Editors Note: This ride report somehow languished in the drafts folder here for almost three years. This tour happened over Memorial Day 2011. But anything to read about bike touring during these dismal days are better than nothing, right?
Nate who joined us for the Eugene ride on his second Cycle Wild trip, wrote a short recap of our adventure. An edited version of it is below. Here’s a picture of Nate:
On the Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend at 7:30ish in the morning, seven gear-laden cycles and their riders met at the Clackamas Town Center stop at the end of the green line. After a short speech from our ride leader, Lillian, we were given cue sheets and got on the road.
Our route followed the I-205 bike path down to Oregon City, where we crossed a river and climbed the meanest, shortest hill of the trip. (Two of our riders actually took the Oregon City elevator part way up the hill!) Oregon City passed quickly, and we found ourselves on rolling hills surrounded by sparse homes, lots of trees, and the occasional scent of cow. After a brief lunch and the second of many repair stops on the trip in Canby (and meeting up with our eighth trip member) we continued to roll south through very similar terrain under an unexpectedly sunny sky into Silverton, where we were treated like kings and queens at the wonderful bike shop in town (we needed more repairs.)
The bike shop even had ramps in the parking lot for doing BMX tricks! We ended the day in Scio, where the group was able to stay under the good graces of a contact we found on www.warmshowers.org (there’s a severe campground lack in that part of the Willamette Valley). Our host, who has crossed the country by bicycle twice at seventy years old, was very generous, providing us with delicious pasta and salad for dinner, a floor to camp on (two campers set up their tents in the backyard, but the floor looked pretty comfy to the rest of us).
Day two featured a little climbing early in the day, but became a mostly flat ride with gorgeous views of the Willamette river valley, greenery all around us.
This flatness was appreciated particularly by one of our number, who heroically rode the whole way on a single speed with a basket on the front. We observed miles and miles of grass farms, and coasted into Eugene in the evening, where we stayed at an urban eco-village in town. Once we settled in, we immediately found our way to the Pizza Research Institute where we happily stuffed our faces. After winding down, and a good nights rest, the group went separate ways in the morning, with some folks busing back, some riding the train, and one workhorse riding all the way back in one day.
This trip was strangely full of technical problems. The first day saw a minor fall, a flat, a nearly broken front derailleur cable, a broken pedal and a saddle that needed replacing. The second day saw a problematic kickstand, and two flats in the last mile. However, despite all of these problems, we were hardly slowed. Through the help of two bike shops, a gracious host, and each other, we managed to bike ourselves all the way to Portland to Eugene, and have fun doing it.
See even more pictures from the ride at Flickr.