Day 10 – Boise to Mountain Home, Idaho

53 miles, 1634 feet climbed

Today was a short day, made shorter still by pretty strong tailwinds. We left Boise on a bike path along the Boise River, transitioning to I-84 for a while and then roads roughly paralleling I-84.

I had another flat, on the Interstate and before the first and only SAG stop. Rob, our chief mechanic, and I could not determine the cause. Yesterday’s patched tube was installed and the tire held fine for the rest of the day. We'[re definitely in the Idaho desert, reminding me more of southern California’s desert than the agricultural area I now live in.

Continue reading “Day 10 – Boise to Mountain Home, Idaho”

Day 9 – Boise, Idaho (rest day)

No riding or climbing.

Today, I took care of laundry, updated the blog, and went for a walkabout in downtown Boise. Staff was off checking the bike path we will use tomorrow at the beginning of our ride.

Downtown Boise appears to have a vibrant restaurant scene. I was more interested in the Capitol building, which we passed on yesterday’s route, and a local bike shop that I vaguely recall from 15 years ago. I found a second bike shop and took some photos:

Continue reading “Day 9 – Boise, Idaho (rest day)”

Day 8 – Ontario, Oregon to Boise, Idaho

64 miles, 1795 feet climbed

Another relatively easy day, with sunny skies and warming up. For the first time, I began the ride with neither jacket, nor arm or leg warmers. Another first was a flat, actually a slow leak due to a small shard of metal that worked its way through my rear tire tread. It came within ten miles of the finish. I tried pumping up the tire to see if it could get me there. I only made about a quarter mile before it was flat again.

Continue reading “Day 8 – Ontario, Oregon to Boise, Idaho”

Day 7 – Baker City to Ontario, Oregon

84 miles, 2096 feet climbed, 13.8 miles on the Interstate

Today we crossed over into the Mountain Time Zone. Still in Oregon, but just barely. Tomorrow we’ll cross the Snake River into Idaho on the way to Boise and our first rest day on Tuesday. This small part of Oregon is more a part of the Boise area and therefore has chosen to synchronize clocks with Idaho.

Continue reading “Day 7 – Baker City to Ontario, Oregon”

Day 6 – John Day to Baker City, Oregon

81 miles, 4931 feet climbed

After yesterday’s long ride, many admitted to having tired legs, me among them. Today promised about 500 feet less climbing but still a lot, spread over three mountain passes, over only 45 fewer miles. We’re starting to seesome injuries that may keep those riders in the vans for a few days, but no ride-ending events. However one rider did have to abandon the tour due to a death in his family.

Continue reading “Day 6 – John Day to Baker City, Oregon”

Day 5 – Prineville to John Day, Oregon

116 miles, 5417 ft climbed

Today is the second longest ride on the tour. We started early, loading luggage at 6:30 am. The first climb was a moderate grade of 1 to 2 percent, with 3 to 4 percent for the last mile. The second climb began gradually as well, but finished in the 5 to 7 percent range. Both downhills were fast, with light traffic. After the second descent, the road was ever so slightly up into John Day. Everyone made it in, though one rider did have 3 flats.

Continue reading “Day 5 – Prineville to John Day, Oregon”

Day 4 – Madras to Prineville, Oregon

47 miles, 1535 feet climbed.

Today was a recovery, take it easy, day sandwiched between yesterday’s 5k+ feet of climbing and tomorrow’s 116 miles with, oh, by the way, more climbing. As I explained yesterday, this day used to be longer. To keep it interesting and keep us off of highway 26–the direct route between the two towns–staff rerouted us to the west of 26 on a southward trajectory and then eventually east into Prineville.The traffic was generally light but we did have our share of gravel trucks to deal with near the end on a stretch where the shoulders were narrowest. Those drivers were polite for the most part.

Continue reading “Day 4 – Madras to Prineville, Oregon”

Day 3, Welches to Madras, Oregon

80 miles, 5315 feet climbed

For the third day, I began the ride wearing leg warmers, arm warmers and a jacket. I shed the jacket towards the end of the day, only to be caught in a light rain for a couple of miles near Madras.

This ride has changed from past years. Previously we would stay at the Kah-Nee-Tah Indian Casino Resort. It recently closed in favor of a new Casino in Warm Springs, right on the highway. That meant the climb out of Warm Springs on Hwy 26 was on today’s menu, not tomorrow’s.

Continue reading “Day 3, Welches to Madras, Oregon”

Day 2 – St Helens to Welches, Oregon

76 miles, 3153 feet climbed

Today began as a part of the morning commute down to Portland. The shoulder on Hwy 30 was accommodating. We left the highway and crossed the Willamette River on the St John’s bridge. After our first SAG we made our way over to a series of bike paths near or on the Columbia River. At Troutdale, we headed south, climbing the bluff and then making our way over to Sandy and then to Welches via Hwy 26. Dinner and then breakfast where at the Whistle Stop, in two shifts due to its seating capacity.

Continue reading “Day 2 – St Helens to Welches, Oregon”

Day 1 – Astoria to St Helens, Oregon

81 miles, 4514 feet climbed

Today started out overcast and cool, with some condensed water on the pavement. I wore leg warmers, arm warmers and a my light jacket for the whole day. The sun didn’t make an appearance until I dropped off the last hill into the outskirts of St Helens.

This is the second year of a change of routing from that which we rode in 2004. (Stay tuned for more comparisons to 2004 as the ride progresses.) I recall liking the views of the Columbia River as we came down Highway 30 from Astoria. And at 69 miles, it was shorter and had only 2900 feet of climbing. But there was a lot more traffic, especially logging trucks than on this new route.

Continue reading “Day 1 – Astoria to St Helens, Oregon”