Mini-Tour Day 3: Beachside State Park to Homestead Road, Philomath, 57 miles
Whoops. Slept late, then realized I was crunched getting back in time to run errands in Corvallis before the Friday night shift. So I sprinted up the Alsea River Highway. Sprinted? Not really, but rode harder than say, a loaded touring cyclist wants to ride or should ride. Miles flew by early on, as the highway is very gradual, following a lazy river. Then reaching Alsea I called Seth to have him meet me a the road, and headed up the long climb to the Alsea Mountain Summit. This was really something to take time with, but I pushed harder. 80+ degree temps and blazing sunlight made my dehydration worse. About 3/4 of the climb, Seth rolled by with the van, “Want a ride?”
“Are you kidding?” I said. “Meet me at the bottom of the curves.” I wasn’t going to surrender, and lose the joy of descent. So I climbed on, up and over the summit. Descending through the 34 curves is an experience only a cyclist can understand. The highway is banked steeply at the corners, and cars slow below the 30MPH that I pedaled on through. I did my customary hooting and hollering, even though I was the only one listening. Victory, my prize for the long climb.