Tuesday, August 2, 2011

One day down, four hundred and something more to go!

Ready to go!
Saturday morning was like Christmas morning as a kid- we woke up before the sun rose or the alarm went off because we were ready to GO.  While I did the final apartment check and garbage runs, Colin packed the bikes.   When it was time to mount my bike, I realized it was going to take a bit more effort than I was used to, what with the step-through filled with backpack and the cases on the back tall enough to require a Rockette-type high kick to clear.  I managed, rather ungracefully, to get on the bike, and we took off, happily on our way!   It was a typical Portland morning, overcast, 60 degrees and chilly to start, but as we climbed around Mount Hood, the sun beat its way through the clouds, and it turned into a beautiful morning.  Riding the bike fully loaded is very different from unladen.  It took a few miles to get used to the handling, but once I did, it was FUN!  We made better speeds than expected, the bikes could comfortably cruise at 45 mph on level ground and most hills we could keep 35 mph.   One notable exception- a particular hill heading east out of Mitchell, OR, which gains about 1700 feet of elevation over 5 miles.  On that stretch, we both struggled to keep moving at 30mph, even in third gear.  On the other uphill climbs, we practiced our "drafting" techniques as we "jockeyed" for the lead. 

Basking in the evening sun at Clyde Holliday
We made it to John Day, OR late in the afternoon, covering nearly 300 miles, averaging 30mph (including rest stops, refueling, and lunch) on 3 gallons of fuel each.  The bikes ran smoothly, without any hiccups, and we made it to our destination.  Not a bad start to the trip, I'd say!  More to come as wifi availability allows.


  1. It sounds like a wonderful adventure. I look forward to reading about your journey. Best of luck!

    :) Tesla314
    A fellow northwest Symba-er

  2. Glad you are off. I, too, am looking forward to reading of your adventures. I suspect you will find your Symbas getting stronger as the miles build and the engine really opens up.

    May the road gods smile on you and the wifi ferries be plentiful.