Sunday, August 9, 2015

Lots of downhill - standing to Sandy

Sunday, August 9  Day 8   Mt Hood to Sandy, OR   53 miles, 4000' of climbing

Yes, much of today's route (and yesterday's below Mt Hood) was on the old Oregon Trail.

What does my title mean? "Standing to Sandy"? My saddle sore has continued to be a serious handicap. For some reason, on days 4 and 6 it didn't seem so bad and I enjoyed the ride more and performed better. But on days 3, 5, and 7 it detracted from my enjoyment and I could not ride well. Since today was short and much of it downhill, I decided to see if I could ride standing up the entire way. I hoped that by not putting any weight on my butt, maybe it would heal.

Sure enough, I never once sat down except a few times off to the side while coasting slowly, such that my weight was only on my good side. It was a strange way to pedal such a long distance as 53 miles, but I did it. Now the question is: Was it worth it? Did it actually help me heal? Not as much as I had hoped, but maybe by tomorrow morning it will be a more noticeable improvement.
I took only five pictures today during the ride, but others on a morning walk at the lodge. Since the lodge's breakfast didn't start until 7:45, I had plenty of time for a hike out behind. In this view to the south, you can see Mt Jefferson, which is 46 miles away, and which we will ride near on Monday.

I hadn't realized that the Pacific Crest Trail crossed just a short ways up behind the lodge. Here's a sign showing how far to Canada and how far to Mexico. I walked along it for a few hundred yards.

Breakfast was great, and we were not in a rush. We did not depart until 10:00, so there was still plenty of time for lingering/exploring/treasure hunting.
I took this picture of a picture inside the elevator. It shows the lodge completely covered with snow and skiers skiing over the roof (don't know the year). The average snow depth there in winter is 21 feet.

For only the second time, I needed to wear warmer clothes during the morning. Someone said it was going to be below freezing in the morning, but it was much warmer than that. Still, descending the first six miles at about 35 mph made it cold, plus we descended down Hwy 26 for another 11 miles. We got to remove our extra clothing at the 24-mile rest stop, as we did the last time when we needed extra clothes departing Packwood, WA.
The 17 miles of descending to begin the day was all in forest, but once we turned off of Hwy 26, we were in more of a rolling agricultural area. As I mentioned, I took only five pictures because little struck my fancy after all we've seen during our seven days so far. The picture above just shows a typical scene from the day.
We rode along and over the Sandy River for part of the day. I liked that on this Sunday, the families were enjoying the water. As much as today was described as "all downhill", we still had 4000 feet of climbing. And some of those climbs were long and steep, such as the one after crossing over this bridge at Mile 40.

I rode so slowly (standing) that I was one of the last ones in to the lunch at a park near our motel. It was about 1:45. I ate the leftover tri-tip from the night before -- even though we were at a pretty fancy restaurant, the staff saved our leftovers for use the next day.

At the motel, I (and many others) did laundry. We had a sign-up sheet to take turns, and mine came as everyone was headed out to dinner. No problem; a Safeway is next door and I bought a hot sandwich and some deli things and ate while working on this blog. And I have clean clothes!

It's now 9:00 and time to go to bed. Tomorrow is 86 miles with 5700' of climbing, ending in Detroit Lakes.

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