(September 11 – written by Dave)
Day Zero and Day One done. We’re off! Coming over on Friday meant we had an easy day on Saturday. We didn’t do coffee in the morning and got to go on a Nossa Team ride. Everyone rode except Brad – don’t fret, we’ll get photos of the team in a future post. John Day is a long way from everywhere – it’s a 5 hour drive from Portland.
Other than our ride, Saturday we served coffee all day – we were super busy. Seems like we have a great team here this year with Nossa. Everyone, except Jude, has been on a ride before. It makes a big difference having folks who have an idea of what to do. Everyone pulls their weight and pitches in, which makes the lack of sleep and long days a little bit easier.
So far the food is much better on the weeklong Cycle Oregon than it was on the Cycle Oregon Weekend ride that we did back in July. Sorry no photos yet. Most meals we are shoving things down fast and running back to the booth for more mixing. I signed up for the veggie option so I can have a choice. Sometimes veggie is better. Day two they scolded the veggie eaters for too many of them taking the ribs (I didn’t but was tempted). We hadn’t brewed any coffee the first morning so I tried the coffee at the camp brekkie service – it was a shocker. That will help sales heaps this week once folks realize that we can do so much better.
Overall, Saturday was a pretty darn good day until the band started playing. To be fair, the band the first night was pretty good. The only issue was that they played until almost 10PM and had their bass turned up way too high. We were also unlucky enough to have our tents near the stage and beer garden. So yes, out 4AM start Sunday morning was rough. And really, by 10 o’clock there were all of 12 people dancing to the band. I don’t get why CO doesn’t just pay a DJ, keep the volume down and stop at 9PM.
Sunday’s ride was quite hilly – something over 4,200 feet of climbing. The biggest issue is the smoke. It’s not horrible but it is pretty bad. We spend a good part of the day on highway 395. I thought it would be busy but it was almost traffic free. We didn’t get out of camp until 9:00, and made it to Monument at 1:00. The last 10 miles of the ride was the most scenic with us getting lots of red and brown geographic formations. The smoke made things hard to see and we rode through at mid-day. Coming back for some sunrise or sunset viewing definitely something to consider.
Coffee service Sunday morning was amazingly efficient. Kris and I brewed for an hour and half then I got upgrade to shot puller in the van. It was after the rush so it wasn’t pressure packed. First time I’ve pulled shots. Pretty fun. Other than milk steaming and frothing, I think we’ll get a shot at every job on the crew this year.
We were super hot on arrival and discovered that we should have stopped at the last rest stop for food. This year Cycle Oregon is not serving lunch. Rather they are providing a beefed up last rest stop. We had not read this (our bad) and we arrived to find no food. Luckily Augusto shared his snack bag and we got some iced coffees working the booth in the afternoon. Nancy even had time for a Cycle Oregon yoga session.
We are camped further from the band tonight. I’m sure that our general state of tiredness will contribute to a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow is a shorter day (I think – really, one of us should have read the ride guide a little better – oops). Regardless of length ride, we know we’re heading through the John Day National Fossil Beds – hoping for less smoke.