© 2015 The Nielsens

Dogdander
Day Two: Go Ducks or Beavers Eugene to Corvallis, Oregon Today’s mileage: 58 Total bike mileage so far: 73 Local Gas Prices: $2.83 in Corvallis Weather: Hot with a headwind Saddle Sore-o-meter reading: 4 Animals for the day: Great Blue Heron Crises Averted: Er… do we go East or West from here?      The first four miles of our ride today were idyllic. And by idyllic we mean that the path was really pretty, not that we were pedaling in the right direction. It took a while for us to realize that we were headed amiss. There are three stages of being lost. There is denial, when Berta still tries to explain our heading. There is anger at the bike GPS/Google Maps on the phone/the “real” GPS. And then there is acceptance, when you turn around. Oh, there is a fourth stage. That is when John takes off like a scalded cat to get back to where you should be. It took less than thirty minutes to get back to square one. We passed Jung’s Mongolian Grill, the hotel, Bike Friday, downtown Eugene, the train station, and the Willamette River. It was idyllic to be on the route again.      We have a map for cycling the coast of Oregon that suggests riding from North to South because of prevailing winds. We are riding from South to North because of a combination of unfounded optimism and faulty reasoning. Berta thinks that wind usually comes up in the afternoon. Since we normally finish riding before two in the afternoon, it won’t be windy, right? Wrong. Once we got going, we rode headlong into a stiff wind all day. And to top it off, a guy on a recumbent with a fairing passed us and made an antagonistic face in John’s general direction. What ensued was exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. He had overtaken us pretty decisively, but we reeled him back in when we used the drop bars and got a little more aerodynamic. After about an hour, when he pulled into a highway reststop, we did too. We pretended not to pant and drip sweat in front of John’s nemesis. We left before he did. We didn’t see him again. We would like to think he accepted his loss gracefully.      One of the reasons we had for vacationing in the Pacific Northwest this year is so that Berta wouldn’t feel bad about taking a shower of more than four minutes. We have been near the Willamette River most of the trip and the land is lush with moisture compared to home. However, it has been very dry in Oregon, so we try to sympathize. The weather is in the nineties with low humidity and high winds. The whole region is under red-flag fire warnings. But the showering has been luxurious.      There was a pasta chain restaurant in the same block as the hotel. We ate there and no, the servings were not too large. John discovered that spumoni is better with sugar on it (many things are). We were maybe fifty yards from a launching area on the river. We watched guys heading for the river with their fancy innertube-shaped inflatables. We saw four large scantily- clad people jammed into the front seat of a pickup. There were kayaks and boards in the bed of the truck. Berta spotted a kayaker paddling up the river who turned out to be standing on a paddleboard. A jetski zoomed on by.      There is a display at the motel tonight that proclaims “Go Beavs!” with some rather menacing stylized beaver faces. The Oregon State Beavers wear orange and black. The University of Oregon Ducks wear green and gold. Keep ‘em straight, people.

© 2015 The Nielsens

© 2015 The Nielsens

Dogdander
Day Two: Go Ducks or Beavers Eugene to Corvallis, Oregon Today’s mileage: 58 Total bike mileage so far: 73 Local Gas Prices: $2.83 in Corvallis Weather: Hot with a headwind Saddle Sore-o-meter reading: 4 Animals for the day: Great Blue Heron Crises Averted: Er… do we go East or West from here?      The first four miles of our ride today were idyllic. And by idyllic we mean that the path was really pretty, not that we were pedaling in the right direction. It took a while for us to realize that we were headed amiss. There are three stages of being lost. There is denial, when Berta still tries to explain our heading. There is anger at the bike GPS/Google Maps on the phone/the “real” GPS. And then there is acceptance, when you turn around. Oh, there is a fourth stage. That is when John takes off like a scalded cat to get back to where you should be. It took less than thirty minutes to get back to square one. We passed Jung’s Mongolian Grill, the hotel, Bike Friday, downtown Eugene, the train station, and the Willamette River. It was idyllic to be on the route again.      We have a map for cycling the coast of Oregon that suggests riding from North to South because of prevailing winds. We are riding from South to North because of a combination of unfounded optimism and faulty reasoning. Berta thinks that wind usually comes up in the afternoon. Since we normally finish riding before two in the afternoon, it won’t be windy, right? Wrong. Once we got going, we rode headlong into a stiff wind all day. And to top it off, a guy on a recumbent with a fairing passed us and made an antagonistic face in John’s general direction. What ensued was exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. He had overtaken us pretty decisively, but we reeled him back in when we used the drop bars and got a little more aerodynamic. After about an hour, when he pulled into a highway reststop, we did too. We pretended not to pant and drip sweat in front of John’s nemesis. We left before he did. We didn’t see him again. We would like to think he accepted his loss gracefully.      One of the reasons we had for vacationing in the Pacific Northwest this year is so that Berta wouldn’t feel bad about taking a shower of more than four minutes. We have been near the Willamette River most of the trip and the land is lush with moisture compared to home. However, it has been very dry in Oregon, so we try to sympathize. The weather is in the nineties with low humidity and high winds. The whole region is under red-flag fire warnings. But the showering has been luxurious.      There was a pasta chain restaurant in the same block as the hotel. We ate there and no, the servings were not too large. John discovered that spumoni is better with sugar on it (many things are). We were maybe fifty yards from a launching area on the river. We watched guys heading for the river with their fancy innertube-shaped inflatables. We saw four large scantily- clad people jammed into the front seat of a pickup. There were kayaks and boards in the bed of the truck. Berta spotted a kayaker paddling up the river who turned out to be standing on a paddleboard. A jetski zoomed on by.      There is a display at the motel tonight that proclaims “Go Beavs!” with some rather menacing stylized beaver faces. The Oregon State Beavers wear orange and black. The University of Oregon Ducks wear green and gold. Keep ‘em straight, people.