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  My Tours: Pac West Tour 2007 - Epilogue

Saturday 10/06/07

Why did you do this trip? I did a trip two years ago from Fort Bragg, CA to Roseville, CA. It was a test to see if I liked doing Bike Touring. It was such a great trip that I couldn't wait to do another. This was just an extension of that trip.

Was it difficult?  Honestly?  Yes it was difficult.  The thing about cycling is that it's a little bit of physical and a little bit of mental.  You have to be somewhat physically fit, and you have to be somewhat mentally fit as well.  Climbing a hill takes some muscle.  Telling your body to just give another quarter mile before it gives in takes some mental muscle as well.  Riding through fog so heavy it's like rain takes a lot of mental will to keep going.  That's when you just put it in auto pilot and tell your brain to shut up and let the body do the riding.

What was the hardest part?  The first day.  The first day was a total of 82 miles.  But it wasn't so much the mileage as it was the unknown.  I had no profiles of what I would be going up and over.  I had to ride from Portland to Cannon Beach.  In doing so I had to climb up and over the coastal range 3 or 4 times.  By the time I hit the coast it was 7 pm.  I had been riding since 8 am that morning.  It was a difficult first day but filled with beautiful scenes all along the way.

What was the easiest part? Going to sleep every night.  It's amazing how fast you can fall asleep each night after you've ridden 60 miles that day.

But did you have fun? It was more than just fun, it was awesome.  It was fun to meet new people, travel new roads, see sites I had read about for months, take hundreds of pictures, and finally put it all here for you to enjoy as well.

What worked? My tires, my shoes, my tent.  I had no flats, that's right no flats.  My tires are the best. I will continue to use Armadillos.  The last trip I was not happy with my shoes, they were too flexible.  This time around I used my regular cycling shoes and they were perfect. No flex.  While it didn't rain cats and dogs it did rain a couple of times.  I found out just how water proof my tent is.  Very water proof.  I am glad that it is water proof because camping in the rain is one thing, camping in the rain and being wet, well that's just is miserable.  Thanks to my tree frog tent I stayed very dry.

What didn't work?  Sitting here typing this I honestly can't think of anything that didn't work out like I wanted it to.

Wasn't it dangerous?  Of course not, at least that what I keep telling my mother!  I guess you have to define what's safe.  If you want your very own bike lane the entire way then no it wasn't.  But if you're okay with a 2 to 3 foot shoulder then you'll do okay.  For the most part of Oregon Highway 101 has a very nice shoulder.  There are a few places where it gets down to nothing, but that was very rare.  California on the other hand is not so generous.  The worst part for me was probably going up and over the big hill just right outside Crescent City.  Even though there are two lanes going up the hill there is no shoulder.  And I mean no shoulder.  There is a white line and then nothing.  So for most of the way up this hill you are in the lane with the cars, trucks, and RVs.  They were nice to me and didn't give me any problems, but you have to be on top of who is coming up behind you and what they are doing.  The second worst part was coming through the Richardson Grove area.  This is another area that doesn't have much of a shoulder, some to nothing.  The problem with this area is there is only one lane each way.  So you really have to pay attention through this area.  I pulled over at least twice to let the truck/RV just pass by and not worry about me.

What was a typical day like? Get up around 7:30 and cook some breakfast. Pack the rig, put on the cycling gear, load up with water, and head out on the road by about 8:30 am. By about 10 am I'll have a snickers bar to keep the energy levels up. Sometime around 11:00 am I'll find a place for lunch. Usually a subway, have half of the sandwich then and save the rest for a snack later. Back on the bike and riding until 2 or 3pm. Then have the rest of the sandwich. Usually around 4 to 5 pm I would arrive in camp. Unload the bike and all the gear, setup the tent, and cook dinner. Shower and cleanup for the night. Meet other cyclists in camp that night, go for a stroll on the beach, prepare for the next day, hit the sleeping bag at 9:30 pm and then do it all over the next day.

Did you loose any weight? I didn't think I had until I got back home. My wife took a look at me and said, "You lost weight!" I got on the scale and sure enough I had lost 10 lbs. It's very difficult to not loose weight on something like this. When you're burning about 4,000 to 5,000 calories a day you're going to loose something.

What did you learn while on this trip? It's very difficult to step away from life the way I did. Time doesn't stand still and wait for you to catch up. While I was gone my oldest turned 18 and started college, my youngest started the 1st grade, my sister-in-law had a baby, my sister lost a baby to a miscarriage, a good friend of mine passed away, and I missed my wife more than words can explain here.

What's next? Next July I plan on going from San Francisco to the Mexican Border.  See you on the road.


Copyright 2003-2013 Devin Holmes