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.