The weather was hot, the ride was mostly flat, and I discovered we may have a tail wind as we head down the Oregon coast from Bandon, Oregon on Thursday. Things looked great for bike ride, except for my attitude.
What the hell am I doing here? I wondered time and again on Saturday, the day before the beginning of the ride. I had things to do, like write my next book and find a literary agent for my next one. I needed to mow my lawn, fix my bathroom, purchase my new bed, water my tomato plants, go to my Argentine tango lessons. I discovered the answer as to why I was here on Sunday, on the first leg of our journey. That’s when the charm of the ride hits you.
The temperature hit 87 degrees as we roared up 1400 feet in altitude on the first major hill climb that lasted over six miles. Okay, we really didn’t roar. We mostly dragged our sweating butts up the hill. Some walked. I didn’t. I rode.
Strangers talked and joked. I got a flat. I fixed it. Then I pumped up the tire and broke the valve. I didn’t have another spare. But Mike Rees of Charlotte, North Carolina had stopped a few feet away. He offered me one of his spares. I offered him money.
“No way,” he said, “just take it.”
So I did, from a total stranger. We had some spectacular views of Oregon, met people from Switzerland and enjoyed good food. And, oh yeah, pedaling the bike wasn’t all that bad.