Yorkshire Cancer Research

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

We have lift off......

Well we made it, US airways did their best to wreck our bikes, $200 per bike obviously wasnt enough to secure safe passage.  This made us rather nervous as repairs were now required and neither of us are known for our bicycle maintenance ability.
Going through customs didn't calm the nerves either as we were both pulled in for an 'interview' before being allowed into the country.  It was actually pretty nerve racking sitting on the bench with the would be terrorists and illegals but we charmed our way through and the customs officer promised he would follow us on twitter.

We made our way from Portland to Astoria which is the start point of the TransAm Trail.  One night in the honeymoon sweet of a Pacific Coast motel and it was on with the cycling.

Day One:

45.77 miles of the TransAm trail (a further 8 miles sight seeing which included the house used in the film 'The Goonies')
Average Pace - 10.5 mph
Max Pace - 33 mph
4 hrs 20 minutes on the bike
5 Bananas eaten
1 Puncture (MJ)
2 lots of expletives from over sized vehicles

Packing our gear onto the bikes in the motel was an interesting task.  This is something we should have practiced many times before but being under prepared as we are this was pretty much the first time.  I quickly realised that i seem to have double the gear Tom has yet he seems to have everything that is need, my pants are a little bigger but thats doesnt count for all the difference?  My Tent doesn't even fit in the saddle bags and has to be strapped to the back of my bike.

Day 1 was generally beautiful sunshine, amazing roads complete with smooth tarmac and cycle lanes.  It was a dream start really.  Half way through the day we dipped our wheels in the Pacific with a stunning back drop.  Not many climbs to speak of, lots of picturesque towns, everyone was very friendly and very receptive and enthusiastic when we told them about our trip. 

We met a few very friendly cyclists on route who eased passed on the ascents.  It is never nice when someone cruises past you on the up hills when you are blowing out of your ass but i like to think the extra 30kg's on the bikes hindered us a little.  We finished the day with a state park campsite, a warm shower and some Stag Chilli - beautiful.

Day Two

Started the day to find my back wheel was flat, great start, second puncture in two days.  Wheel clean as a whistle, rims appeared fine, tyres ok, rim tape a little suspect but thought it may just be bad luck so repaired and cracked on.  A little concerned that the inner tubes aren't up to taking 130kg load for prolonged periods. (the 130kg includes my saddle bags btw)

64 miles from 5 hrs 24 in the saddle.  Scenery, terrain and roads much the same as day one.  Both of us are feeling pretty strong, the inevitable arse ache is present despite a thorough application of chamis cream prior to starting each day. I suppose the ache may be worse if we didn't have separate tents.
Unfortunately no shower to be had at the end of the day but the campsite was stunning, all in all a good day.

Day Three

77 mile day from 6 hrs and 29 mins in the saddle, although 6 miles of this was solo as i left my sunglasses in a service station.  It wasn't a happy ride back to retrieve them but an essential piece of kit so i needed to suck it up.
Starting to appreciate that despite what many people have said the likelihood of losing any weight on this trip is slim.  Typical days food -
Breakfast #1 - 7.30am Oatmeal with Banana and raisens, chewy bar
Breakfast #2 - c. 10.30am Peanut butter bagel, some trail mix
Lunch #1 - c. 1.00pm Tuna Bagel, Banana, Apple
Lunch #2 - c. 4.00pm Beef Jerky, Trail Mix, Banana
Dinner - end of day Tin of Stag Chilli, carrots, green beans (all tinned) and pasta

We left the Pacific coast today, it was a little too short and sweet.  The Pacific coast is absolutely stunning and it is a shame the Transamtrail doesnt follow more of it.  The rolling hills, smooth tarmac and beautiful views will be hard to beat.

We are both harboring ever increasing appetites and when we get hungry there is a noticeable drop in pace.  Food is therefore a major topic of conversation.  We did stop in MacDonalds although it was only to use the wifi, Supersize wouldnt cut it, not enough calories per dollar.

We managed to get a shower at Day three's campsite which was very much appreciated, very tired but probably not as tired as i thought i would be considering 77 miles is the furthest i have ever cycled!

Day Four

52 miles from 4 hrs 25 mins in the saddle.  An easy day in comparison to day 3, generally very flat terrain, roads were good and the traffic wasnt too bad.  The roads and weather continue to be fantastic and although we know this will change we are enjoying every minute of it at the moment.

One of the principal economic main stay of the Oregan coast is lumbering which means the roads are fairly well trafficed with huge log carrying Arctics.  It can be pretty hairy when one of the trucks trundles by and we are thankful for the hard shoulders at these times.  Additionally, generally speaking the vehicles over here are huge, some of the RV's are towing what we would consider big 4x4's which gives an indication of the size....think Meet the Fockers RV.  Whilst this means the roads are wide, it does feel quite tight when they whizz by in convoy.  Some of them honk the horn before they pass, we are still unsure whether this is a warning or a form of abuse, i have kept the finger retracted so far and giving the benefit of doubt to the RV pilots.

Ironically at the end of Day Four we stayed in an RV park, we were the only tents which has been the norm so far.  It may not be the same for all of Oregan but camping seems to be on the whole taking your house on wheels to a different place.  We sat outside on the tarmac cooking our 3% meat tinned chilli looking through the windows of the RV's where their owners watch their wide screen TV's on their leather sofa, who is really winning?

Day Five

A rest day today, although to get to the rest spot in Eugene we had to cycle 15 miles, it was a flat 15 miles with an average pace of around 13 mph.
Today has been the rest days to beat all rest days.  We are in Eugene staying with my cousins and we have been treated like Kings.  We have taken on more calories than we can justify made up of beautiful home made cooking and baking.  We have fired assault rifles and hand guns which was incredible and we finished the day off with a locally brewed IPA in the hot tub......bliss.  We wont want to leave there is no doubt about that, especially because the next couple of days involves 5,000 feet of climbing.  The McKenzie pass is open again (closed because of snow until earlier this month) which means there is no excuses.

 Hey You Guys, outside the Goonies house, very giddy!
 Day #1 of Brokeback cycles
 Dipping the wheel in the Pacific, we made a poor guy who was sunbathing take some photos.  It was a nightmare getting the bikes down to the beach and back off.  Sand everywhere too but its an essential photograph! 
 The trip navigator double checking a few details, impeccable navigation so far.
 What a guy
 Best part of any day, and yes i havent changed my clothes in a couple of long sweaty days.
 Sand lakes flanking the beautiful road, this was the end of a 4 mile descent where we didnt pass one single car.....amazing fun.
 Bye bye to the Pacific, lunch #1
 Pish stop photo op
Rest day....when in Rome