The 19th edition of Cycle Oregon begins this Saturday. I’ll be joining the famous week-long tour and reporting back with photos and stories from the road.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that I’m woefully unprepared for the journey. Sure, I’m still young(ish) at 31, but I can’t even remember the last time I rode over 30 miles at one sitting. Looking at the route, I’ve got to survive an average of 70 miles over seven days; not to mention scaling numerous mountain passes.
But don’t get me wrong, I’m really looking forward to the challenge. The route looks fantastic (see below) and I’m hoping this grueling week of riding will kickstart my cyclocross training.
I don’t think I’ll know too many of the 2,000 or so other riders and I’m also not used to touring with access to gourmet food, yoga classes, hot showers, and live entertainment, so it should be an interesting new experience.
I should have some stories posting automatically while I’m gone (I leave Friday night) and I’m going to try and file reports every day, but depending on logistics (and my ability to still think straight after a full day in the saddle) I might miss a day or two.
So stay tuned for reports and photos from the Oregon countryside and if you’ll be on the ride, I’ll see you out there.
If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.
Jonathan, I’ll be there – look for the stuffed bunny mascot . .
Well, Jonathan, your last ride of over 30 miles was no longer ago than this last January, when we went for our ride out to Troutdale! Have a great time in the Wallowas, it should be gorgeous!
Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to the Team Bag Balm crowd! I’ve got Lambchop on my red camelbak, and I’d love to ride along with you.
No matter how _much_ you train, you’ll still feel unprepared. I remember how I ended up doing my first one at age 42. I had received one of their mailers and expressed an interest to my beautiful bride of four years.
“You should do it, Jason. You’ve always considered yourself a bicyclist.”
“Uhh…you know I’d have to train for it?”
“Sure, go ahead, you should try it!”
So, I sent in my application and spent the next week looking in the mirror saying (roughly), “Jason, you sick f—, what have you _done_?”
Well, that was 1999, I did the climb from Ukiah to Haines (past Anthony Lakes) in a 39-25 double (was _I_ stupid).
My goal for the entire week was to not sag (I succeeded). I spent the entire time, it seems, in a whirl of activity: strike camp, wait in a line, eat breakfast, wait in a line (you know why), ride a bike, wait in a line, eat lunch, ride a bike, pitch camp, wait in a line, shower, wait in a line, eat, ….
When I got done, I wasn’t even sure I’d _enjoyed_ the ride. But I kept having…flashbacks.
After about a month, I turned to my sweetie and said, “Honey, you know, I’m doing it again next year!”
This year I get to attack Anthony Lakes 20 pounds lighter and better prepared (with my 30-27 triple). I feel better, I’m happier, I look better, and it’s all because I’m too stupid to stop pedalling and get off of the dang thing.
Jonathan, you’ll do fine. Just be sure to come by the beer garden and share one with me!
Good luck and have fun! What an experience. You’ll do great.
Woo-hoo! Good luck, Jonathan. I’m sure you’ll come through with flying colors! I can’t wait to hear all about it.
You’re going to have a great time! This will be the first one I’ve skipped in six years; I already miss the ride and all the wonderful people in the towns along the way.
You’ll do fine. My first (1992) was done on 250 miles of riding, we climbed up to Crater Lake – 75 miles in a day. OMG!
Look for Little Pink Bear in the hydration pack, and I also hang with the Team Bag Balm crowd.
Way to go. I salutue you!
Watch out for “Mad Man Don Bolton.” :-)>
Get a massage, or three. Go for the hot spring soak.
And lube your &#$@!@! choad!!!
I think mine got bloody somewhere on the way to Mitchell in 2002…
Oh yeah, drink more beer!
Best of luck!
Hey Jonathan, I will be there on my Bacchetta Recumbent. I have an extra one if you want use it for C/O, to really get a different experience. Don’t worry about not being prepared. C/O is a tour and a leisurely pace. My perfect Cycle Oregon day is to wake up late, stop at all the small towns/ rest stops, nap at lunch, and be the last one in to set my tent up. Drink beer and enjoy the music.
To make thinks really interesting, this year I am racing the Ring of Fire in Maupin Saturday, then starting C/O on Sunday. Should be fun!
Here is my 3-step process for
heading-off saddle sores at the pass:
Saddle Sore Repellent – Step 1
Lantiseptic. The best treatment for saddle sores is to prevent them. Start every ride with a clean pair of padded shorts, and get out of them ASAP when you get off the bike. In between time – when your butt is glued to the saddle – be sure you’ve coated your crotch with Lantiseptic. The good news: it’s bullet proof and will stay on all day. The bad news: you’ll need a tire iron to get it off. Decent trade-off, if you ask me. But if you’re worried – see Step 2.
Saddle Sore Repellent – Step 2
Hibicleans. This is the stuff surgeons scrub with before they operate. It prevents skin infection with a “bactericidal activity that protects against a wide range of microorganisms…” including the little nasties that crawl out of your shorts with the goal of burrowing into your skin. Keep a bottle in your shower and scrub, rinse and repeat. Then on to Step 3.
Saddle Sore Repellent – Step 3
Zeasorb-AF. This super absorbent antifungal powder will keep you dry and fungus-free. Important safety tip: what goes up, must come down; sit on the toilet, spread your towel on the floor below you. It will save you grief later when your room-mate visits the can, slips on the tile and come gunning for bear.
Bag Balm, Chamois Butt’r, and Desitin. Don’t leave home without ’em 🙂
A good saddle and good shorts also help 🙂
Another good reason to ride the bent. Don’t need that stuff. A good perch to take photos as well.
Thanks for all the advice and kind words everyone. I’m leaving in a few hours! Stay tuned for reports from the road…
as I recall from the rides of my youth down the Oregon Coast and around the Olympic Peninsula, the first day is fun, the second is hell…gut it out…and then things get better and better.
You will be riding through some of the most beautiful country in the world, so be sure to look up from time to time.
All the best.
How you holding up? Youngish!!! Pish buddy… You’re a freakin’ Spring Chicken pal.
I would like you to look up Jim Harding. He is 50+, overweight, and has more freakin’ hair then the entire group of Rockettes.
Look him up for us please. Big guy, long dark (and greying hair), round glasses, and some very fun riding jerseys. Just spread the news that your looking for “Jim From Wisconsin..” and you’re sure to find him. We want to pass word that his loving family is cheering on his safe riding and great accomplishment.
Oh, and he’s an ex-smoker too. Come on Jonathan… if Hardo can do it, so can you…