First Impressions

Uphill Riding

Matt huffing and puffing on an uphill in Oregon.

We are one day into our bike trip and have completed 50 miles. We arrived in the small fishing town of Goble, OR on the Columbia River where we’re camped in an RV park 30 yards from the river after leaving Vancouver, WA today headed towards Astoria, OR, the northern point of our journey to Mexico. We had a great stay with friends from our most recent home town but today begins an all new adventure for us.

For our first story, we are each providing a few simple first impressions after the first day of riding:

Matt says:

-This is going to be awesome. I love traveling faster and moving from town to town. We were able to stop at a nice grocery store today and buy fresh fruit, artisan bread, pesto, and soup for our meals today. We were also able to take a shower tonight at the campground we’re staying at. Quality of life improvement from hiking is substantial and this is very motivating for the biking life.

-It’s not easy. We rode into the wind much of the day today as we rode from Vancouver towards Astoria. We covered a little over 50 miles and we were sore and tired for the last 20 miles of the ride. The trailer I am towing definitely slows me down as well but I am also able to carry cans of soup and fresh pesto so I am cool with that trade off.

-While it’s been great to visit so many good people the past six weeks after finishing the Appalachian Trail, it is very nice to be out on the road again with only my wife in our little tent again. She is my best friend and it is nice to spend more alone time with her.

-It is driving me a little crazy how much Katy Perry I’ve heard on the radio lately and how I can’t get her out of my head.

Julie says:

-I too cannot get Katy Perry out of my head; she was just singing that “Last Friday Night” song in my head before I read over Matt’s first impressions.

-I’m looking forward to taking the pieces of the trail life that I like: exercise, pretty scenery, town stops, time with Matt, tent time, early to bed and early to rise…and not only having them for the bike trip, but also getting to include pieces of non-trail life, such as showers, plentiful grocery stores each day, reading time and overall more relaxation time, which all come with covering miles more quickly on a bike and biking through civilization rather than walking in the woods and popping our heads out every few days.

-I am a little fearful of any bike mishaps that could occur, but I have already read the entire 350 page bike maintenance book, and we got personal lessons from our friend, David. While I’m not looking forward to bike maintenance or repair, I feel adequately prepared to the point that we could at least get to the next bike shop for help beyond the basics.

-I now have all the Julie time in the world, which is a blessing in comparison to all the visiting we have been doing over the last 6 weeks. I’ve enjoyed each and every visit, but I’ve been in need of alone time and personal space for too long now, and will enjoy it while it lasts.

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