Day 70: Brown Bear Brown Bear what do you see?

Today the team rode 84 miles from Crescent City to Eureka, California. Today was one of the most beautiful rides we have had thus far. We went on and off highway 101 where we got beautiful views of the ocean. Highway 101 also isn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be! We also got to ride through more Redwood forests. This morning started out extremely eerie and spooky. The fog was so thick that we could not see anything within a ½ mile ahead of us as we rode through the forest. It is an unexplainable feeling to be flying downhill and feel like you are going through nothingness! Some groups even stopped at the mystery trees and looked in the Paul Bunyan gift shop where they got a greeting from Paul and his oxe. Overall it was an amazing day and although the hills in Cali are killer, knowing that we only have a few days left makes us push to the finish line! Also a group got within a car distance to a mama bear and her cubs, how scary cool is that?!

I would like to thank Eureka First United Methodist for hosting us tonight. The ride dedication was for Matt’s grandma who had breast cancer.

~Tailwinds~
Mandy

Flat count: 1
Song of the day: California girls
Memorable moment: Riding along the coast for the first time

Day 69: Golden state of mind

Today the team rode 85 miles from Grants Pass, Oregon to Crescent City, California! We made it to California… it still feels surreal to say it. We got from New York to California via bike, how crazy! Crossing into the state line was the highlight of the day for me, riding up to see the state sign was one of the most exciting sights I have seen along ride. It all seems like a pipe dream until it comes true, we are officially cross country cyclists. Although, it was an exciting day the victory needed to be earned with 4,000 feet of climbing and some very scary California roads and drivers.

I would like to thank United Methodist Church for hosting us and providing us dinner. The ride dedication was from Lauren’s family friend Lisa who just finished her chemo treatment for breast cancer.

~Tailwinds~
Mandy

Flat count: 2
Song of the day: Californiacation
Memorable moment of the day: Seeing the beach for the first time and knowing that had made it from coast to coast.

Day 66/67: Darth Vader took over Crater Lake

The blogs have been suffering recently due to all the camping we have been doing with no service. Because of this I am doing a combined blog for yesterday and today. Yesterday the team rode 65 miles from Gilchrist to Crater lake,Oregon. Due to forest fires in the area we rode through some pretty smoky areas until we reached the entrance of the park. We then climbed several miles through the beautiful pines that surround Crater Lake. There was smoke all around which created a eerie feeling (hence the blog title). Once we reached the top we saw the beautiful lake and all its glory. It was so much larger than I ever would have pictured it and even though it was not in its clearest state it was still a sight to be seen. After several stops at gift shops later we arrived at the campsite and hung out for the remainder of the evening.

Now on to today, we rode 90 miles from Crater Lake to Grants Pass, Oregon. The first 30 miles were a breeze of straight downhill. The rest of the day was some up and down hill that were pretty easy however, the day seemed long and we ran into smoke again which leaves you winded even when it is not a difficult ride. We all made it and got to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church where our friendly hosts greeted us and provided us with showers and food. It was above and beyond what we could have hoped for. We really appreciate all that they did to help prepare such a nice stay for us!

The ride was dedicated to Maggie’s cousin who survived stage 4 breast cancer.

~Tailwinds~
Mandy

Flat count: 0
Song of the day: Smoke on the water
Memorable moment: Today we celebrated an old I4K tradition, Christmas in July. This is when every rider gets a secret Santa and they gift them with a $ 5.00 gift and a gag gift found on the side of the road. We exchanged them today and it was great to see all the gifts people received!

Day 66: Gilchrist is haunted

Today the team rode 50 miles from Bend to Gilchrist, Oregon. The day started out interesting when the path we needed to take turned out to be completely gravely and sandy. We ended up getting shuttled because the gravel path extended for 7 miles. Road bikes and gravel don’t really go well together. Some of us enjoyed the challenge, and rode several miles before calling it quits. The rest of the day was relatively easy because the majority of the climbing was concentrated in the beginning and was skipped. We did run into a sea of smoke for the rest of the ride due to several forest fires happening in the area.

Thank you to our hosts at the Gilchrist mall. This is a more unique stayover as we are staying at an abandoned restaurant and lounge. It has been super cool to explore this place as it is like a time capsule. Today the ride was dedicated to Liz’s nana Nancy who had breast cancer twice.

~Tailwinds~
Mandy

Flat count: 1
Song of the day: Sandman
Memorable moment: Finding the abandoned bowling alley attached to our stayover and manually bowling a few times

Day 65: Rest day, Hooray!

Today was our rest day in Bend, Oregon. One group spent a large portion of the day hiking. They got to see some amazing views ( check Instagram) and got to be at 9,000 feet elevation. Another group spent the morning getting breakfast and doing laundry and later went downtown to explore. Bend is a charming town with cool outdoorsy vibes. It has been on of my favorite places for sure. The deschutes river flows throughout the town where people kayak and tube down. It was nice to sit by the water with a book and relax, which is what many of us did. Later on some on the 21 year old checked out some breweries, which is something Bend is known for. Overall it was a lovely and restful day.

Special thanks to Maggie’s parents for donating dinner tonight. Chipotle never disappoints!

~Tailwinds~
Mandy

Flat count: n/a
Song of the day: Stuck in the Middle with you -Stealers Wheel
Memorable moment: Eric changing his name to Martin at the restaurant and then claiming the order was not his when they called out for Martin.

Day 64: Just around the river Bend

Today the team rode 90 miles from Paulina to Bend, Oregon. It was a very long day with lots of climbing but the team did very well and all the groups were in before 5 pm. This might be a new team best for a 90 mile ride. The ride up through Bend was absolutely beautiful. We saw crazy rock formations, beautiful snow capped mountains and pines. Oregon is shaping up to be one of my favorite places. The day started out strong with a hype circle for the mosher activity. Ryan might have popped a few blood vessels in the process but he helped deliver the mosher activity with me and it couldn’t have gone better. Overall it was a great day!

I would like to thank The First United Methodist Church for hosting us for two nights. The ride dedicated for today is for Kathy’s aunt who had bladder cancer. We also got a great surprise of have Josh Weisberg and Arturo (2014 and 2017 alum) drive down to meet us and provide us with Wings. Thank you both so much!!

~Tailwinds~
Mandy

Flat count : 2
Song of the day: Final countdown
Memorable moment: Bouncing in unison on yoga balls during Phil’s pow wow while chanting his name