I’m going to go ahead and put a few things down and publish it while it’s still fresh on my mind. This is just a placeholder for a more detailed and picture laden version of what happened today.
Today’s ride statistics are in two parts. The first part was a truncated version of my original plan here. The second part was the day’s ending here. If you notice a gap between the two routes, here is what happened:
The day started fine. There was a possibility of rain but not as much as yesterday. Eight miles down the road I got to meet my friend Drake Nicholson near his home in Cannon Beach. There were gorgeous Vistas overlooking the ocean as I headed south on Highway 101. I made it all the way to Nehalem 24 miles down the road without any rain. I stopped to have a big second breakfast, and while I was inside it started to rain. When I came back outside the rain had already stopped and I was able to continue on in dry, sunny weather. Even though there were many pointless up and downs, they were less pointless today. I think it was because I was no longer battling a head wind. Leaving Nehalem, I actually started getting some tail wind. My pace went up several miles per hour.
When I arrived in Tillamook, 24 miles away, I was still full from breakfast. It was the only reason I didn’t stop at what would have been the ultimate ice cream shop. As I headed west towards Netarts, about 4 miles out of Tillamook, I heard Hildago shout a distinctive “PING”! From the wobbling of the front wheel I knew immediately that Hidalgo had broke a spoke. Knowing that there was no way I would be able to fix it. I knew I could not go on. I got on Google and started searching for a bike shop. The closest equivalent was a sporting goods store in Tillamook. I called them and they told me that the nearest bike shop was 23 miles away. I turned the bike back toward Tillamook and started hitchhiking. After 10 minutes A Good Samaritan passed me by, turned around, pulled on the road next to me, and stopped. His white van said All Star Appliance on the side and he offered to take me back to Tillamook. We loaded Hidalgo in his van, and he agreed that the closest bike shop was still 23 miles away. I looked into getting an Uber but there was no such thing available. Then I thought about renting a car or vehicle to get me to the bike shop. The only place in town did not have any thing available for the next three days. Aaron finally just said I will take you to the bike shop. So this wonderful man drove me 23 miles out of his way to a remote bike shop towards Portland. He made sure that I was going to be okay before he left me with Dan, the bike shop owner. While I was at the bike shop I noticed a biker dressed in rain gear. He was looking at a motorcycle. This shop worked on motorcycles, bicycles, all-wheelers, and also was a convenience store. I asked the biker if he had come in on a motorcycle and he looked at me strangely. It took me a while and it took him a while until we recognized each other. This other biker was Marco, who had stayed with me at my home in Olympia less than 10 days ago. What a small world. Marco was searching for a campsite or a warm showers home for the evening. I told him to just stay with me because I was going to be in a hotel in Tillamook, rather than Pacific City, as originally planned. I had him ride ahead downhill all the way to Tillamook while my bike was being finished and I was going to catch up with him. Less than 2 miles out of the bike shop I had a flat tire on my front wheel. Even though it had been raining on the drive up to the bike shop, the rain had stopped before I left. I repaired the tire in dry conditions and headed back down the wet road. Marco and I eventually met up 4 miles outside of Tillamook. We had dinner together then headed for our hotel in Tillamook. I couldn’t help but laugh all the way down the hill at all the strange coincidences and events that had happened today.
After updating Becky, I spent time on the phone cancelling hotel reservations and planning a new schedule along the same route.
In spite of so many things going wrong, I can’t help but be thankful for all the things that happened today. I saw it rain twice today, but I was never riding in the rain. I got to meet a friend from Olympia, my warm showers guest from Italy, and two very kind and talented people. One was the man that fixed my bike on a very short notice. The other was a good samaritan who not only helped me and refused payment, but also volunteers as a firefighter. He is a true servant. I couldn’t help but pay it forward to Marco who I found along the way, and hopefully to the little brother I will be mentoring in the future.
PS: Because of my mechanical problems, I had to cancel hotel reservations. There was a domino effect as my schedule got shifted. Every one of them waived any cancellation fees. People are especially kind to a person on a bike. At least that’s one of the things I’ve found on this trip.
The Lone Rider