(September 12 – written by Dave)
First order of business is a shot out to the good folks of Monument. The town’s population is only 120. Cycle Oregon has about 1,500 with all riders, staff and volunteers. We got great service and heaps of smiles. The best part had to be the school kids high-fiving us at the finish. I can’t help but think some of the locals felt a bunch of bicycle aliens invaded town but it was smiles all around.
Sleep the second night was much better. The band was further away and we were so tired it didn’t really matter. I think we both got at least 6 hours of sleep – what more could you want? Coffee operations were smooth this morning. Yes, I got to pull shots again, so no, I didn’t mess up too much yesterday. I don’t think I’m ready for the busy time yet but it is fun.
The ride was smoky again but still very scenic. We spent the first 40 miles riding along the John Day River – all downhill. It was pretty mellow but a headwind slowed us a wee bit. We were passed by two people all day – Kris and Jude – two members of the Nossa crew. It makes us feel much stronger than we really are to pass folks all day. I’m sure the extra shots of espresso in the mornings are what’s giving us the boost.
We had free iced mochas today at the last rest stop. Augusto likes to do this on one rest spot and given that it was 8 miles up the 10 mile climb, they were much appreciated. We actually got a wee bit of sprinkles while hanging at the stop. It would be unfair to call it rain. The band playing at the rest stop was great. Probably more our speed – not really danceable but neither performer required CPR while we were there – which is always a bonus.
It was 10 miles of rickety-split downhill to Fossil after the only pass of the day – Butte Creek Pass. I’ll leave to readers who know me well to guess what I may have re-named the pass. Haha.
At the finish we were greeted again with cold chocolate milk. It’s hard not to smile when that happens. We are back selling iced mochas in the booth again this afternoon. They sell extremely well in this heat. Nancy has pretty much taken over the front of house operations in the booth – those who know Nancy and her organization skills will not be surprised by this (Senior Editor note – actually this isn’t true. We have such a great crew this year and my front of house compatriot Jude is such a stellar partner that we quickly established a great rhythm that makes the morning rush run like clockwork. We keep each other in line but laughing all the way!)
Tomorrow we have a layover day here in Fossil. We’ll still do one of the rides but we don’t have to move the tents and for that matter, all of camp. The means that our coffee service starts at 6AM instead of 5AM. We get an extra hour to sleep in the morning. Maybe we’ll bust some moves on the dance floor tonight – probably not. Sleep will be more than enough.