This season we decided we would try some self-supported touring. This is in keeping with our desire to not fly as much in order to lower our carbon footprint. We scoped out two major trips to aim at: riding to Victoria for the NW Tandem Rally and doing a tour of the Oregon Coast.
We needed something to get our season started. We have friends who have ridden for years with Cheryl Marek in her spring training program, HELP. We decided to give it a go. So, most every Saturday from March 14 until June 13 we were out on the road with a couple dozen other moderately insane cyclists.
I say moderately insane because the rides started at 8 AM and this winter was bitterly cold. We even had snow on one ride in April! We did almost 500 miles with the group, though and got into pretty good condition.
We also worked in a weekend ride to Port Townsend with Evergreen Tandem Club. Jim and Jeannie led the trip. The weather was wonderful and we had our gear sagged one direction.
We rode to Victoria for the rally. You can see the full story of riding to Victoria for the tandem rally here. The short version is that we took two days to ride from Seattle to Port Hadlock to Port Townsend. Then we ferried over to the island and spent three days riding at the rally. Then we took the Clipper back to Seattle. We had lots of good rides, one painful experience, and met many new friends.
In August we were ready for our big ride in Oregon (full story). We got my brother Ray to help us move our car so all we could start in Lincoln City. One day we rode to Yachats, visiting lots of sights along the way. The next day we rode to Reedsport with more touristy stuff during the day. Then we crossed the Coast Range on a logging road in a 97 mile ride to Eugene. That was very challenging and included one of the most amazing coincidences known to man.
From Eugene we drove to Crater Lake. We unpacked all the panniers. Suddenly lighter, we spent one day riding the rim drive. The scenery was beyond spectacular and the weather was absolutely perfect.
At that point we had 1600 miles for the season. Who knows when it will end?