First ride

Day 1: Honeyman to Sunset Bay, 55 miles

A glorious day, perfect for cycling! Clear blue skies, temperatures reaching the 70s, an easy start to a long tour. I started not quite as early as I’d wanted, apprehensive, leary of my stamina. I’d hardly ridden at all the last few weeks of September, unlike past tours where I’d trained intensely right up to my launch. I was pleasantly surprised to find the miles passing easily.

I pondered how I’d like this tour to be, different from the previous three. Less loneliness, brooding, confusion. Less hurried, more time spent enjoying, exploring, and frankly, living. A metaphor for life? Am I not always on a journey, on the road, just passing through? How much of my blessed time has been spent in anxiety, depression, or resentment? Regret, guilt?

To this end, I lingered on two of Conde McCullough’s fine bridges, over the Umpqua River and Coos Bay, relishing the details, the art, the romance with which he designed and built. Curves, arches, spires, etching, trusses against deep blue skies. Damned sexy stuff. Matt Love is onto something in his infatuation with the Yaquina Bay Bridge, which ranges from adoration to what may seem a fetish to the less informed – or less romantic.

At the South end of the Coos Bay Bridge the historic information includes McCullough’s famous quote about engineers “ruining this fair earth”. Uncanny how this resonated with a conversation I’d had with Shawn just yesterday. Shawn said engineers focus too much on numbers, profit margins, market share. Designers focus on the artistic, the esthetic. Romance.

Something else I did differently today was reaching out, directly to other cyclists I met in the campsite and later along the ride. Tino and Theresa from Germany, Zavier from France, Bojana from Sarjevo, Shimpei from Japan and Nick from Montreal. A veritable international community on human powered wheels. Nick is also writing a blog and a book about life in transition, and in particular the bicycle touring phenomenon. I can’t wait to check it out: http://fullcycleproject.com

I introduced myself by my chosen name, “Ocean”, adding “Oregon Hippy” when asked where I am from. Sounds about right. Life in transition, on human powered wheels.

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One thought on “First ride

  1. Hey Ocean!
    Thinking of you especially today, Monday, and so I’ve just watched your slide shows and read the last posts.So moved by the one about leaving Ahimsa and so excited for you seeing the on- the road pics. Happy travels!! Lea

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