Saturday, May 8, 2010
Day 4 ending near Spray, OR
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times...well, maybe that's a little overstated. But, Zach wasn't able to ride today. His Achille's tendon is too sore and swollen. He may join us again after healing, but he's not able to accomplish his goal.
We rode south from Hermiston ascending into expansive farming tracts. A cropduster 'waved' after flying by. Going through the town of Lexington(pop. 263) we were shocked to see a marked bicycle lane. Now, Gordon, can you contact Cory Crebbins about adding a bike lane on Crater Lake Ave.? Nine miles later, we descended into Heppner, a cool town, and saw a display of logging and farming equipment and that's where we met Herb Schmidt(79). He took our photo and I said, "I want to see that picture when I'm your age". And he said, "Oh, you're married?", and without missing a beat, I said, "Yep!" His buddy told Rich "He can't hear anything but he can understand ya".
Leaving Heppner we climbed to a town that was a ghost town more or less. The photo above is probably 10% of all the abandoned structures. Continuing south, we climbed through a beautiful narrow drainage to a summit @ 4612' and the air temp was high 30's...too cold! There was still snow on the ground. Tim is a strong 24 year old rider who stayed with me to the top...he could be a very good racer. We pointed downhill hitting 45.4mph and carved up some sweeping corners. I was thinking this is probably the best ride I've ever been on. In 25 miles we saw six vehicles on a perfect course, and one of them was ours. Near the bottom, the valley opens up to scenes of pastures, the John Day river and a lonely meandering road. And Russ & Rene Rickert tell us there is more to come! 98 miles for the day.
Dad set up his trailer behind a gravel mound used for sanding roads, which Griffin used for a slide. Ron gave a clinic on bicycle cleanup and maintenance. He also got a Cat. 5 tattoo (photo above).
After any auto race the winner thanks their sponsors and the time is appropriate for me to thank Cyclesport, the team I race for, TheProtectors.org and Landshark, for the sweetest bike.