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.
Today was the last change to prepare yourself and your bike for the big tour. For personal care I bought some powdered Gatorade which you can mix with water. Besides that some bananas and fruity nuts. Also the bike has been tweaked a bit. The chain has been cleaned, some stickers have been applied (ROAM, DHL, Clif Bar, Schalbe, Sinner Bikes and my own number, 25) and I did some experimenting with the placement of the Contour+ camera. I was planning to record the entire coast-to-coast ride and make a time-lapse. So the camera has to be as vibration free as possible (see pictures below).
Yesterday I woke up at 4:30 AM (probably because of the jetlag), but today I got to sleep in till 8:30 AM. After another American breakfast we headed to TerraCycle around noon. During the Cycle Vision weekend at Biddinhuizen I met Pat Franz (the owner) and we talked about visiting his little factory. TerraCycle makes all kinds of different recumbent parts. The one you might know is the idler.
After we've been up for 26 hours straight we went to bed around 10 PM. I for once really needed that. I got to sleep in until 4:30 AM. Hmmm, jetlag? Closed my eyes and try sleep again. Breakfast as around 8:30 AM and after that we were going to pick up our bikes. Three big pieces of bread with syrup, jam and peanut butter (well, not the kind I'm used to) and a number glasses of orange juice were digested. Then it was finally time to head down to the warehouse where our bikes were waiting for us. The unpacking went very quickly and within two hours we all stood on the loading area.
What a journey! We arrived sound and well in the Days Inn North in Portland (OR). The adventure began on Saturday afternoon with a three hour train ride to Naarden. Sunday morning the alarm clock went of at 5 AM and after a quick breakfast Bram S. and myself put on our backpacks and headed for Schiphol by train. When we arrived Marcel B. was already waiting for us and not much later Johann S. and Bert van V. arrived. We had checked in the day before via the internet, so now it was only a matter of handing of luggage and going though customs and gate checkup.