The small towns in Oregon have been good to us. They manage to survive with decent to good lodging options, a convenience store, and often a nearby restaurant that opens early enough for bike touring breakfast and late enough for bike touring dinner.
I’m grateful these towns hang on, unlike what you might find in other areas of the country. The assurance of food at our overnights helps take away any worries about carrying a lot of extra sustenance.
When bike touring, food becomes an essential issue because our days boil down to something like this: ride ride ride eat ride eat eat ride talk about eating and ride some more.
This morning I woke up with an appetite, pondering all these stomach-driven thoughts. We grabbed egg and ham biscuits from the local market across from our hotel and meandered over to the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, a lovely 66-mile stretch of road that rolls along steadily by wildflowers and lava fields until reaching a steady 20-mile climb up to Mt. Bachelor.
During the morning hours, my mind drifted away from food to the looming reality that we have three days of riding left. Only three more days to spend unlimited amounts of time outside in the sun and low-humidity air pedaling and exploring.
Next Monday, it’s back to work. Back to the commute. Back to blah. And blah. And blah. And that other blah I had almost forgotten about. And so the vacation termination spiral began.
Maybe the terrain was too mellow because when climbing intensified all this “vacation’s ending, boo hoo” business took its leave and I resumed my “ride ride ride when do we eat again” thinking. Much more appropriate for vacation!
We ate near the midpoint of our climb, and intersected with a group of eight doing a supported Trek tour. They were easy-going and we talked a little with one of the guides about how they set up their various tours. (No steel on these tours, by the way!)
We took our full stomachs over the remaining miles of Mt. Bachelor and, after cresting the summit, we flew like an eagle into the future and also Bend for the next 20-plus miles.
Good job, team. We rewarded our efforts with an espresso, a craft beer, and naturally, another meal. 77 miles. Two days to go.
Welcome to Bend! I drove past you yesterday and in the middle of a conversation with my passenger suddenly blurted out “Felkerino!”, which rather startled him. I suppose I could have said “Mary!” and been less dramatic, but that’s not the name that popped into my head. I was every so slightly tempted to stop for an autograph, but that would have been too tacky, and I besides, I had to be somewhere, so lucky you. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I have enjoyed your blog and following your travels every since my wife and I bought our tandem a few years ago. You have been an inspiration to us, even though working our way up to a mere century has been a HUGE deal for us. When we start getting tired and whiny at mile 55 or so, we remind ourselves that “the Chasing Mailboxes couple” wouldn’t even be warmed up by this point and it puts things in perspective. Glad to see you’ve been enjoying the Oregon small towns and scenery and had the obligatory craft beer when you got here. Safe travels.
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Oh man, I wish you would have stopped! It would have been great to meet you. That is actually the second time we’ve been touring somewhere and someone has recognized us in what we think is a random spot. So cool!
I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the blog and even drawing inspiration from our rides. I will say that Felkerino and I do have the occasional “tandem team meeting,” but I generally scrub those out of our posts so as to give off a more idyllic vibe.
I’ve really enjoyed following you & Ed on this tour, as I did some of the same bits a couple of years ago with a friend. Crescent Junction is I think where we stayed but there was no “hotel”, only a couple of tiny cabins in an RV park! Near a lovely stream. And no convenience store either! But Scenic Lakes Hwy was a fantastic experience, hope you got to stop at one of the lakes. Lots of climbing, fascinating lava fields, amazing descent: that day all comes back. We also rode on the Aufderheide Scenic Byway, which is beautiful – if it happens to fit in your plans. Enjoy!!
Hi Joan, we liked this tour so much. In general, it was pretty challenging throughout, but not punishing. We stopped at one of the lakes, but really just to have lunch. The descent was quite exciting. Made all that climbing worth it and then some! We didn’t have a chance to do the scenic byway you mentioned, and we missed out on riding McKenzie Pass, too. Two good reasons to return to the area for more bike touring!