Day 12: Damascus Downhill

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

46.13 miles (Total: 503.76) Average Speed: 11.6mph Max Speed: 36.5mph

After sinking those beers last night I woke up around 7am desperate for the toilet, it had probably been the best nights sleep yet in the comfy beds. We headed out to the country kitchen cafe across the street looking to score a hearty breakfast and we weren’t dissapointed by the large range of fry ups they offer.

Today was going to be around 46 miles to our next town of Damascus, however we were both a little concerned about two big climbs on the elevation profile, but after them is a huge 10+ mile downhill to Damascus. It was forecast rain and we soon pulled out the waterproofs but it wasn’t too bad, quite pleasant to ride in. After entering the Jefferson National Forest we began the first climb, it was steady, smooth and before we knew it we had arrived in Troutdale. This was the midway point between the two climbs. The early part of the ride over small rolling hills had been way tougher than the long uphill.

Pee stop

There was a cafe in Troutdale where we stopped for lunch. I ordered the chilli cheese burger, both greasy and delicious. I attempted to make use of the wifi but with limited success. Trying to upload pictures for my blog wwas clearly going to take forever and I would rather post my blog entries in full with them so decided to wait till Damascus before I catch up.

Troutdale

Now it was time to tackle the second even longer climb for the day, on the way up we come across a horrible situation. A snake had been ran over in the road its head still able to move and swing but its whole back end flattened out. The worst part, it was pregnant with all its eggs firing out the back end scattered across the road. Cooper ‘took care’ of it. we continued with the ride and suddenly began a nice downhill, too nice and too long. I pulled over and Cooper stopped behind me. What the hell, is this the big downhill already? Have we completed the big climbs without so much as a wince. The downhill continued on and on, we coasted without pedalling once for at least 20 minutes gliding around the bends in the forest roads, so much fun. I wanted to ask a truck driver at the bottom if he would ride me back up to the top so I could go again, why is there not a service set up here to allow people to do that!

We coast into Damascus to a heavy downpour, but the sky quickly clears and its bright sunshine again. After finding ‘The Place’, a hiker/biker hostel ran by the methodist church we proceed inside to find a bunch of bearded Appalachian Trail hikers lounging around and cooking on their stoves. ‘The Place’ as you can imagine smells like sweaty hikers, its basic but its a roof and has showers again only asking for a suggested donation of $5. We find a room all to ourselves upstairs, the windows are cracked its actually quite fresh. The bunks are wooden so you need to use your rollmat and sleeping bag. I shower and then we head into town firstly stopping by the cycle shop to finally get our hands on some Halt! pepper spray for the upcoming feral dogs of Kentucky then hit the outdoor store so Cooper can pick up some sandals. We spot what looks like a touring bike with panniers down the road, after catching up Cooper soon realises its Austrialian Terry whom he met in Catawba and I had heard was a few days ahead of me way back in Mineral.

"The Place"

Damascus

The three of us head out to the highly recommended Quincy’s, a pizza and beer combination similar to Mellow Mushroom in Charlottesville. Terry is 59 and well travelled, he was actually born in Manchester (a city fan) and has cycled round the british isles, visiting frequently. We devour our pizza’s and go through several pitchers of beer before retiring for the night.

Terry

Me & Cooper

4 Responses to “Day 12: Damascus Downhill”

  1. Amy says:

    Hey Rye,

    All sounds like good stuff and more beer being drunk by the day, good times… The snake situation looked pretty nasty, glad Coop Dogg was around to ‘take care’ of it! ha

    Enjoy n take care x

  2. Jack Stoddart says:

    Nice post anders, that snake looked nasty..

  3. Glen says:

    Sound big al!

  4. keith says:

    Hiya rye,The beer seem’s to be going down rather well, thirsty work this bike riding.Take it easy.

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My name is Ryan Anderson, in Summer 2010 I rode my bike across America. Starting on the east coast in Yorktown, VA and finishing in Florence, OR. Read more

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