Signs and We are not Alone


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Camping with others

Camping with others at one the fairgrounds in Northern California. We met many other cyclists along the way.

No, this isn’t a story about UFOs or anything like that, but is about new encounters that were unexpected. Since we are still so new at this biking thing, and doing it long-distance style, each day presents something different.

I have come to find that there are road signs I love to see, and those I hate, both of which usually have to do with upcoming hills, road conditions or traffic.

Passing Lane 1 Mile – Definitely my least favorite, as it means we have an uphill coming, and it’s steep or long enough to warrant a passing lane for cars. Ugh.

Right Lane Ends – On the flip side, my most favorite because it means the end of the passing lane and the end of the tortuous hill.

Bikes on Roadway – Probably a least favorite for cars, as they have to share the road with bikes, but also a downer of a sign for me. There’s nothing I want more than my own bike lane, and I don’t want to be on the roadway any more than the cars want me there.

Abrupt Edge, Rough Road, Road Closed, Congestion – All bad signs that we either risk falling off the side of the road, our handlebars and heads will be shaking under chewed up asphalt, our route might in fact be closed and we may have to double back and find another, or that we’re coming upon a lot of pedestrians in the road or cars parked alongside the road that might open a door in the bike lane at any moment.

Reduced Speed Ahead, State Park Signs, Oregon Coast Scenic Bike Route – All good signs that we are coming upon a town, which usually means food and drink await us, we are coming upon our evening’s destination and are almost finished for the day, or that we are in fact on the correct route to be cycling down the coast.

In terms of us not being alone, we have come to find that other people actually do this! For the last two nights, we’ve been surrounded by 10-12 other cyclists going down the coast, all doing different distances, but all with the same idea of covering the coast on a bicycle. It’s comforting to see familiar faces over the course of the days, and to swap stories, routes and general bike knowledge. I imagine that just like long-distance hiking, we’ll meet people the whole way down the coast doing a similar adventure, only at different paces and with different destinations. It’s nice to know that cycling the coast is actually a thing people do.

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