Started my day at Monmouth. Micheal woke up super early in the morning and left. By the time I was ready to leave it was about 8 am. Finally the sun was out and it wasn’t raining. Thankfully the heater in the room had helped dry up my clothes quickly. The previous day while riding I wasn’t able to clip into the pedals. The cleat had shifted since one of the nuts had fallen off. So the hunt was on to find a bike shop that could help. The plan for the day was to get over Mckenzie. Since the road is closed officially I hoped to sneak in.
Started riding to the bike shop in Corvallis. Stopped on the way at a gas station store for breakfast. Nice and sunny out so spent a little time sitting on the porch of the store drinking coffee and eating a packet of cookies. Finally entered the town of Corvallis. Found the bike store. Super nice people there. Thanks to Peak Sports who quickly fixed the cleat problem. Now I can ride without having to adjust the cleat. Found a McDonalds nearby and sat down to have a cup of coffee. Met this really old man walking towards me. His only question was whether I worked for the government. He had lived in a really remote place for a while and hated the government. It’s super hard to have that discussion without offending anyone but somehow managed to get the hell out of there. No point having that debate. Started to ride and came across a store selling fresh strawberries. They sold them by the kilo. Helped an old lady carry a few baskets to her car in return for a couple of really nice strawberries. The disadvantage with a bicycle is that I can never carry enough fun things like a kilo of strawberries. Rode a little further and found a really small store in the middle of nowhere to get coffee. The store was expensive but super nice people. Bought a cup of coffee and was given directions to a grocery store to pick up supplies. I decided to pick bread and cheese for lunch and dinner since the food at gas stations are super pathetic. Found a box of Mac and cheese. I have heard of this but never tried it. Decided this could be a good time to try it out. Anyway, a few miles out I find this nice supermarket. Picked up supplies and sat outside drinking coffee while my phone charged. As I waited for the phone to charge Don rolled in. Turns out he had seen me pass by at Corvallis and yelled out my name. I hadn’t heard him and passed by. He picked up some supplies and we headed out.
At Leaburg we stopped at the gas station. The store is owned by 2 sisters. They gave us all the food that they were going to throw away. A bunch of corn dogs and rolls for free. We packed up the food and headed towards a campground near McKenzie Bridge. It was already about 8 pm. It was starting to get dark and cold. The plan to climb the pass tonight looked impossible. While riding to the campground we found a church on the side of the highway. I walked into the church looking for a place when Dick showed up. He was in charge of the church. It was called the McKenzie Bible Fellowship. Asked for permission to sleep in the church and he was hesitant. Something about how the insurance company has told them not to have anyone stay there. In the meantime Don rode in. Seeing Don I think Dick was a little more comfortable. Don told him about the race and what we were doing etc. Finally Dick agreed to let us stay the night. He didn’t want us sleeping outside so opened up the gym for us to sleep. A super big and really beautiful building in the middle of nowhere servicing a town of 100 people. Apparently the town was bigger and had a school that had 400 kids but over the last 4 years the school had to shut down since people couldn’t afford to send kids to them. Now the gym is used for community events once in a while.
Dick opened up the gym and it was amazing.It had a really nice wooden floor. It was clean, warm and had mats for us to sleep on. They even had bottled water for us to drink. No coffee though. Smoking was outside in the cold but at least on the property so that was nice. Since I could not afford to buy cigarettes in this country I have been rolling tobacco. After experimenting with a couple of brands of to tobacco I finally found something that I liked. Another problem solved. We took a pic with Dick and ate some dinner. Set up the beds for the night and were ready to sleep. In the meantime Don discovered that they didn’t have any showers but only a portaloo. Well that had to do. Texted Andrew and gave him an update. He wasn’t really happy. I was not on plan. I was supposed to have crossed over the pass a day earlier and I still hadn’t even gotten close to the pass. Texted Mum and Cathy and was ready to hit the bed. Long hard day but at least it got done. Getting used to the cold was hard. Super glad that I don’t have to sleep outside tonight.
Lesson for the day : Tighten the screws on the bike and your shoes at least once a couple of days. Wouldn’t have saved time but would have saved me the hassle of looking for a bike shop.
Up next : TABR 2018, Day 4 : Vida to Sisters