Distance: 55 miles (of 325 total)
Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet (of 12,400 total)
Big Macs: 1
I'll never forget the first long ride I ever took on a bicycle. I was twelve years old and following a local bicycle club on a ride up Decker Road on the outskirts of Corvallis. It was only thirty miles or so, but thirty miles in the cold, wet, middle of winter, and I wasn't well prepared. When I got home, fully soaked through and cold, I stood in the shower for ages, until I could feel my fingers and toes again. After the shower I changed into my pajamas, ate an entire family-size box of Kraft macaroni and cheese, and watched television. I was sure I'd never ride bikes again, at least not in the rain.
Today's trip from Bend started off well enough. The sun was out from Bend to Prineville, and the WiFi at the public library in Prineville allowed me to check in with Rachael, who's still in Peru. I stopped in at McDonald's on the other side of town for a Big Mac. The clouds were starting to gather now so I checked the weather report and found a thunderstorm and flash flood warning for the entire area I'd be riding through. Maybe if I rode fast enough I'd beat the rain.
I didn't beat the rain. It sprinkled on me off and on all the way out of Prineville, and then, when I was about ten miles from the campground, it opened up with big fat drops that left me soaked. I had expected to be battling the heat on this side of the Cascades, so I didn't bring much for rain gear. And not only was I materially unprepared, but emotionally, too. Rain can be incredibly demoralizing, and today's was especially so. I couldn't help but think back to that first bike ride fifteen years ago, when I swore that it wasn't for me. But I got back on the bike that time, and I'm sure I'll do the same tomorrow.
This post is part of a series on my bicycle tour around Oregon. You can find my other posts here.