Sunday, September 18, 2011


The long drive home yesterday was a miserable one. After stop and go traffic in the area of University of Oregon (Ducks vs Missouri football game?), the weather took a turn for the worse through the coast range - very rainy and foggy with poor visibility. Near collision, too, when some fool thought he'd pass an oncoming car on a curve, completely ignoring the solid double yellow line and stupidity of making such a move in the first place. Thank goodness hubby was hugging the fog line at the time!

I slept in today, and boy, did it feel good. My agenda today is to do LAUNDRY. I believe I'll need to find some tongs to pick through the pile, though. I also want to insert some photos into some of the earlier posts.

This morning, my son (who also rode Cycle Oregon with us), sent me a couple links - a photo and video of most of our "Team" crossing the finish line on the last day (he's a much faster rider and finished well ahead of us). We're wearing our local brew pub jerseys (Fort George), and did our best to promote the business during the ride.  I'm the plump rider with the hydration pack on her back. Below the photos, you can see us in the few seconds of the video.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

CO Day 7

Day 7 – September 17: Riddle to Sutherlin
“Water to Wine” (52 miles)
Today’s finish reminds you of the diverse splendor of Oregon riding. You’ll pass pastures of sheep, cattle, llamas and horses. You’ll fly by lumber mills, roll through river valleys and ascend along hillside vineyards. The middle part of the day follows a local wine-tour route, including a stop at the picturesque Melrose Winery. After the rollers spill out into a broad valley, you’ll follow gently rolling swells into Sutherlin, capping a memorable week.

Rest stop at the Melrose Winery. 18 miles to go! Beautiful - must come for a visit again.

Later: Did it! Great ride, and it feels good to accomplish such a big physical challenge. Good to do it with friends, too. Wonder what next year's route will be?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wow! What a killer day. Gained over 5000 feet in elevation today, over 78 miles. Here I am, photo taken along the descent. Guess I was too tired to suck in my gut...

Later: Back in camp, and boy, does my butt hurt. One day to go! Eating voraciously now. :-)
6:30 a.m. - we'd hoped to get up earlier today, but didn't. We've got the toughest ride of the day ahead of us. My lower lip's sunburned - and swollen :-(

CO Day 6

Day 6 – September 16: Powers to Riddle
“Stairway to Heaven” (85 miles)
This is a quintessential Oregon forest ride. Climb gradually under a shady green canopy, alongside a boulder-strewn stream, then turn toward the sky for a sturdy climb past waterfalls, before smoothing out for a glide into the aptly named Eden Valley. After lunch the major climb of the week awaits, but the serene surroundings offer a worthwhile trade-off. And it’s (nearly) all downhill after that, including an amazingly smooth run-in that follows Cow Creek for miles of pick-your-pace pedaling.

Well, the description of the ride said something about being "nearly downhill" for the last 25 miles or so, but I want to add that there was a wicked headwind slowing us down and taxing the muscles in our legs - so don't you go thinking it was a breeze!  Here's a glimpse of a small portion of camp in Riddle at the end of the day:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sitting here finishing a huge breakfast, then will head out for a FLAT 60 miler - yay!! Tomorrow is the day we've all been having anxiety over.

CO Day 5

Day 5 – September 15: Bandon to Powers
“Pedaling Pastoral” (60 miles)
The theme of the day is tranquility, as we traverse low-traffic roads through pastureland and along gentle waterways. Start with a backroads route from Bandon to Coquille, and then enter a Mad Hatter maze of turns on what seems like a dozen roads that all have the same three names (watch your signage!). It’s a pleasant multidirectional meander through dairy farms and pastures. After lunch in Myrtle Point, take a magic carpet ride into Powers – rollers, swoops and views down to the Coquille River as we approach town.

Paul, Chris and I at one of the rest stops. Another beautiful day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CO Day 4

Day 4 – September 14: Bandon – Port Orford Layover Option
“Parks in Paradise” (56 or 67 miles)
After the rollout along scenic Beach Loop Road, enjoy a surprise: glassy-smooth pavement and good shoulders along Highway 101. The optional side trip to Cape Blanco is a must-do, taking you past headland mesas and cranberry bogs to the cape’s rugged shoreline and majestic lighthouse. Our lunch spot at a park in Port Orford features trails leading to the beach. Retrace your way back up the coast for a new view of the same great scenery, and then find more fun back in Bandon.

Except for Kyle, the rest of the team chose to remain in Bandon on our layover day and explore this quaint little beach town. Here's a look at the beach just blocks from the CO campsite:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

CO Day 3

Day 3 – September 13: Reedsport to Bandon
“Cape Crusaders” (76 miles)
Start off rolling past dunes, marshes and lakes along Highway 101, before turning off to swoop and loop around Kentuck Bay. After climbing up and over to Charleston, enjoy lunch at stunning Shore Acres State Park as waves crash against rocky outcrops and seals bark on the way out to Cape Arago. After lunch, take on the Seven Devils – short, steep pitches that will test your resolve – before descending to Bandon for a cruise through the dunes and on into Old Town.

Up early, and it's sprinkling. Not cold, tho, so that's good. I had in my head that this was a shorter mileage day (wishful thinking on my part?)

Monday, September 12, 2011

CO Day 2

Day 2 – September 12: Cottage Grove to Reedsport
“Roller Coast-er” (90 miles)
Today we taste one of the truly sublime coast routes. From the handsome downtown of Cottage Grove, pedal incredibly smooth backroads into tiny Lorane, and then glide through a tunnel of trees on Siuslaw River Road. Yes, there’s a climb and a summit, but you’ll be so euphoric you won’t mind. After lunch it’s a steady ride through the “Chapel of the Coast Range,” a forest-and-river cathedral. We follow the Smith River to Reedsport as it grows placid and wide.

Dinner under the tent:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

CO Day 1

Day 1 – September 11: Sutherlin to Cottage Grove
“Hill and Dale” (47 or 70 miles)
Our opening day builds to a climbing crescendo, starting on the inspiringly named Nonpareil Road, followed by a gentle climb through a wooded ravine. Then it’s rollers past oak copses and sheep farms, on into Scotts Valley before turning upward on London Hill for a long, steady grind. A sinuous, forested descent to lunch bottoms out for a flat cruise into Cottage Grove, skirting the shores of Cottage Grove Lake. A lovely introduction to an epic week.

Here we are before our first day of riding, wearing our "Team Vortex" jerseys. Left to right: Kyle (my son), Chris (my husband), me, Mike, Paul, Janet, Steve, and Allison. Missing from photo is Teresa (sis-in-law) who got an earlier start:

It was a hot, hot day when we rode into Cottage Grove - about 100 degrees! All of us (with the exception of Kyle) rode the 47 mile route, in the hopes of "saving ourselves" for the 90 mile ride the next day. The climb today was tough. Hope I'm up for the big climb on Day 6.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cycle Oregon...ready or not!

Today I must focus on the daunting task of packing for Cycle Oregon. That's ONE bag, weighing no more than 65 pounds, containing all cycling gear and clothing, tools, camp clothes, towels, toiletries, sleeping bag, pad, pillow, camp chair, camera, book (Kindle), and tent.

I've lost a few pounds preparing for this ride, not nearly as much as I'd hoped but I have gained some fitness. Let's see if it's enough!

The weather forecast for the first few days is HOT. Like 90+. Living on the Oregon Coast, that's a bit warmer than what we usually experience here. But as we head west toward the southern Oregon coast, it looks like the temps will cool off a bit. (Must remember to pack SUNSCREEN).

I hope to post at least a couple times during the week, but have preloaded some daily ride details in advance. This is a great way for my family, friends and co-workers to know exactly where we are (there are FIVE Emergency Department people riding this year!)

For those that follow this blog for the DOLLS, please be patient and hang in there - I'll get back on track when I get home.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Today is the first day of my vacation. We'll be leaving on Saturday for Sutherlin, Oregon, and will start bicycling on Sunday ~ a 500 mile, week-long tour of southwest Oregon (

I may upload an occasional post during next week, but it's always nice to get away from electronics and cell phones from time to time. I'll be camping/riding with a group of family and friends this year (and 2200 other riders). Here's a photo of a few of us taken in May, on a training ride. I'm the short one. We'd asked the local micro-brewery to design bike jerseys for us, and they did - the guy on the left forgot to wear on this particular ride.

I'll be focusing more on dolls on my return home.

Wish me luck!