I woke up this morning because my bed was shaking. Just a gentle shake. My roommate was trying to get me to wake up as it was 5:15 and I was supposed to be at breakfast at 5:30. Even then, I laid in bed for several minutes more. Oh well, must get up and ready.
Being in the “slow” group, I was allowed to drop off my luggage early so I did and then went to breakfast. Then I headed out for the day. Oops! I forgot to sign in at luggage drop off. So far I haven’t had any repercussions but have to wonder if they are keeping a list. I may not get any Christmas gifts!
So, the main reason I’m in the slow group is because I like to stop to take photos, read the historical and geographical markers, etc. So today I determined not to do that and see how that goes. Well, I couldn’t entirely. In fact, the route sheet even suggested we stop at the wagon.
Today’s route included three climbs. The first one (Dixie Mountain Summit) was about the same as climbing New Priest Grade…five miles at a fairly easy grade. I got up it in about an hour which is what I do with the NPG back home. Tipton Mountain Summit was a little shorter and Snail Summit was even shorter.
No sign at top of Snail Summit but it was over 5,000 feet too.
Unfortunately for us, there was a prescribed fire in the area we were riding so the air was bad. However I could not pass up this photo of Fireweed that just covered the hillside.
I stopped to get this photo of the mountains…much better in person.
Then this was the lake near our lunch stop.
We have been following Oregon Scenic Byways. The scenery has been fantastic. If one gets the chance to drive these, do it in a convertible with the top down at about 35 mph.
The final portion of today’s ride was through open farmland with a headwind. As I was riding alone, I stopped to take a break and did a selfie.
While messing around with this, four riders came by in a paceline. Rats, I thought, if I’d been ready, I could have joined them and not had to face the headwind alone. So onto the bike for the final stretch. Not far down the road, the four had stopped at the support van. I just rode on by. I was alone again but noticed, in my mirror, the group of four was catching up to me. Do I continue to push and try to beat them in to town or just accept the fact that I’ll be swallowed up by the peloton?
Then they rode up to me and asked if I wanted to join them. You betcha!
When we arrived in town, we stopped at a deli for ice cream. Nice end to a nice day.
The slow group has to be at breakfast at 5:30 but getting started earlier allowed me to enjoy the 81 mile ride and still get to the motel (after ice cream) by four. I’m thinking being slow isn’t always a bad thing.