Why? That’s what most people would ask: 50 miles, 3,000 feet total elevation. I set new records for slow… Three weeks ago when I did a similar ride I was amazed that my bike could move that slowly and NOT tip over. Yesterday I rode even more slowly.
At the start of the ride, the vista was eastern Oregon, looking out over the desert, The Dalles, the Columbia River in the distance. It was probably 35 degrees, and going down the hairpin turns, no guardrails, was a little like skiing on the edge of the world, ice in the eyes, trusting your weight will take you around the turn. There’s a lot of trust in biking.
I’ve found the best route I can, I think, through The Dalles, and then, the route takes me into wheat. Emerson Loop is a good uphill, through the country, along creeks, muddy and full right now. The trees are budding, yellow against the new wheat.
Always a reward: Mt. Hood in the distance over the old wheat, the lines of hard work, the tractors. Throughout this ride I got to see Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams, all mystery and fiction. Just beautiful.
At this point both the day and I were warming up a bit.
The Dalles is really an amazing little city, with the Dalles dam, and the river, and the two presiding mountains. What a gift this day was.
I almost tanked with no calories left to burn. Stopped at a roadside taco stand, that was fabulous and had lunch. Then, up the hill, 1700 feet in 2.5 miles, oh my! Mt. Hood greeted me around turns.