Monday, September 20, 2010

Day Seven - Bittersweet Ending

Finally have some time to sit down and reflect and post about the last day - day seven. The last day of Cycle Oregon is usually a hard one. I mean - the party is over. You have to ride the entire day knowing that at the finish it is time to return to "reality" - whatever that is.

To make this CO even harder was a final day that would prove to be one of the most difficult ever - a ride up and over Tollgate Pass from Pedleton to Elgin.

The ride itself was epic. The weather perfect for riding. Climbing long and hard. Downhills fast and furious. There can simply be no complaints about how awesome of a final day it was. Pulling into the finish at about 2:30 PM meant there was still a bit of goodbye partying going on. After a lot of goodbuys to friends new and old - time to wrap it up.

Until next year!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day Six - Let 'er Buck!!

Layover day number two. I could get used to these. Especially when the layover day is accompanied by a ticket to the 100th anniversary of the Pendleton Round Up.

The morning stated with a parade through downtown Pendleton that had upwards of 1200 plus horses. What followed was a party and rodeo the likes of which I have never experienced. Some great video to come following this weeks ride of the rodeo festivities!

Day Five - Rollers and Rollers and Rollers

Day five was a good day. A lot of rollers that went on and on and on! Still came in at a. Good ti me. Ready for the next layover day and the Pendleton RoundUp!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 4 - Layover in Waitsburg

Ah, the layover day. A day on Cycle Oregon to make a choice - to ride or not to ride? Many cyclists took of in the morning to make the trek to Walla Walla. I decided to give it a rest today and check out the local scene and just relax in general.

So today I offer up a bunch of photos of just Cycle Oregon stuff and a handful of things around Waitsburg.

Hot (or cold) showers always await.

Nossa Familia Coffee. These guys know how to serve up the java with enthusiasm. Sometimes the van gets rocking with the heavy dance moves and it's amazing they can brew up the lattes with such a steady hand! (video to come)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day Three - Another 80 Plus Miles

Day three is a wrap. Day three was a lot to take. What started off with an awesome climb ended with another awesome climb - except the first one was awesome in a good way.

Along the way in the morning I spied the rider on course with the absolute most guts of everyone. Still the coffee cycle churned up the hill...

Now, piloting the 100 pound Trailhead Coffee cycle up an almost 6 percent grade takes guts. Its one thing to tackle a climb on a sub 19lb road bike and brag at the beer garden. This guy - the Real Deal.

Close to the top, a great photo opportunity.

Cruising into the second main rest stop of the day saw a lot of great revelry, music, and the best part of the morning - fresh espresso hot off the Coffee Cycle.

The remaining section of the day was full of fast pacelines, (a few passed by a trike) massive headwinds, and a final climb of the day that was super hot and super devoid of shade. It was a long slog to finish, but the views were in true Cycle Oregon style - fantastic.

Day Number Two - Done

The second day is done. As usual, it was absolutely epic. A bit tired to type. Likely this post will be a day late, but I will let the pictures do the talking.

Highlight of the day - Rattlesnake Grade. Simply astounding climb.

Bonus highlight of the day - two AWESOME super twisty downhills. Video to follow after the Cycle Oregon week.

This climb was a series of switchbacks that went of forever. At least it seemed like forever. The best part of the climb was looking back down over the endue to see all the progress made!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day One in the Book - and it was EPIC

Sitting in the blogmobile pondering the days events, it is hard to think of what all to include in my post. The day was not a long one, a run of about 45 or so miles from Elgin to Enterprise without the option into Joseph. Still, the miles for. The day we mainly uphill. And hey, even when the grade is only a percent or so - when it's uphill it's uphill.

The day started with a temperature rumored during breakfast to be around 29 degrees. Yes! People emerged from their frosty shelters to see bikes covered in nice frosty goodness.

Still, with the sun emerging, it was time to break camp and get out on the road. Getting out of camp at around 8:30am is not as early as I would have liked, but it is a short day. The first sign of exactly how long the trip would last came just a bit out of Elgin beginning the first climb of the day.

I have mentioned before that my commitment this year was to do more "slowing down and smelling the roses." The first opportunity to do so came not too far into the ride. Up ahead I spied a cool replica stagecoach parked outside the front of a little house. Photo opportunity number one of the day.

Well, it was not long before the owner of the house emerged to let us know the history of this place. This house - which was literally in the middle of nowhere - was the last stop during the wagon train days for folks crossing the Minam Grade to swap horses for the upcoming grueling climb across the pass. Very cool.

Even better than that was the the opportunity for a few of us listening to be offered a swig (or many) of some homemade apple cider whiskey. Well, who can resist that? Not me. And I have to tell you, it was some damned good moonshine there. Mmmm. Darned good thing I was on the trike (no wobbles) Kidding - I am not THAT much of a lightweight.

Now, this is the type of thing that makes stopping worthwhile. Not because there's a chance of locals emerging with free booze, but this little bit of history and chance to shake hands and share company with the. Locals only happens when you STOP.

After the climb, we were met with an absolute incredible view before starting the downhill.

The downhill was incredible of course. I will have to save the video footage for a post - Cycle Oregon video. That led up to the first ODS rest stop of the day, where we got to have some incredible espresso served up. By bike too.

Cruising along to Enterprise, peeling the miles away, the scenery was as good as it can get on a Cycle Oregon. The weather was perfect with little to no wind and maintaining a comfortable pace was sublime.

After pulling into Enterprise and getting cleaned up, it was time for a return to Terminal Gravity Brewery. The place was simply hopping with people. Great food and awesome beer. Hard to ash for a better afternoon after a nice days ride.

After returning to camp, time to have dinner with 2,000 plus fellow Cycle Oregonians and then on to the nights entertainment. Tomorrow will be a crazy day. I am sure it will be EPIC.

Stay tuned!