(September 16– written by Dave)
We had our second to last morning coffee set-up today. My brewing duties were fully passed to new teammate Anna – she did a great job helping veteran Kris. I was positioned as the runner – handing drinks out, filling milk pitchers, keeping frothers happy and generally whatever needs to be done. It’s a hard position for a newbie because you kind have to know where everything is and when it’s needed. It was stressful but quite fun – more customer interaction is always fun for “Chatty Kathy Dave”. For the record frothers Brad and Augusto have completely different process expectations of their runner – I had to be on my toes as they swapped in and out for brekkie breaks.
As planned we headed out on Highway 207. The first half we rode yesterday. The second half we rode opposite direction from yesterday. It was completely different going opposite direction. I thought the climbs would be harder but they weren’t bad. There was a great morning tea stop at the top of the last big hill. I “raced” a gal up the hill on her e-Bike. Sure she had an e-Bike, but she was smashing it. I eventually caught her and slightly winded we had a great chat about e-Bikes. Cycle Oregon allowed 10 of them this year as an experiment – the issue is overnight charging and access to power. At least the gal I spoke to was pretty happy with being able to ride hers – I hope they add more in coming years. From other trips we’ve done, we know that allowing e-Bikes will increase participation, which is good for everyone.
While the hilltop rest stop was nice, I didn’t want to wait in the line for the bathroom so only Nancy did that. Believe it or not, I had already gone in the bushes before morning tea. I took my next bathroom break at the bottom of the last big downhill where we knew that there was a public rest area – quite a difference in facilities – mine had no queue and a heck of a lot more odour. Full marks to the CO toilet crew this week. They had some issues keeping water in their cleaning stations early in the week but toilets were generally as spotless as a port-o-potty can be.
After the bathroom break we made a right turn onto Highway 19 which took us slowly up the John Day River to more John Day Fossil Beds National Monument areas. While uphill, we had a slight tailwind and enjoyed some fast riding until lunch at Spray. Cycle Oregon had a nice spread out along the river. We didn’t get in for a swim but Augusto supposedly did later in the day.
After lunch we rode the rest of 19 up through the actual National Monument. We’d driven this road last Friday on our way to John Day. While the mid-day sun made the colors less dramatic, bike speeds and being able to stop made it a much more enjoyable way to experience the vivid colors of the canyon. We still rode lickety split with the tailwind but I got to do nice little interval sprints to catch back up to Nancy after my many photo stops. It was a fun and very scenic training session.
At the end of Highway 19 we re-joined Highway 26 for a short spin onto our destination for the night of Dayville. The route notes for driving to Dayville mentioned great pies at the Dayville Cafe. Naturally we had to stop. The staff in the cafe were completely overwhelmed but the wait for pie was totally worth it. A few flavours were sold out so we both had to “settle” for peach/blue berry pies. They were yummy.
We eventually made our way to camp where Nossa/Augusto had prepared free mochas at the finish line. We had one of course – I was wearing my Nossa cycling top and it seemed like the right thing to do. The camp site in Dayville was closer to the river and had lush green grass. We knew we’d get some dew in the morning but it was luxurious not having goat heads and dust to deal with.
Tomorrow is our last day of riding. We are leaning heavily on doing the short option so we can help with sales and to make sure that the drivers can get caffeinated for their long rides home. I think I’ll be the runner again for our last morning brew – I’m nervous but up for the challenge.