September 11-12 - On To Cycle Oregon 2009
September 11 - Ann and I loaded the Odyssey with my bicycle, KD, our lunch, our snacks and all of our luggage and left Berkeley before 10:00. We drove out I80 to I505 and I5 heading north to Ashland. We stopped at a rest area for lunch and at Weed for gas. The weather was clear and sunny. At the rest stop the temperature was in the mid-90's. It almost hit 100 in Redding.
We reached Ashland around 4:00 and unloaded most of our gear at the Lynn's house. Connie was there when we arrived. She left to pick up Chloe from her volleyball practice. Jeff got off work early and joined us shortly thereafter. After visiting for a while, we left Casper and KD to guard the house while we went to dinner at 6:30 at Sesame, a new Asian restaurant located close to Lithia Park. Reviews of this restaurant are wildly mixed. Our experience was very good. The food was tasty (except for Jeff's salmon) and the portions were filling.
We walked back to the house after stopping for ice cream. We then walked the dogs and went to bed reasonably early.
September 12 - After an early breakfast, we loaded the Odyssey with Ann and KD's gear and they left for a long drive up to Leavenworth. Jeff and I then loaded his mini van with all of our cycling gear. Connie drove us to Medford after dropping Chloe off at her piano session with the southern Oregon master piano teachers.
Our first order of business was to check in. We then went to the Tent and Porter desk and got tent assignments for us and our Valley Spokesmen friends. This service sets up and takes down our tents. It also delivers our gear in the afternoon and picks it up in the morning. It's worth paying for after and before a tough day of riding. Traditionally, we get tents together so that we can socialize and plan our daily activities. Our group this year consisted of Jim Duncan, Christie Simpson, Susan Gibbs, Mark Neer, Steve Whelan, Bob Strain and Brahim Satoutah. Rich Fuller, a riding friend from Berkeley, and Sarah Gates, daughter of classmates at Pomona, were nearby. Jeff and I found our tent and had the sherpas carry our gear to it.
After walking through the vendor area, Jeff and I went over to the Widmer Brothers Brewery Beer Garden and opened it up. We also opened up the Pizzicato Pizza kiosk and had pizza and beer for lunch. My Valley Spokesmen friends arrived early in the afternoon. We congregated at the Beer Garden and wasted the afternoon there listening to the entertainment. I managed to get over to the vendor area and buy the last LuxuryLite® UltraLite Cot™.
We had an early dinner in the dining tent. The evening welcome and announcements were at 7:30. Then it was entertainment at 8:00. The band was not very good, so we left and got to bed reasonably early
There is a daily routine on Cycle Oregon. It starts with breakfast as early as 5:30 for those anxious to get going and for those that can't sleep through the zipper noise. Next is the daily ride. At the end of the ride, it's showers in huge shower trucks. Then it's on to the Beer Garden. The Beer Garden is near the sound stage so that you can watch and hear the early entertainment provided by locals. Dinner starts around 5 PM. Then it's back to the sound stage at 7:30 for announcements and major evening entertainment. Bed time is whenever you want it to be.
Part of the following narrative starts each day with the day's ride description from the "Rider Handbook". My ride perspective follows.