What this blog is about

Bicycle commuting, bicycle touring, bicycle racing; bicycle ADVENTURING.
To the grocery store, up a mountain, across the country or to the finish line--
it's all an adventure.

Friday, June 26, 2009

TransAmerica Tour Update: The Advantage of Undesirable Places

When we stayed at Mare's place in Idaho [THANK YOU, MARE! we had a blast and were quite refreshed], where we

visited with Mare/soaked in salts/got massages/met the neighbors/ate sushi, fritata and rhubarb cobbler/laughed all night/were sent off with fun money(which we're still carefully deciding on how to use!) and I even got a swim suit that I needed (thank you, Katie!)

we left around 2:30pm. Ha.


When we stayed in a lumpy front yard of a nice old man's house where the earwigs got into EVERYTHING (including INSIDE the bread) and there really wasn't anywhere to pee

we left around 7 in the morning.


Seems like, if we want to get on the road real' early-- we should stay at undesirable places!

TransAmerica Tour Update: Stevensville Pickle

It was a slow day. Late start, a bit hot, and I wasn't feeling great. We didn't get anywhere near where we wanted to go, but we decided to stop in Stevensville, where we thought there would be camping. As it turned out, the camping was closed for business. Hmm.

We rolled around a recently developed suburban neighborhood. There were some enticing spots of grass. A woman passed us by in a shiny pick up truck, smiled and waved. We promptly turned around,

"do you know anything about the camping in this area?"

After learning that she had bicycle toured Europe as a young woman, and meeting her fluffy puppy, she and her husband suggested we try the common grass area just yonder. We checked it out, but it was freshly seeded grass that would've been a mud pit to camp in. Darn.

Plan C. Roam around the Super One Grocery across the street.

"do you know anything about the camping in this area?"

No, I'm not from here, sorry.

"do you know anything about the camping in this area?"

We tried the police department, to see if we could camp in the city park or behind a school. In a small town, this is usually not a problem.

I'm sorry, ladies-- but I can't let you camp in the parks.

Darn again.

A firefighter that we had recently met watched us mope out of the police department.

Have you ladies found a place to stay tonight?

"We're still working on it."

Let me call my wife, you can probably stay at our place tonight.


In just moments, we went from a real pickle to staying at an empty nester's house, eating fruit and showering! To top it off, they sent us off with some fun money which we promptly spent that morning on a delicious breakfast at the Internet Coffee Station in downtown Stevensville. THEN, the kind ladies at the Coffee Station even sent us off with free AMAZING cookies!



TransAmerica Tour Update: More Eating

Last night we ate at Fetty's Cafe in Wisdom, MT. We don't eat 'out' very often, because it's more expensive than spreading peanut butter on a Fig Newton. But anyhow, we ate at Fetty's to escape from the awful swarms of mosquitoes that thrive in the gigantic marsh land that is Big Hole Valley, MT. These skeeters swarmed us even WHILE we rode our bicycles! Dang.

So we hid in Fetty's and tossed calories down our throats and caught up on some post cards. The folks at Fetty's were so friendly and accomodating, that they even iced and packed a breakfast for us in our lil' lunchbox so that we could hit the road in the chill morning before the mosquitos woke up.

Anyhow, so we each had a cold, but satifsfying breakfast burrito and hash browns for First Breakfast.

For second breakfast, I put down two donuts, 4 or 5 Chips Ahoy cookies, a banana and a half, a cup of milk and a little bit of coffee.

The 6-pack of donuts is already gone, and if the storm we're sitting out decides to pass us anytime soon, we'll easily polish off the rest of the Chips Ahoy. They're already about 3/4 gone.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Not Overly Pampered

Before you start to think that Mia and I have been overly pampered on our tour because we got massages from Mare, or scooped out of the rain by a family in a pick up truck or because the coffee shop gave us each a free huge cookie or for getting an uphill tailwind out of Baker or any of these things..
we've also shaken hoards of earwigs from everything we own, counted over 2 dozen mosquito bites on just one of my legs, eaten questionable 69cent freezer burritos and 50% of our trip so far has been in the rain!
But it makes every real bed we get to sleep in feel like heaven.

Monday, June 22, 2009

TransAmerica Tour Update: QUADS

Here are my quads during the first week of our trip.

Here are my quads the 3rd week.

I like to think that it's not the shadows that are popping.

TransAmerica Tour Update: FOOD

We're eating a lot of food.

This cold can of Chef Boyardee Ravioli was absolutely delectable after climbing a wet pass. In fact, I was so convinced that it was the best hard-hitting snack food, that I bought another can for future use atop a new pass. But a lukewarm can on a hot day? It was just not the same.

When we arrived in Baker City, OR, we rode right into a biker ralley! No, LEATHER, not lycra. Fortunately for us, this meant concession boothes aplenty! We had pulled pork sandwiches, corn on the cob and were treated to an elephant ear! (Thanks, Joy!)

The most economical way for us to eat is at the grocery store. The problem, though, is that we often leave the grocery store with really heavy sacks that we have to load onto our bikes! To fix this, we just eat more of it.

Bread, it's a staple.

Oh, and donuts. Applesauce donuts. It's okay to eat them before you've paid for them if you still have the box, right?

Running low on stove fuel, we concocted cold pizzas.

And if you're really fortunate, even after you've scrounged around in your food bag for a eclectic dinner, a kind soul (Thank you, Ann Mary!) will feed you a fresh meal!

But even after you've had a burger & curly fries, you gotta top it off with an ice cream bar!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

MORE "Women Who Ride"

So, awhile ago, I was selected as one of five "Women Who Ride" to represent Trek's women's program. Well, I may be one of five women who "OFFICIALLY" ride (for Trek).. but there are all sorts of 'women who ride'! ..and I think that's the point of Trek's program. So here are just a few that I know or have recently met:

Juliana has world champion stripes and national champion stars to her name. She's burned rubber on the velodrome (banked cycling track) when cycling, much less sports, were "unusual" for women to do. This has made Juliana ONE TOUGH (not to mention fast) WOMAN. These days, she's still sets course records (such as on an off-road full Ironman course) and has taken to mentoring young women athletes.

We stayed with Juliana in Eugene, where she not only fed, housed us and let us borrow her car-- but we were also invited to dig through a pile of her "back in the day" spandex that included such prizes as her rubber USA Cycling Team skinsuit and other champion jerseys. Most jerseys we put aside were for juniors on my junior cycling team or new Whitman cyclists without much gear, but I put one aside for myself: a So Cal Women's Kilo Champion jersey. It reminds me to be thankful for what women like Juliana have done for women like me today. And it reminds me to continue to stand up for women athletes everywhere. Thank you, Juliana!

Bev is one example of a woman athlete who doesn't rest on her laurels. Bev owns and runs Bella Main Street Market in Baker City, OR. She and her shop of delectables support the local 3-day cycling stage race, Elkhorn Cycling Classic. At the finish you'll find an organic spread of fruits and bars and chocolate milk. That's totally awesome and well-appreciated after a 100 mile final stage, but what's REALLY cool is that her shop MATCHES the prize money of the men for the women! That's right. At Elkhorn Cycling Classic, the women get the SAME prize money as the men. This is, unfortunately, highly unusual, even (or especially) on a professional level. Thank you Bella! I bought a Bella cycling wind vest to spread the cool news on you gals.

Okay, so I've talked about women who go zip-zip on their bicycles-- but that's not the only form of bicycling out there, you know. Sometimes going cruise-cruise is just the way we want to ride. Mare goes for night cruiser rides with her lady friends and sometimes even the dogs go with. The pace is far from hot, but the company is great. If you've read this blog for awhile, you'd know that I've even started a ride like this called Bike Thyme. We pedaled around town, brought picnic lunches and stopped by local farms for snacks and tours! Oh, it was lovely.

We are currently taking a rest day at Mare's beautiful place in Idaho and we have been seriously pampered and loved. Since we've been here, we've enjoyed root beer floats, a salt soak, a full massage, sushi at the new sushi bar, and a night of laughs among rhubarb pie and sweet whiskey sippers. We've been looking forward to staying with Mare since before we ever pedaled a stroke on this trip, because Mare is just such a deeply creative, sharply intelligent and warmly compassionate woman. She inspires me to grab onto my life and take it for a ride, rather than passively watching it slip away. Thank you, Mare!

Travelling on Kindness

  • Joy & Ray, for inviting us to sleep in their vacant motorhome, filling us up and sending us off with sustenance. We enjoyed our time with you!
  • The young woman who gave us COLD water and cheese sticks on our first hot day!
  • To Angel, the handsome man that gave us water at the top of a sizzling climb.
  • The lady at the Cambridge gas station, for giving us two chimichangas, two tortas and a hot dog for only $3! Wowza, what a bargain. And then I had a Snickers ice cream bar.
  • The kind woman that offered to let us stay in her family's extra bedroom whist we were pulled over, looking at our map.
  • The motorcyclist who (jokingly) offered to let me "hang on" to get up the rest of the climb.

and I do know that there have to be more!

To everyone that has helped us on our way: we carry your kindness with us. THANK YOU!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tour Thoughts and Bits

We've had to run away from 4 of them already. Solutions thus far:
  1. barn
  2. fairgrounds
  3. library
  4. OR Dept. of Transportation shelter.

We're STILL trying to get the hang of getting out of camp early so that we can pull into camp early and have that extra hour or two to dawdle or relax-- instead of rushing to make dinner and immediately hitting the sack. The trouble is that EEEEVerything takes longer than you think: cooking, eating, laundering, organizing, planning, grocery shopping and, of course, RIDING.

Hwy 26 out of Mitchell to Dayville (John Day River area). I felt swallowed by rock. Of course, I had my camera out to take a picture of this, take a picture of that, then I went 'round the corner and..


I stopped taking photos. I just had to look.

At the wonderful Dayville Community Presbyterian Church, where they have been welcoming cyclists for years. They offer shelter, shower, laundry, kitchen and kind people to look after you. Thank you!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

HURRIED UPDATE TWO!*updated again

*I tried putting these order, but internet access is limited, so I'm just writing these up quick!


My Mom & Dad came to Astoria (our starting point) and treated us to a hotel the first night, all sorts of yummy food and were a BIG help in figuring out all the little problems that came up-- and there were quite a few.


Debi & Jim drove us ALLLLLL the way to Astoria, and included stops in Hood River and Portland for gear we still didn't have! We were even treated to a most delicious scone and quiche for good measure.

Example of delicious food being eaten.

At the waterfront.

..Okay, then the trip finally started. Or, I guess it was already "started" all along.

Mia @ Cannon Beach. We spent a little tooo long there. We ended up having to really BOOK IT (..aaaand take a short cut) to make to our campsite that night!


Our first guest rider! Mark had TWO beach houses to look after, so he let us stay in one! AND he even fed us, then joined us for part of the ride! We had fun with Mark.

Ummm. A storm just kicked us out of our campground. Or at least that's what the falling branches said. We slept in the barn. On pigeon-pooped couch cushions. It was pretty plush at the time.

Sand dunes! Fun for the toes.

Sun circle thing. We both agreed that there was a name and reason for it.

Some coastal riding.

Thank you Linda, for giving us $50 of fun money! Our first treat: MILKSHAKES! They were AWESOME. Real house made ice cream with real fruit!

This is what you do at the top of a pass.

On Santiam Pass.

Lunch at the falls.

A Sierra Nevada rep, Jeff, gave us TWO six packs of beer!! We each had only one that night, then we left 4 for the camp hosts and I carried six over Santiam Pass!

Melanie is another TransAm rider, to the left. Juliana, right, was the BEST and saved our butts from the big storm! She lent us her car to do errands in Eugene, got us good grub to eat and let us dig through her giant pile of SWEET spandex from the days she smoked the velodrome! We pretty much crashed at her house for two days after our first hectic week of riding. We're still trying to get our heads screwed on straight, but we're getting there.

Waiting out the thunderstorm in a big ol' barn. We had to yell to hear each other.

I'm a flower.

Also, more THANK YOUS go to:
DAVE & SUSAN, for housing us and stuffing our bellies.
TAMMY & DANIELLE for taking us in when storm clouds threatened.
It's good to discover that people are wonderful.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

First Update!

[The first on-the-road update of my bike tour across America!]

Oh, dear. Our first REAL mountain pass tomorrow. Going up Santiam. Hm.

The touring has been a bit slower, harder, and more hectic than we had anticipated. But fortunately, people are kind and all of these things will improve over time.

I really need to tuck into bed to get a good night's sleep for our first REAL big day tomorrow.. but hopefully I will have some wonderful photos and silly stories up soon!
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