Noodling around Newport

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Mini-Tour Day 2: Newport to Yachats, 25 miles

Waking in a campground, surf lulling me into a sleepy morning.  Peaceful, nothing to worry about.  I packed up and rode back over the Yaquina Bay Bridge to meet a friend for breakfast.  Then back to the bike shop for adjustments on the shifting.  I ended up spending half the day cruising around town, visiting the coop, poking around the waterfront.  Enjoying being a tourist, no agenda, nothing to do, nowhere to go.

Except a relatively short ride, down to Beachside State Park, between Yachats and Waldport.  A gorgeous day, no clouds, warm breeze at my back.  All was well until I lost my bicycle computer somewhere north of the Alsea Bay Bridge.  A little plastic tab had broken off the bracket awhile ago, and I bumped the computer while stopped, sending it flying off into the roadside brush.  I didn’t notice the computer’s absence until riding a few hundred yards, and despite doubling back twice simply couldn’t find it.

The loss of the computer made me aware of how I used it, in many ways, to gauge the progress of my ride: how far I’d come, how fast, was my cadence up to speed.  How much longer was day’s ride to be.  And the odometer, nearing 9000, another arbitrary milestone, yet important. 

Most telling was how I felt riding on without my technology: distracted, exposed, a bit lost, naked.  And then realizing the bicycle computer was another distraction from riding in the present, being aware only of the road, the landscape, my thoughts, my breath.  Watching my ‘progress’ digitally, kept me from progressing in my goal of arriving in the present. I plan to acquire another computer, but also to remember this lesson in awareness, and perhaps to cover the screen while I ride, to deter the distraction, and to experience more wholly the ride.

I rode on to Yachats, to catch a performance by Zach and the Coin of the Realm at the Drift Inn.  The first band that I booked at FireWorks, now full circle to be the last music I hear on the coast before my tour…

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