. . . Stormy weather.
Apologies to Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler, whose soulful song has more to do with a broken relationship than a break in the weather.
But that's what we've got here - stormy weather. Our daughter Dana texted me just as we were rolling out this morning. Is it raining, she asked? Not at present, I replied, and included a photo of the skies ahead of us.
|Clouds as we left Oakridge|
Not three minutes down the road, it WAS raining. Although most of the day we have not been in the rain, we have ridden for the most part on damp streets. So apparently we're finding the sweet spot between the showers again.
All in all, it is not bad riding weather. Temps are hovering around 60, and we're comfortable and cool enough. The terrain is flat or slightly downhill, so we've made great time today. We are headed for Corvallis, a longer pull than average, but we were making great progress and I was thinking we might finish up in three hours if the winds held favorable.
And then . . .
|Roger does what he does|
I am sitting in Cobourg right now. Roger has accepted a lift with a couple back to Eugene to visit a bike shop. Seems we have broken a spoke! I heard something a little bit funny on the bike, and suggested we stop to see what was rubbing. Examining the back wheel closely, Roger saw the broken spoke. I don't believe that we had ridden very far on it, because I am very sensitive to the sounds of the bicycle.
Anyway, a couple that had passed us on the sidewalk while we were diagnosing the problem later returned, and since they said they were headed back to Eugene, they agreed to give Roger a lift. Today's Good Samaritans are Ruth and Wayne! We are very thankful for the gracious offer to help us out.
|Yay Ruth and Wayne!|
When we were packing the bike back in Redlands, Roger had included one of the chain tools that would have allowed him to fix this problem himself. We are even carrying a couple of spare spokes. But that tool did not make the weight test, and we left it at home!
I wonder if I brought this on us. We were rolling along today in fine mettle. I remember thinking, 'we've replaced our tires, we've dealt with the shifting, and we've now got the pack fully under control.' I finally felt like we had the bike dialed in just right. What else could happen?
So now I'm sitting on the corner watching the clouds, composing my post for this evening, and waiting for Roger to return.
|A particularly hopeful view of the clouds, which soon gave way to grey again|
The clouds come and go, and I just hope the sky stays open for the rest of the afternoon so we get a dry run into Corvallis.
By the way, Highway 58 from Oakridge toward Eugene is beautiful. It follows the Willamette River, which is as full as it could be. So even with the occasional showers, this has been a beautiful ride.
|Willamette River raging along the road|
|Moss on rocks|
As you can see by the river shot, there is plenty of water coming off the mountain here. And the moss growing everywhere makes me think that it's probably always pretty wet in these parts. So you just have to ride through it. Waiting for a sunny day won't get you anywhere!
- - - pause - - -
When Roger returned and we resumed our ride, we headed up between the two 99s that run through the Willamette Valley. It was really pretty - flat and open and, unfortunately, not "with the wind" so we dropped our pace a bit. Still, we could have been slammed by one of the storms hanging on the horizon. Again, we got lucky and managed to just ride the recently wetted roads. As you can see in the photo, it could have been nasty!
|Storms were moving left to right, and they passed before we got there!|
We stayed again in a Warm Showers cohousing village, the CoHoEcoVillage. They were very welcoming, and invited us to join the community dinner. Our host, Bruce, showed us around the village. They have the most awesome bike barn, and wood shop, and community gardens. I am more and more intrigued by this idea of deliberate community building, and will need to research it when we return home. There is much to learn here about living softly on the land.