I will never again complain about the quality of our Dutch cycle paths. Today I encountered a (fortunately short) piece of road that was so bad that if I would have had fillings they would spontaneously jump out. And the cattle guard is a bit bigger than back home. The gaps are so big a small child could fall through. Just like the rumble strips, quite dangerous.
Some things still amazes me regarding their size. Big trucks, RV's that are towing a car behind them, trains more than 2 kilometers long and very big sprinkler systems that seem to be hundreds of meters long.
Today was going to be a easy day. Mostly down hill and with only a distance of around 150 kilometers. The tiredness from yesterday is gone after a somewhat longer night (I got to sleep in until 6 AM). The first hour of biking went very well with a average of 37+ km/h. The route was easy to. Just go straight for 75 kilometers, take a right and go another 75 kilometers. Now that we have the Rocky Mountains behind us the roads will only get flatter and more straight.
Yesterday I was to tired to write a long post. So I'll give a brief summary about what happened that day. First of all the mouse had moved from Josef's bike to mine. When I opened the lid I first saw that my paper bag which had my food had been opened from the side. He tried to hide under my seat and I tried to grab my camera. But unfortunately he ran away. He did however stole my Clif Gel, because the day before I bought two of them at REI.
Today a short update because it's quite late (almost 10 PM). We did a 225 kilometer long ride with a 7 kilometer long and hard climb to almost 2000 meters. After that we cruised with 50+ towards Helena. When we left the city there were a few small 'hills', the hardest being 3 kilometers long and a bit more steep than the other one. When we rushed down we came to a reservoir. On the other side of the dam our camp site was waiting for us, right by the water. Tomorrow a day without heavy climbing and only a bit more than 200 kilometers.
Today was a rest day so that meant sleeping in. Well, if you are used to getting up around 5 AM every morning you wake up at that time even when you get to sleep in, and so did I. Luckily I could get back to sleep. Breakfast was made by Winda (stir fried eggs). And I did some writing / responding on my blog. Then it was time for a massage. The students from the massage school came by to give us a massage for free. The ladies knew what they were doing. The pinched, squeezed and massaged everything back in place.
Today we had a almost 200 kilometer long trip ahead of us with a big climb over Lobo Pass, about 1600 meters high. The peak was around 100 kilometers away and was a bit steeper then yesterday, but still manageable.
After two heavy days it was time for a day with less distance and some little climbing. No more interstates, but bendy mountain roads next to the Clearwater river. Only problem was that a number of drivers were very impatient and tried to overtake when it's not safe. And guess who gets killed if there is a car coming from the other side. But generally speaking it wasn't that bad. The only thing I noticed that some drivers don't like cyclists. I got the finger at least three times (even one from oncoming traffic), honked at twice (the longest being almost 20 seconds until he overtook me).
Today I left a bit earlier (lesson learned from yesterday), around 6:30 AM. Everything was just fine until Felix had a flat tire just before the lunch stop. He would walk the last bit and I would go one and send a SAG person his way. He didn't want to fix it whilst being so close. A Meatloaf Panini and some pasta was on the menu today. Nicely warm and cripsy.
The last couple of days I didn't manage to update my blog. So now there will be three posts coming at once. Enough for everyone to read! Anyway, here comes the report of the second day.
The alarm clock was set to 6 AM. We had a long and hard day ahead of us. When I was finished packing my stuff I was missing the battery of my photo camera. I had been charing it in Mike's RV (also a ROAM rider). After unpacking everything and not finding it I packed my stuff back up again because I had to get going. Maybe it will turn up later, so no pictures today.
Today we first went to downtown Portland to be sent off at the fountain. Today would be officially declared Velomobile day by the guy from the department of transportation of Portland. The fountain was large and beautiful, squirted all kinds of patterns and smelled like chlorine. It was a hot day so I decided to ride a few laps around the edge of the fountain to cool down. The guy from the press agency (don't know the exact name) asked if he could take some pictures and write down my name. Could be that you'll a picture of me and my bike in a (local) news paper or so.