Day 63 - Saturday, August 10, 2002
Total to date: 4136.32 miles (6656.8 km)
Moving time: 6 hr 26 min.
Average Speed: 9.8 mph (15.8 km/hr)
Total ascent: 3371 ft. (1027.5 m)
Minimum elevation: 0 ft. (0 m)
Maximum elevation: 418
Ending elevation: 25 ft. (7.6 m)
Wind: Brutal 20 mph headwind G30 all day long. About 2 miles of sheltered riding.
I took a shower this morning, cleaned and redressed my wounds from yesterday, and headed out for my first full day of riding with some extra holes in my body. I stocked up on antiseptic, gauze, and kling and ace bandages in Florence. I figure that my road rashes will heal within a week if I'm diligent about keeping them clean. The abrasion on my hip is by far the worst of the wounds and it hurts when I get on and off the bike. Riding isn't painful, though.
Today I rode with Joe Deely for the last time. We rode together to the shore in Florence where we took the obligatory photographs. I ceremoniously dipped my front tire in the Pacific after dipping the rear one in the Atlantic 62 days ago on June 9th.
The winds were blowing hard from the northwest from the get-go this morning and beat us up pretty bad for the short ride to the coast. Sand blown from the dunes stung my legs and face - it felt like I was standing in front of a sandblaster. I was determined to ride on but Joe decided to bag it today. He planned to stay in Florence another day and either ship his bike from here or hitchike to Portland where he will fly home on August 16th. We rode together since day 27 and have been great traveling companions for each other. I'll miss him but will also enjoy the freedom of solo riding once again. I hope he has a great time during the next week before he has to return to his home life and teaching. I too will have to face reality in twelve days.
I felt very uncomfortable with the handling of my bike today as I had yesterday. I had a feeling that the tire I bought from Bike Friday, a Schwalbe touring tire, was more loose than I was used to. I decided to take it off and put the spare Continental Top Touring tire on instead. It's pretty well worn but handles much better. I felt a lot more sure of myself with the Continetal under my butt. I hope the Schwalbe tire didn't contribute to the wreck I had yesterday. The Schwalbe tire has a higher section and is 1-1/2" wide instead of the low section 1-3/8" wide Conti.
The Oregon coast is just beautiful. It is very rugged with steep cliffs and jagged rocks along the coast. It is very windy too. The Oregon Coast Bike Route map says "It is highly recommended that you cycle in a north to south direction, if your trip is planned between May and October, ans the prevailing winds blow from the northwest." It should say "only a complete fool would ever consider riding north because a blasting wind will be in your face all day long." Needless to say I saw quite a few southbound riders today and only met up with one other fool headed north. He's on a return trip from Coos Bay to Astoria so he has an excuse. Southbound riders waved and smiled at me all day. I wonder what they thought of my northward ride.
I rode through the seaport towns of Yachats, Waldport, and Newport on my way to the Beverly Beach State Park campground. They have a nice hiker/biker site with hot showers and shelter from the wind in a wooded area. All of the campgrounds and motels between Florence and here were completely full. Today is one of the single busiest days of the year around here since it's a beautiful Saturday in August.
The strong winds whip a sandy, salty spray onto the roadway, coating everything in a fine, white mist. I had to stop at least four times to clean my glasses so I could see the road ahead.
Typical Oregon coast scene. Looking south near Heceta Head.
Looking south near Yachats.
Lighthouse just north of Florence.
I saw the second Honda Insight of the trip today. It is a red 2000 with air and 5 speed transmission. I saw it parked outside a motel and had to stop to take a picture of it. It was purchased in Bellingham, Washington. It makes me miss my Insight. Only two more weeks and I get to drive it again!