Day 4: Yachats to Ocean Beach Wayside, 19 miles
I've often been asked how I can ride on hightways, especially 101, given there are no shoulders on many stretches, blind curves, log trucks and RVs often approaching from both directions.
It takes a special kind of denial to be a road cyclist. You know, the magical thinking that says, 'It won't be me!'
On my last tour, after the two women cyclists were run down (no other word to describe what the PT Cruiser did) just North of Gold Beach, I was forced to contemplate the possibility of such an event happening to me. I went through a bit of mental bargaining, such as what about all the other risks we take on a daily basis?
Consider car travel, hurtling at 60 mph towards other vehicles also at 60 mph, which adds to an aggregate 120 mph head on, if the other pilot drank too much at the neighborhood bar, or looked down to text on his 'smart' phone. I'm sure I could google the statistical odds of the likelihood of such collisions and compare to my own risky sport. But I won't google it.
Suffice it to say, I understand the risks of cycling, and accept the possible consequences. I always have. And what if I meet a fatal end on my next ride? What if this is my last blog post?
Don't mourn my choice to cycle. No, please miss me, please give pause in honor of my life, the gifts and blessings and disasters and foibles I have been part of. And then dance, dance on my grave. And take my ashes, and ride my favorite 15 miles, 101 South of Yachats, and spread them from a bicycle along the side of this fabulous roadway.
Dance, as my friend Naomi sings… http://soundcloud.com/victorysweet/soaring