Bike USA: June 1-2, 2000 – Dallas, Corvallis

I should have heeded Mike more when he told me about male numbness. I tried 4 saddles in two weeks and decided that I liked my original hard-as-rocks one. But I change it out for an even harder one… the one supposedly most used in the Tour de France. I should have stuck with my original, but I don’t know if it would have helped any. I now know what it feels like to touch someone else’s maleness. Mine was so numb that I had lost all feeling. Looks like Max would have to carry on the Chen legacy.

We had hurriedly packed on the morning of our departure. By the time we were ready it was noon and we joked about delaying for a day. We then discussed our route out of Portland and decided that the Hawthorne Bridge would be tons better than the Ross Island or Sellwood. Felt kinda foolish passing OMSI again after I’ve already said all my good-byes (minus a few people – bye!). So we didn’t stop, but I saw Laura and Kemble walking across the bridge during lunchtime.

Max suffers from congestion.

By the time we got to our halfway point it was 3 pm. (We filled up our water bottles at this one restaurant which featured a 3 lb. burger!) We didn’t take the route we had originally planned (219 down to 99W) and instead got on 99W right away. We got to Rickreall, our first stop of the trip, around 8 pm. Our map from Adventure Cycling showed that there was camping available at the Polk Fairgrounds, and a call before we left confirmed that we could pitch a tent for $8. When we got there, however, they said RVs only. The person we had talked to on the phone was no longer there. We went to a restaurant down the street and ate and asked about campgrounds or motels nearby. They told us that they’ve seen people camp next door! Oh well… New rule or racism? You decide. The restaurant people then told us that we could stay in a motel in Dallas which is 4 miles west of Rickreall. Let me tell you, 4 miles in a car is nothing. By bike, it’s usually not bad at all. After 8 hours of nothing but pedaling (with a few breaks – lunch, dinner, etc.), 4 miles is hardcore.

We made it to a Best Western and convinced the attendant that it was good karma to let us bring our bikes in. Their spa is excellent! Lessened the pain in my wrists and lower back. My numbness was slowly going away, too, but even on the next morning I still couldn’t feel anything on the top part. I adjusted my saddle, bought a back support thing from Walmart, and we were off at 11 am.

We are in Corvallis now and a kind guy, Eric, at Peak Sports has offered to let us pitch a tent in the backyard of a house he’s housesitting. I got a Specialized saddle, one of those groove ones, just about the only kind I hadn’t yet tried, and I think it’s helping!

Bike E facility
Bike E facility
Bike E facility

We visited Bike-E since Max owns one, and they gave us a tour of their facilities. They are the nicest guys! Gave us baseball caps even! I think my next bike is going to be a Bike-E.

Tacos Uruapan
big ass burritos!

On the way to Bike-E we stopped at an awesome Mexican place called Tacos Uruapan. The biggest burrito I’ve ever seen, and believe me, I’ve seen some doozies.

Movie of housebike

After Bike-E, we stopped at a cafe and met this other guy on a house-bike! The most incredible thing I’ve ever seen on two wheels! This guy, Brian, built a 20 foot house on two wheels. Granted the house part is the size of a two-man tent, but it was still incredible! All styrofoam and aluminum. He had a moped wheel in front and a Nissan wheel in back. The front wheel was attached to a generator which recharged a battery. When he needed to, he could flip a switch and the whole thing would be motorized. He claims to have gone 73 miles an hour on this thing! He’s been living out of this house-bike for 5 years now, and this is his 13th model (the last one burned up in a fire). Absolutely amazing!

We met up with Eric, his wife, Christine, and their friends, Jason and Denise at the house and brought some food for a bbq. These guys are super friendly. They plan on a cross-country trip next year to Maine, too! Christine made a lovely apple pie for dessert… 🙂

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