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05/30/2003 Entry: "Well, we certainly have interesting stories to tell."
So yesterday (6/7/03) was quite the day. A tale of separation and an unfortunate accident that turned out okay. Many lessons have been learned and unfortunately a member of the Roadshow USA is going home.
It started out innocently enough. Seager lost his wallet in the morning. Ryan: "I bet it's under our tent like Jesse's bottle was," Seager: "No way." Seager continued his fruitless search and sure enough, there was his wallet under our tent. Ryan and I must have covered it accidentally when we moved the tent the night before. It's still a mystery how it got to where we would have covered it.
We picked up the Three Capes Scenic Route after leaving Tillamook. After ascending and descending a pretty good hill we ended up at a gas station in Netarts where half the group proceeded to chow down on Home Run fruit pies. As we were getting ready to leave the gas station I decided to check my spoke tension. I had broken a spoke on the cassette (the gear thing on the back wheel) side of the wheel the previous day and Seager and I had an unsuccessful trip to visit the VERY nice people at the Tillamook bicycle shop. Unfortunately the bike guy wasn't there and we couldn't find the proper tools to remove the cassette. When I checked the tension I found that I'd broken a second spoke. Seager, Mark, Jesse, and I stayed to fix it while Norm, Ryan, and Morgan went on ahead to climb the 800 ft. hill we that awaited us. After we fixed the wheel as best we could the rest of us left the gas station. Unfortunately, we missed our turn at first. We all knew something was wrong when the sign said Tillamook (the town we had just come from) was 6 miles away. But we assumed the worst, that the guys who had gone out first had also missed the turn, while at the same time hoping they saw the Three Capes Scenic Route sign and took the right route. Seager rode up a large hill really quickly to try and get them on the radio, but they were already out of range.
We flagged down a car and told them if they saw 3 riders on the road ahead to tell them to turn around because they had missed a turn. Then we taped a bunch of our cards and some directions to a speed limit sign hoping the guys would see them when they came back. We pushed on ahead towards the giant hill. Jesse had gone back to try to flag down a car coming from the where we thought Norm, Ryan, and Morgan went to see if anyone had seen them. I stopped and took some pictures and waited for him to catch up and we headed up the hill together. We really hoped that maybe they had taken the correct route and would be at the top of the hill waiting for us. But when we finally got there it was just Seager and Mark. We waited another 20-30 minutes, continually trying to raise them on the radio. At this point we decided to push on. Jesse had called his parents to leave some instructions in case Morgan tried to call them.
We got past Sandlake and I broke another spoke. Down three spokes I started walking my bike the last 2-3 miles to Pacific City. An ambulance drove by. There were a bunch of ATVs at Sandlake and I didn't think much of the ambulance. Then I caught up to Seager and Mark waiting by some stairs on the side of the road. A car had stopped and told Jesse that a bicyclist, which turned out to be Ryan, had been in an accident back up by Sandlake. He hitched a ride back there at the same time Morgan had hitched a ride with a VERY nice young woman named Chenoa up to where Seager, Mark, and I were. Norm had gone with Ryan to the emergency room at Tillamook. We were told by Chenoa that he was okay, just pretty badly scraped up.
Thanks to a very nice volunteer with a large truck from up at Sandlake and a Tillamook county sheriff we were able to get my damaged bike, Norm's bike, Morgan's bike and Ryan's damaged bike to a campsite in Pacific City. Chenoa had driven back to the Tillamook hospital to wait for Ryan to be released and gave him and Norm a ride back to our campsite. She was sooooo nice for doing this. We honestly don't know if things would have worked out so well if she hadn't been there to help Ryan and been willing to cart him back from the hospital. Then we all went out to dinner at the Tidewater Grill to let someone else cook and just to relax. Ryan was actually much more animated and happy than I was expecting and in very good spirits. He was going to get to sleep in a real bed that night. Chenoa's mom Jill had offered him a place to stay in Pacific City until his parents would arrive to pick him up sometime this evening (6/8/03).
You would think that was enough, but Chenoa also found me a ride into Salem to get my bike fixed at a regular shop. Her sister's husband's friend's brother (or something like that) Caleb offered to take me the 60+ miles for gas money plus a little bit. He turned out to be really nice. The nice people were just coming out of the woodwork to help us and we were soooo thankful for that. But that's not the end of the list of people I have to thank.
Right as we pulled into Salem we saw the Santiam bicycle shop. I went in and explained my situation and one of the co-owners, Troy, said he would take a look at it. He also offered me a place to stay for the night if I came back at 6pm when the shop closed. This was very nice of him as it's getting into really busy bicycle season and I'm sure the shop was pretty swamped. So I wandered around Salem. I ate a 1/2 price quiche at The Coffee House, which was a really cool place that serves environmentally friendly shade grown coffee and organic foods. I searched for a place to use the internet to no avail. I did go up to the city library and they were closed, but it was right next to a really cool looking city hall building. Then I headed up towards Willamette University (pronounce Will-lamb-ette, not Will-uh-mette). There were some really beautiful city parks running along a stream with some waterfalls and stuff. And the Willamette campus was stunningly beautiful. Unfortunately, it's also completely dead on weekends during the summer. By this time it was getting late and I wandered back over to the Santiam bike shop. Troy was just finishing my bike. Turns out the spokes had all been damaged because my derailleur got bent and the chain had jumped off the first gear and gotten stuck between the cassette and the spokes. I remember when that happened back in Urbana, but I didn't think much of it then. Just that it was really weird. But he had totally fixed it up for me, replacing all the spokes and rebuilding the wheel and fixing the derailleur. Then he closed up the store and I tried to pay him but he said I didn't have to. He even gave me a free spare tube. Man, I couldn't believe it. Then I followed him home. It's a really nice place. I'm typing on his computer at this very moment, about ready to go to bed. It's been a great day filled with wonderful people. Troy's wife and a friend whose names have slipped my mind cooked a wonderful dinner. We had these corn and bean dishes from El Salvador, delicious salsa, great hummus and great salad. I really couldn't ask for more. They've been so nice to me to just open up their home to a complete stranger. I really can't thank Troy enough. He even helped me wash my dirty clothes and I got to take a much needed shower.
Tomorrow morning I will ride out to Rickreall (about 10 miles) to meet the rest of the group. They stayed in Grand Ronde tonight and when I talked to Jesse he said they had a great problem free day of riding and were camped near a swimming hole on a river. Tomorrow we head for Corvallis where we should have lodging setup for us thanks to Angela of the Unicycling club there (I'm assuming the Oregon State unicycling club) which will be wonderful.
Sorry this is so long. I just want to say thank you again to all the wonderful people who have helped us so much so far, and we're only 4 days into our trip. I think one of the greatest things about this trip will be all the wonderful people we'll meet along the way. We've also learned some important lessons on travelling as a group and we're all taking extra precautions to make sure we stay safe (we know some of you people worry about us, but really, we're going to be okay.)
Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention Andreas and Corina, the very nice German couple I met this morning while waiting for my ride to Salem. They are biking down the coast from Portland to San Francisco in 3 weeks. I wish them the best and hope they have a safe trip.
That's all for now.
Replies: Leave us a note! (9)
Kudos for your great ambition. Just wish MN was on your destination ... we'd arrange something special. Back in 1987, I joined with 198 other bikers for the first American Lung Assocition bike ride across America. We departed Seattle June 1, arrived Atlantic City, ND July 16 and raised about $1 1/2 million in the process. Like you're finding out, some great days, some not so. But along the American trail, the friendlyness of people most impressed. Your experiences will be incredible ... thanks for sharing. May all your winds be on your back.
Posted by Dick Hagen @ 06/22/2003 02:28 PM CST
Hey Josh. Just writing to say hey. I said I'd send my E-mail and here it is finally. I'll read on to see how things are going.
Posted by Troy @ 06/21/2003 09:45 AM CST
I am so proud of all of you and your accomplishments. I hope everyone is doing well, and I applaud all the people who have been so helpful. What a great adventure. You guys need to publish this! (Start thinking about who you want to play you in the movie version.
Posted by Bonnie(Mike Seager's aunt-by-choice) @ 06/12/2003 08:51 AM CST
Have been enjoying your travel accounts & pics immensely. What a great adventure!!! Glad Ryan is ok. Think you all will continue to find that there are many terrific people in this country. Hope you take pictures of those who have been especially kind and gracious. In the future, you will be glad you did. Travel safely!
Posted by Josh's Uncle Tom @ 06/10/2003 10:28 AM CST
Glad to see that Ryan is doing okay. It's really great for you to have met up with such wonderful people willing to go out of their way to help you all. Also glad to see that Josh got connected back up with the rest of the group. Hope all continues to go well.
Posted by Joan @ 06/09/2003 11:09 PM CST
I'm glad to hear that things are going better now. I hope Ryan isn't too shaken up. Have safe travels!!!
Posted by Libby @ 06/09/2003 09:43 PM CST
Thank goodness all went well with the help of wonderful people when the mishaps took place. It is great to know Ryan is ok and the rest of you are pressing on.
The pictures of breathtaking and am glad that yesterday was a good
I am Jesse's and Morgan's grandmother and want to say a special hello to them. Wish you all were coming thru Las Vegas, but alas the temperature here has been 105-113 the past week!
Love and blkessings to all.
Posted by Granny Carolyn @ 06/09/2003 11:29 AM CST
Hey guys! Sorry to hear about losing one, but I will be bringing you a replacement on Saturday. Mike Schmidt is flying to San Jose to visit me and Friday night when I get off work we're heading to Oregon. If you could email me a as to how I can get ahold of you guys so we know where to go once we get there, that would be spectacular. Thanks a bunch! Good luck riding this week!
Posted by Jodi @ 06/09/2003 09:39 AM CST
although still insanely long I think you kept it a lot shorter and less confusing than when you told it to me on the phone yesterday :)
I am still amazed by all the wonderful people you've been meeting
Posted by Amy @ 06/09/2003 07:45 AM CST