My latest adventure down the west coast is now over. Posts are listed by date on the right. In a departure from previous years, I am not asking for donations. Instead, I will be making a sizable donation on behalf of my father-in-law, father, and all the wonderful people who have supported me over the years.

My rides will continue to make a difference in the lives of families fighting lung disease and to increase awareness about the importance of lung health. Follow along … Together; we are improving life, one breath at a time.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ride The West - Day 4, Bandon OR

A cool and foggy day that lacked the amazing views of the first three days.  I rode the first 15 miles with Mark and Susan.  Susan can really kick butt on those flats.  We passed the Dunes State Park, but it was so foggy, we kept on going.  The dunes can get as high as 500 feet and attract lots of ATVs ... sorry, no pictures of that today.  Our first climb spread folks out and I pushed on and hooked up with Jeff toward the bottom of the descent.  He came screaming past me and uttered two words ... "You're Pretty".  That was a response to my gesture from yesterday ... too funny.  We scampered uneventfully through Gardiner, Reedsport, and into Winchester.

Our first SAG was at the Umpqua River Lighthouse.  The current lighthouse dates to 1890 and sits about 100 feet above sea level.  That short climb was a predecessor of what was to come.  Leaving the SAG we faced a steep 400 foot climb back to US 101.  Our trusty ride leader, Mike Munk, was lurking in just the right spot and snapped a great picture of me climbing in the fog.  Joe, Jeff, Gary, John, and Barb pushed past me on the climb, but I got my revenge and zoomed past them on the descent.  That power descending habit of mine always gets a good laugh out of Joe.

Foggy Climb From The Light House (Courtesy of Mike Munk)
Small Marina Before the Lighthouse (Jeff and I Both Made This Our 1st Picture of the Day)

Umpqua River Lighthouse - 1st SAG
The road backed up due to some construction and several of us assembled before riding through it.  Jeff, Joe, Mose, and I rode out in a fast pace line from there.  I took a pull as we hit a small hill and stuck with them for about five miles, but, they had too much speed for me, and I fell back on my own for the next five miles.  We reassembled just prior to the McCullough Memorial Bridge that crosses Coos Bay in North Bend.  The bridge is just over a mile long and is not really conducive for bike riding.  That meant another long walk in my "duck like" road cleats.  In just four short days, I have totally worn them down to the point of replacement ... I really need to switch over to a more walkable type of shoe and cleat.  Jeff snapped a picture of me making the long lonely walk over the bridge.

Approaching The Bridge Over Coos Bay

Another Long Walk ... I Did Ride Down The Back Side
Karen routed us through some side streets in North Bend to avoid the busy traffic on 101.  When we emerged, it was a short five miles along Hungryman Cove into Charleston.  Our second SAG was just after a small drawbridge that was raised while we were there.  Howard and Shirley got stuck on the other side and had to wait it out.  The highlight of the SAG was smoked tuna and salmon that Don brought.  Don is another 2010 North alum who lives close by in Coquille, Oregon.  He loves to joke around and today was no exception. He put a feather in my helmet and it felt like a bug ... Gary snapped a not so becoming picture of me about to take my helmet off to investigate.  A good laugh was had by all.
Don, The Feather, The Fig Newton, and Me
Drawbridge Goes Up ... My Picture Was Blurry, So I Stole Jeff's :-)
From the SAG it was a short 1/4 mile to the long awaited Seven Devils Road.  This ten mile road is named for the seven climbs you must make before a nice 500+ foot descent back to US 101.  I found that it's bark was worse than it's bite (Susan would end up using that as her Blog title for the day).  The first devil was the toughest at over 14% (only about 300 feet).  I ended the day as I started it, and rode into Bandon with Mark and Susan.

We are staying at the Bandon Inn overlooking the Coquille River and the old town of, you guessed it, Bandon.  There is a good view of the Coquille River Lighthouse just a few blocks from town. I had another great piece of fish (Red Snapper) for dinner at the Minute Cafe.  After dinner, I grabbed a beer with Leo, John, Barb, Don, and Don's fiancee Lori before settling in for the night.  A shorter day awaits us tomorrow ... just 57 miles and 2,400 feet of climbing into Gold Beach.  Hope the weather is a little nicer than today as there are supposed to be more sites to see.

View From Our Balcony ... Bandon and Coquille River

Coquille River Lighthouse
Pig would have loved the town off Bandon ... another relative has a flourishing gift shop. Almost forgot, here is today's map and data (mph slow thanks to 1 mile walk on bridge) -

Pig and His Family Are Everywhere
Good Night Moon ... Good Night Fog ... Good Night Seven Devils ... Good Night Bandon ... Good Night Family

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