Thursday, September 6, 2012

RTW - Day 5 - Bandon to Gold Beach, OR

57 miles, 2740 feet of climb (Cumulative 360 miles, 19400 feet of climb)

Another foggy start
Again it was foggy today into the afternoon, just clearing for the last several miles into Gold Beach. Though the views of the coast were not picturesque, the surf hitting the rocks and beach were clearly visible as we cycled south, and coupled with the smell of salt water air and the sound of the pounding surf, it was a wonderful ride down the coast.

"The Geldings" reunited
Our route today was on US101 from mile 5 to 51 and then on the lovely Old Coast Road and over a bridge into Gold Beach. Traffic was fairly heavy on US101 and at times where the shoulder of the road narrowed, there were tractors carrying double trailers whizzing by at 55 miles per hour just a foot or two from the cyclists riding on the other side of the white shoulder line. Frankly, I would not ride on US101 other than for this tour. In this case it is unavoidable, since it is the only north/south coastal road. Our America By Bicycle staff has stressed safety repeatedly, has picked out the best route that is available, and our cyclists look out for each other when cycling every day. Never the less, it is a bit dangerous to travel on this road where the shoulder narrows.

Stops for chowder are now up to three on the ride
My cycling day started by grouping up with several riders, including Margo, Gary, Mark and Susan Weisbarth, Jeff, and Mark Koltz. First Jeff had an issue with his seat. Then Mark Koltz had his left crank fall off, requiring an emergency roadside repair from Jim, our ABB mechanic. Jeff and I waited for Mark to have his crank repaired.

Resuming our cycling, we came across Mark Weisbarth with a flat tire. Jeff, Mark Koltz and I waited for the flat to be repaired. This left four of the five "Geldings" from the North 2010 ride to cycle together to the day's only SAG stop at mile 28. Both Mark's hurried from the SAG stop, leaving only Jeff and me, later to be joined by Leo, to ride to Gold Beach. The three of us stopped for clam chowder in the town of Gold Beach before heading to the hotel. Leo, Jeff and I spent so much time stopping and looking around today that the other riders joining us for chowder had already showered, changed, and had walked back to the chowder house from the hotel. It was a relaxing and unhurried day, at a tourist pace, including multiple stops at an art gallery, myrtlewood store, a beach and several coastal overlooks.

Our hotel room overlooks Gold Beach and the Pacific Ocean, and the surf is audible from our room. On to California tomorrow.

Our hotel room looks out over Gold Beach

Today's ride:

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