Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ride the West - Day 5, Bandon Oregon to Gold Beach Oregon

We left Bandon, Oregon in the usual fog that seems to have been tailing us from the start. I'm starting to get a bit tired of this cold moisture in the morning. When will it let up? Once started, we came upon a rock formation in the ocean water known as “Face Rock”. The rock can be viewed as the face of a person leaning backwards. People typically mimic the rock, lean back and line themselves up for a picture opportunity.

A foggy "Face Rock"

I have been trying out new seat positions on my Roark, as the previous one was pushing me forward too much, causing me to constantly be pushing back. This resulted in improper use of the leg muscles, when more gluteus muscles were to be used. It also caused my hands to to go numb after a while. The new seat adjustment is a step in the right direction, but not quite perfect. At least I am not being pushed forward improperly anymore. On these long-distance bike rides, it is critical to have the most perfect fit as possible, as the miles exaggerate any flaws.

Along the way, Baltimore Mark had a bit of a mechanical issue that almost caused him to crash. It seems his left side crank just fell off when he tried to get going again. It must have been a strange feeling to just have this piece dangling from the cleat of his shoe. Jim, our ABB mechanic was called and he was able to get it reattached and properly set.

Baltimore Mark's bike is missing a crank

It seems that I won the bet! If you recall, we were taking wagers on when “The Duchess” would kick Toronto Mark out and he would end up riding with the 3 of us, making it “The Geldings” once again. Well, today, Mark had a flat tire and “The Duchess” abandoned him and went on riding. The 3 of us later came up on Mark still trying to change his tire and since we stopped and waited, Mark was once again riding with “The Geldings”. I declared victory on the bet and after some deliberation by the others, the honor was fully recognized.

Toronto Mark making a face of desperation

 “The Geldings” rode together until we got to the Myrtlewood store in Port Orford, where Toronto Mark ventured on by himself, getting himself back with “The Duchess”. The riding brought back plenty of great memories from our ride together across the country.

Once at the SAG, we were able to see Battle Rock and the art gallery next to it. Baltimore Mark headed on ahead of Joe and me, thinking that we would catch him on the climbs, but Joe and I took an extra long SAG break and took our time along the coast. We never caught Baltimore Mark, until we called him to join us for chowder at Gold Beach. He had already made it to the hotel and had a shower.

Battle Rock

Art gallery at Battle Rock
Gold Beach is a total tourist trap, but has some pretty sights as well. On the way into town, we managed to get off of route 101 and take back-roads in, which was a pleasant change to being riding on unused country roads. Sheep and cows could be seen grazing. We took the long bridge over the river, where a salmon fishing tournament was underway. My dad would have loved participating in an event like that.

The bridge into Gold Beach

Our hotel, the “Inn of the Beachcomber” is a reasonably nice hotel, with a great view of the ocean and lighthouse behind. The 2 beds look great to sleep on, but I won't be able to avail myself of that pleasure, as a small, thin roll-away cot seems to be in my immediate future. It's my turn for the unpleasant sleep, as the 3 of us are sharing the room.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

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