinctly. From the Journals of Lewis and Clark, November 7, 1805
I made it to the coast! It took exactly two months (62 days) and 4072.57 miles to get here. What a great feeling of accomplishment!
We said goodbye to everyone at the hostel this morning and headed on our way to the last leg on our coast-to-coast journey.
The route took us past Fern Ridge Lake (pictured below) and along the Siuslaw River on busy Route 126 toward Florence. There were blackberry bushes along much of the route yesterday and today as well.
Since the route is heavily traveled by bikers and there are few shoulders, the state has erected some safety signs to alert motorists of our presence. Unfortunately, many people on the road today were speeding and gave us very little room. A tunnel ten miles before Mapleton has special equipment for biker safety. A button on the side of the road makes the lights on the sign above the road blink to alert motorists of our presence.
The last two days of riding have been quite a challenge. Yesterday I had quite a few maintenance issues. Today I took a really hard spill while traveling very fast and got some really serious road rash. I almost wrecked a second time as well.
Here's what happened: I was riding down a hill on route 126 between Walton and Mapleton at about 22 miles per hour. The road curved to the right and a bridge narrowed the road quite a bit. I went onto the bridge with a tractor-trailer behind me but he didn't give me much room. I was squeezed between him and the bridge's sidewalk curb. A chunk of metal was lying in the road right in my way and I didn't have time to stop so I hit it square on. (I recovered the culprit and it's shown in the picture to the right.) My front tire blew out immediately and I lost control, weaving around on the edge of the road. When I left the bridge I hit the gravel shoulder and totally lost it. My bike went down on its right side and I went down with it. Here's the damage report:
Luckily there were no cars after the tractor-trailer because my bike and I ended up on the white line with the BOB completely in the road. I pulled myself to the shoulder and yanked the BOB off the road before the next car came. I really freaked Joe out when he came around the same corner. He saw my BOB lying on its side and knows that I never lay my bike down. He didn't see me at first so he thought the worst.
We used all of our remaining water to clean the wounds. I applied antiseptic, took some Tylenol, and bandaged myself up as best I could with the gauze and Kling bandage that we had. The two holes in the tube got some Park patches and I reassembled the wheel. About five miles after getting back on the road the tire blew out again so I put a new tube in. I limped the remaining twenty miles to Florence with a very sore hip and butt and a bruised ego.
Joe and I got a hotel room, visited the local bike shop, bought a shopping bag full of first aid supplies to treat my wounds, did laundry, and had dinner. I spent quite a bit of time cleaning out the wounds and redressing them at the hotel. I hope to be able to ride tomorrow.