I had all the best intentions on this trip of undertaking a sort of climate storytelling project I’d been dreaming of since college. What I didn’t realize as I set out that grand aspiration was how much time it would take me each day just to manage my planned mileage and find food and water and such. I wish I’d thought to slow down earlier on, to pitch my itinerary and wing it a little more on this campground-rich coast. I didn’t. Continue reading “About That Climate Project…”
I am a child of the suburbs, adult of the city. I love the indoors. I like modernity and living in 2017 and hot showers and any produce I want any time of the year and other people around me and temperature controls and snuggling up in warm sweaters with a book or movie in the winter. In short, I am a pretty happy product of my pretty luxurious environment. Continue reading “Indoors / Outdoors”
There is a certain magic to cycle touring days. You stumble on a handful of people who associate themselves with bicycles and who commit themselves to supporting that priority, and then there you are, little cycle touring ingenue, trying to keep up with their knowledge and generosity and curiosity. A sampling: Continue reading “The Bike Magic”
In short, it’s awesome. And last night, I had the great pleasure of staying at a hiker/biker site where the only other campers were women, two of them solo and two riding together, who arrived later. The former two were Australian and wonderful (the latter two Canadian and wonderful, but we talked a little less with them), and we got to chatting about our routes: both the ones we were taking by bike and our more general life ones.
When I started this blog, I was doing a decent-ish job (for all of a few days) of logging my miles, meals, stops, etc. That wasn’t going to last! And it was probably kinda boring anyway. Honestly, this blogging thing is hard to keep up with, let alone doing some journaling on top of it for my own little self.
But for those who are curious (and some of you have told me you are about details like this), my routine has evolved something to: Continue reading “Chow Times”
If I haven’t posted enough photos or even taken enough of them in the first place, it’s because there is simply no capturing the beauty of this coast. The words “jaw-dropping” and “breathtaking” and “stunning” and “awe-inspiring” and all the others we Anglophones would normally apply to the vistas I’ve spied around a hundred unassuming corners just cannot approach the dumbstruck sensation you feel staring out at this particular edge of a continent. Continue reading “What You Can’t See”
- What goes down must go up: Hills, that is. Hopefully not breakfast.
- When you see a road sign, “Passing lane ahead,” it bike-translates to “Uphill ahead.” When you see a road sign, “Right lane ends,” it bike-translates to either “Downhill ahead” (yayyyyyy) or “Just a woefully narrow road and shoulder (if shoulder at all) ahead” (booooooo).
- Always order the biggest breakfast on the menu. It’ll go right down.*
- *Do not chase it with both a cinnamon roll the size of your face and the local brewery’s delicious IPA. You will have some slow and uncomfortable miles ahead if you do.
- Mosquito repellent is the perfume of the outdoors. Apply liberally.
- When grocery shopping, always grab doubles (sometimes triples) on dessert. Otherwise, sadness will ensue.
- Eat produce, fools. A) It’s delicious. B) It’s available all along this bountiful Pacific Coast route. C) Your innards will make you pay if you don’t.
- Some miles will feel like butter. Others will convince you one of your brake pads is rubbing against a tire rim (it’s usually not). That’s just the way it goes. Pedal on, friend.
- Should there be a ninth rule? Nine is kind of a weird number. But I should probably mention blackberries, because BLACKBERRIES. They are delicious and everywhere and free dessert and I’m gonna go get some right this second.
- Ah, ten. Someone else put out ten rules or commandments or somesuch. Can’t remember who. But seems nice and round, so I think I’ll stop here. Tah-dahhhhh.
People reading this blog may know of Rebecca Solnit’s book, Men Explain Things To Me. There’s also the concept of “man-splaining,” or just “‘splainin’,” as practiced generally by some members of dominant social groups.
Any of those would actually be a step up from what I’ve experienced a few times on this trip: just being talked at, as if I am a mere receptacle for whatever garbage some dude wants to spew into the universe, or as if I am just something in the general direction of the noise some guy wants to make and have acknowledged by another human.
I write this not because all men do this. They don’t. And there are women who do this as well (I’m positive I’ve been guilty of it). But I’ve only ever engaged in relationships with men who like a good conversation, who care what I have to say, who love me for my humor and brains and who share their own in turn.
So I write this more just as an observation, and one I haven’t felt comfortable to call out in person because, yeah, I’m a solo woman on a bike that someone could easily follow to my next campsite. And I write this because I had a particularly egregious experience of it yesterday afternoon. Continue reading “Some Men Talk At Me”
Image: Cape Lookout State Park beach. Title a play on David Sedaris’s When You Are Engulfed in Flames. Not sure why. I just like the sound of it.
People keep marveling at the fact that I am doing this ride solo. I assume they’re usually thinking of my safety, perhaps of my navigation skills, sometimes maybe just the oddness of the venture. Continue reading “When You Are Engulfed in Good Fortune”
Image: Wendy ‘n’ meeeeee. Look look LOOK at her beautiful hair.
That is what people will apparently offer you now and again when you are some odd, sweaty thing in funny, clicking shoes and Lycra. Today, I had the pleasure of being purchased a beer and then being invited to sit and chat with Wendy, of Portland, and her partner Jeff, of Tillamook, at the Pelican Brewery in Tillamook. Wendy was just before me in line, and almost before I could fully answer her question about where I was coming from and headed to, she exclaimed warm congratulations and encouragement. And then, before I could realize what she was doing, she had already insisted to the cashier on paying for “whatever I was ordering.” It was such a kind and unexpected offer, and when I stepped outside to find a sunny seat, we introduced ourselves, and she invited me to Jeff’s and her table—”only if we’re not interrupting your writing or texting or things!” she insisted. Continue reading “Free Beer”