All the way from the east coast

Cold water

This past week I have been getting more cyclists passing thru here from the east coast on their way to the west coast.  They are climbing some big hills to get here and most of them are very tired and in need of water.  I had just had my 300 gallon water tank filled and it was nice cold water.  They were all very thankful for it and also the news that the 30 mile run to Prineville, OR is all DOWN HILL.  That made each of them very happy.

Friends from Northern Ireland and the Netherlands

The first pair to arrive looking for water was Steve and Aonne.  Steve was from Antrim, North Ireland.  He started his trip from Yorktown, VA and was part of an Adventure Cyclists group.  Aonne was from Delft, Netherlands and also part of the same group.  They had been on the road since May 4 and arrived here on July 29.  They stopped for water and a brief chat and then wanted to head on down the hill to Prineville to get a motel room, where they could shower and wash clothes as well as sleep on a real bed.

My butt is sore!

The next two riders arrived on the same day.  They too were really happy to get the fresh water.  Larry was from Blue River, WI and also part of the group starting out from Yorktown.  He and his friend were also glad they were almost finished with their journey.

First recumbent

Tom was Larry’s riding partner and he road in on a recumbent bike.  He was from Bowling Green, OH and also part of the group from Yorktown.  Some of the riders had complained that their butts were sore from riding on those bicycle seats.  However Tom had no complaints as he had a big cushy seat.  I asked him how his recumbent did on the hills and he said it was not difficult climbing.

The last rider to stop for water was Franklin.  I was making my rounds in my golf cart and he was sitting at the entrance to the park.  I offered him some water but he said he didn’t need any.  I was surprised he was drinking a coke at the time.  If I am really thirsty there is nothing that will quench my thirst more then water.  After talking to him for a few minutes, he asked me if the water was cold and I assured him that it was.  He then came down and filled up his containers after having a nice cold drink of water.  Franklin was by himself, but said there were others behind him.  He was from Big Woods, KY and also part of the group from Yorktown.

Stopping for an overnight rest

Then I didn’t see any others until I returned from shopping in Redmond.  I usually take every Tuesday off to go into town but decided to skip last week as I had plenty of food, but this week took off Tuesday to do some shopping.  When I returned from Redmond Jerry was parked in Site #1 right across from my campsite.  Jerry was from Decatur, IL and had started his journey from his driveway at his home.  He had decided to spend the night in the campground as it was late and he was very tired from climbing the huge hills east of the campground.

A few minutes later Ray pulled in with Ruby (his trike recumbent bicycle).  It seems that Ray and Jerry had been riding together for some time.  They met each other in Colorado just east of Sulpher Springs and had been together ever since.  They mentioned how you tend to find someone on the road who travels at a similar pace as yourself and then travel together.

Ray was from upstate New York and also started with the group from Yorktown.  You can read more about Ray’s adventure across the US at Ray and Ruby’s Big Adventure.  It goes into detail day by day.  What an adventure these guys have!

Crazy stories

Since Jerry and Ray were spending the night I really got to talk with them about their fantastic adventure.  They said that the hardest part was traveling across Kansas, where the temperature got to 110 degrees during the day. Jerry said he was traveling at night and finding a place to stay during the day.  An interesting story he told was when riding at night in Kansas he saw a headlight way out in front of him.  From the size of the light he thought it was another cyclist coming toward him.  About a HALF HOUR later that light turned out to be a semi-truck that passed him going the other way.  How crazy is that!

Another time Ray mentioned while also traveling in Kansas he found a lone tree out in the middle of no where.  He stayed under that tree for a very long time just to have some shade.  Most of the terrain was very flat and had NO trees whatsoever.

Brewski anybody?

I wasn’t sure if they would want a beer, but I offered anyway.  They couldn’t say YES fast enough.  Then we all enjoyed a brewski and chatted about all our adventures.  It was really a blast.  These guys don’t have too far to go to the coast although they do have another uphill climb before they get there.  What an exciting adventure!

Finally contacted my friend

I have been trying to contact my friend Jack several times in the past two weeks without any luck.  All I get is his answering machine where I leave a message to let me know where he is and how he is doing.  He is on his way to the east coast as I wrote about on a previous post Bicyclists.  Finally on the 1st he sent me a text message and yesterday he called.  He is outside of Pueblo, CO and headed for the east coast.  He had climbed peaks of 11,500 feet.  I can’t even imagine going there in my RV let alone a bike.  I have a hard time going up a small hill, huffing and puffing all the way and sometimes getting off and walking.  I guess you could call me a real wuss!  Anyway he said he is glad to get out of the mountains and onto flat land.  I told him he probably wouldn’t mind a few large hills after he started going through Kansas.

I am really enjoying seeing all the cyclists passing through going to either coast.  They are really a blast to talk to and each of them have different stories.  I hope there is more to come in the future.

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14 thoughts on “All the way from the east coast

  1. Jim, you have certainly had an entertaining camp hosting adventure so far. How great that you have been able to meet so many interesting people and hear their stories. I cannot even imagine riding a bike of ANY kind from coast to coast but I bet it is something these intrepid travelers will never forget. I really enjoyed your post and am now catching up on the link you posted to Ray and Ruby’s travels.

  2. What stories they must have to tell. I personally think they’re nuts but I can barely ride my bike around a campground let along up and down hills. So glad you were able to offer water to these weary travelers.

  3. After more than a decade of owning and riding 8 recumbents I can promise it is the only way to ride. Sadly, as we get older we are afraid to venture outside the box and afraid of looking silly to others.

    I find that when kids see us riding recumbents they call out cool bike whereas so called adults yell insults. That says something to me about what we lose when we leave our childhood behind.

    The first recumbent in this post is a Rans Vrex which is what I am currently riding. Riding a recumbent will put a smile on your face but hills are tough no matter what type of bike you have.

  4. Hi jim, I’m the cyclist from antrim northern Ireland. Just to let you know we all made it safely to the pacific, although I managed to collide with a raised section of bridge with 3 miles to the finish. Managed to limp with my bike to the beach. No lasting damage done to me or the bike.
    Thanks for the water it was nice, a beer would have been better but with a few miles to go it would have been a bad idea. It is nice of you to be nice to cyclists.
    American drivers are up there with the French at being considerate

    • Hi Steve,

      Sorry it’s taken so long in getting back to you. You should be congratulated on your fantastic trip across the US. Sorry you had to limp in but glad you made it safely. Next time I will give you e beer. Maybe one of these days I will get over to Northern Ireland. I have ancestors that came from Cork and am always thinking of going to visit Ireland. Then maybe we can hit a pub together and have a pint or two.

      Jim

  5. Hello Jim,

    I’m the bicyclist from Decatur, Illinois. Just wanted to let you know that Ray, Ruby and I all made it back to our homes. Had a great trip. Ray and I will be planning our next trip very soon. I do have a request! I forgot to get a picture of you. If you could get someone to take our picture about waist high with you hand a beer toward the camera.

    Thank you again for the great hospitality.

    Jerry

    • Hi Jerry,

      So glad to hear you finished your trip. Both of you were really a lot of fun. I will send you a separate email with the pic you requested. Keep in touch and let me know what you have planned for your next trip.

      Jim

  6. do you remember when we would ride our ten speeds from mom and dads house thru el toro and onto laguna beach – maybe only once or twice- my bike was pink and yours was silver i believe?

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