Monday, May 25, 2009

Jimmy Vs Cat 3

Even though Portland freekin rocks it was wonderful to get out and see Oregon at its finest. Bjet and I explored the Tillamook area and drove down the coast. Coffee, cheese, beer and seafood. These people know how to live. And I know how to consume, meaning I'm steadily putting on the "L-B's". Kissing our lovely Sister-in-law Bri and Bro Pat and Nephews Eliah and Simon adieu, Bridget and I set out to conquer the Oregon coast.

Riding along the highway you look out into the ocean and sea ravishing waves pummel the volcanic rock. Turn left and after a couple miles suddenly we felt back home, or at least in Appalachia. Under the shadows of pine covered mountains was a little farm with a prairie full of cattle. The Yachats River trickling past, separating the farm and the forrest.

Another eight miles and suddenly the road turns upward. For the next six miles we climbed a forrest service road with a rough coat of asphalt and some killer grades. Some sections were just gravel — sometimes with a grade of over 10%. Getting fatigues you try to stand on the pedals and your rear wheel spins out. Day one we rode together, day two Bridget said I could have fun and test myself. But after a couple of these switchbacks beat me down I realized that I could only give it about 80% or else I would lose time by being fatigued. There are not climbs in Cincinnati that are this long and relentless.

At the end of this first climb is an incredible view, a nice present after all the effort. At the top is a clear cut of the forrest and we can look down and see the farmlands we had ridden trough. We turn a corner and hit a wall, the clear cut allows the ocean wind to shear against the side of the mountain.

Next we have a fun descent. I guess I could say fun, but sections of this road are missing also and you have to keep a steady line over some rather large chunks of gravel. But at the end is a nice paved road leading to Cape Perpetua a beautiful overlook to the ocean with some WPA-era structures.

One our third venture up, we took a left onto another forrest road and rode up to Mount Klickitat. This climb is a bit higher and we nearly got up to a half mile from sea level. It was a turn inland and the type of pines were dramatically different — tall and slender. The forrest looked familiar and I seemed to have recalled that they may have filmed some of the Star Wars Endor scenes in Portland. I swear I saw an Ewok.

Map of our ride up to Cape Perpetua.

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