Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.
57 miles – Total so far: 3,096 miles
Tough day today. I woke up with left knee pain that got progressively worse all day. At about the halfway point mileage-wise, I actually considered quitting the ride for the day to regroup and sort things out. At about the same time, I fortunately happened upon a local drugstore. Not fully cognizant of what I should do to dull the pain, I simply bought some ibuprofen pain reliever tablets for a buck, cinched a knee brace on my leg, and decided to test out my “poor-man” treatment skills. Fortunately, the pain reliever kicked in quickly, the extra support from the knee brace further masked the pain, and I felt reasonably well for the remaining 30 miles.
Lots of hills and a relentless North headwind made it slow going all day. My average speeds were probably the lowest they’ve been on the entire tour, but considering what I’ve been through physically over the last few days, they are probably justifiable.
I saw significant numbers of waterfowl making their way in huge flocks to the North, as well as a sizable sea lion colony. I also marveled at beautiful Oregon coastline and cute pacific villages all day, but couldn’t totally enjoy it all because of the almost-constant focus on my knee. Ran into a solo Australian cyclist southbound on his way to San Diego.
I’m camping at the glorious Beverly Beach State Park, right next to three young Englishmen who just graduated from college and are taking a trip down to Mexico. Also camping with Matt from Hawaii, a commercial fisherman who is traveling the entire Pacific Coast looking for commercial fishing work.
I travelled through the following towns today: Yachats, Waldport, Seal Rock, South Beach.
The most exhilarating part of the day was crossing the Yaquina Bay Bridge into Newport OR. This famous arch bridge is 3,260 feet long and, at 246 feet above the waters below, is not a place for an acrophobic. At the apex of the structure, Surly Pearl was being whipped around by the wind like a rag doll. Luckily, Pearl and me stayed dry throughout the ordeal, which is to say that we weren’t thrown over the safety railing into the churning waters below!
Today I learned that a buck can still go a long way, and if my knee holds out for this entire trip, it will be the best buck I ever spent.
It’s All Good.