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April 14, cont’d

April 15, 2019

What a day! Not knowing exactly what to expect, we got an early start. Highway 22 out of Detroit is beautiful on a Sunday morning, even when it’s cloudy. As we rode, the clouds cleared a little, regrouped, then rained on us and repeated that cycle. The first 18-20 miles went smoothly and the ascent was gentle. Traffic was light and we stopped only to let Jax stretch his legs and for me to switch jackets a couple times (rain shell great for keeping water out, bad for sweating up hills). Temperatures went from 36 degrees F to 38, then down to 34 as we climbed.

Santiam River

I let the Mighty Jax out about once an hour. When grades were 4-5%, traffic was semi-light and the shoulder was wide enough, I let him walk-trot alongside. He’s not a big fan of walking or moving in a straight line, so I stopped and let him rev his motor a couple times.

Somewhere off the road

After 20 miles, the shoulder (when there was one) got gravelly, sandy and-or silty, the leftovers from road crews trying to keep up with snow and ice all winter. When we could, we used the smooth part of the road, moving onto the shoulder only when traffic approached. But traffic steadily increased and the last 20 miles of the ride were essentially a “gravel ride.” No problem, keep pedaling.

3-5 miles from the top of the pass, grades were 5-8%, a perfect time to offload 75 lbs. and let Jax walk. However, traffic was really roaring by now, so he remained in his chariot. Traffic was heavy, but very polite. We even got a few honks and thumbs up as we slogged up the final miles. That was really motivating! When we reached the Pacific Crest, I was really sweaty and it was starting to snow.

Where the PCT crosses hwy 20

Sweat and cold are an awful combination, especially when the road starts to descend and you no longer have physical exertion to keep you warm. So I stopped, bundled up and set out toward Sisters. The snow really started coming down, but thankfully didn’t stick to the road. Traffic was really whizzing by now and visibility was limited, so the clear asphalt wasn’t an option. Once again, my just-“fixed” bike could no longer shift into higher gears, but coasting along at 25 mph, that wasn’t a problem. The problems were that I couldn’t feel my fingers, I was out of water and the snow wasn’t letting up as we descended.

So we stopped short of Sisters, at Suttle Lake. 45.1 miles, 3,959′ of climbing. Today, we will make the 14-mile ride into town, go to a bike shop and get professional help.

Suttle Lake is now part of Jax’s domain

From → Oregon

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