The Crane Kick (9-12-2013)

Today was probably my best performance so far.  I attribute most of that to two major keys:  My butt was rested and not sore from sitting in the saddle (perhaps it’s a little more bike ready now) and two, the sun hid away for most of the morning behind a layer of clouds.

It’s nice to be able to put out a good effort and not be beaten down by the sun.  The route was mostly flat, although there were some smaller hills in the Diamond Crater area as we left Diamond.

I regret that I did not stop to take pictures of the craters.  I wanted to take as much advantage of the sun hiding as possible.  I did stop at the Round Barn, a place that Cycle Oregon helped support financially about 12 years ago, and take some pictures. 

I had a pretty good pace for most of the ride, not taking much in breaks.  We had lunch at the hot springs.  I was tempted to get in, but I didn’t bring swimming shorts on the ride and decided that riding more today would not be much fun in soaking wet cycling shorts.  I’m sure my leather Brooks saddle agrees.  I did manage to dip my feet in the water for a few moments before I headed back out to ride.

I took more time at the lunch spot than I normally do.  The sun was still mostly hiding, so it afforded me some extra time on the bike.  The rest of the ride went smoothly as well, and I finished up in Crane. 

The sign to Crane says population 150, but I’d be surprised if that is accurate.  It seems like far less.  The local school kids (Crane has a boarding school) cheered us on to the finish.  Nosse Familia (wrong spelling), a coffee merchant that has been at all of our camp spots, gave out free espressos as we crossed the finish line.  I tend to not like coffees or espressos, so I skipped out on that treat.

My tent is set up far in the back, as has been standard, but I’ve started to consider that a good thing.  I have to walk further to any activities, food, or bathrooms, but I also generally have a quieter area as well.

I’m still operating on a tight budget, but I spent a couple  bucks to buy a baked treat from the school kids.  I didn’t really need or want it, but I think that it helps them and is for a good cause.  It was the right choice, regardless, because the lemon bar was delicious. 

Dinner was chicken breast and rice, topped with sweet and sour pineapple sauce.  I grabbed an extra fortune cookie as I consider them a special treat.

Last night/this morning had a few drops of rain, but for the most part today has been the best weather of the trip.  I’m hoping more clouds show up tomorrow to keep us cool.  I would even tolerate a little bit of rain if it isn’t too bad.

Tomorrow is going to be a tough day, just looking at the map.  Lots of climbing, over 70 miles, and probably very little shade as we head back towards John Day.  We’ll finish tomorrow at Seneca I believe for our last night with Cycle Oregon.

The entertainment for tonight is going to be a rock band, but I’ll probably skip out on it.  I want to be packed up and off riding early if possible.  The sooner I get some of the major miles and climbs out of the way, the better.

I’ve been pretty blessed with few bike mechanical problems so far, and I’m hoping that will continue for the remainder of the trip.  Only two  more Cycle Oregon rides to go.



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