Pacific Coast Bike Tour Day 12: Florence to Coos Bay
After one of the best days of the tour riding from Newport, OR to Florence, OR we were met with one of the worst days of the trip.
Our day started out as a pretty typical morning. We woke up at 8, packed up camp and were on the road before 10AM. Today our goal was to ride from Jessie M. Honeyman State Park in Florence, OR to Sunset Bay State Park in Coos Bay, OR. The trip would be about 55 miles or so and we hoped it would be as pleasant yesterdays ride but things just didn’t work out too well.
We stopped at Subway for lunch at the 20 mile point of the day. Our friend Manuel, a German bicycle tourist that we met in Florence had caught up with us and stopped in to say Hello. All three of us headed off after lunch and made our way towards Coos Bay.
We encountered a couple of really long hills along the way and I really fell behind on a few of them. I only have about 20% of the knee power that my friends have at this point in the trip so I’ll be right next to my friends when we start to ascend the hill and by the time they reach the top I’m still about a half mile behind. It’s extremely discouraging when you know you can kill the hills just like your friends, but you’re knees just don’t have the power that they had in the first week of riding due to screwing them up early in the tour.
Our friend Manuel was cruising ahead of us and ended up leaving us in the dust. Will was super patient with me and rode ahead but still stopped every now and then to wait up for me when we came to a big hill.
Due to how frustrated I was with my knees today, I really didn’t take many photos. It was a tough day and little did I know it was only the beginning.
As we approached the McCullough Memorial Bridge heading into North Bend, a motorist pulled over and told us that there was construction going on on the right hand sidewalk and that we would have to cross over and use the left hand sidewalk of the bridge in order to get over it because there was no shoulder in the road on the bridge.
We crossed the road and proceeded to ride along the left hand sidewalk of the McCullough. The winds were blowing at our backs at about 20 mph and it was starting to get a little scary riding on this little sidewalk alongside the bridge. Just as we were about to hop off of our bikes and walk them the rest of the way over the bridge, a big gust of wind came and blew Will and his bike into the cement wall of the bridge. He hopped off his bike and started to walk the rest of the bridge.
Once we got to the bottom we rode another mile or so to a convenience store where I picked up some water. When I walked out of the store Will mentioned he had a bad cut on his arm, most likely from crashing into the wall on the bridge. As soon as he pulled up the sleeve of his jacket, I knew we had to get him to the hospital ASAP.
We rode about two miles before we reached the hospital. We checked in and within an hour or two Will came out with 10 stitches and a big bandaged wrist. The one good thing that came from the day was that Will chatted up a nurse in the ER and she invited to her house for a home cooked meal tomorrow night. Sounds good to us!
Since it was getting late and we were 10 miles from camp, we decided to check into the Motel 6 which was just a mile away. Tomorrow we’re going to take a rest day and then make our way south to Cape Blanco State Park.
Today’s Mileage: 49 mi