In this blog post, I discuss all my plans taking shape including some very complicated winter travels coming up!
My summer in Portland finished with 2 of my most favorite cycling events of the year; the Kirke Johnson Memorial Ride on the Banks/Vernonia rail trail and my 12th year riding to the Recumbent Retreat on the Oregon Coast. Kirke Johnson was a wonderful man and this was a ride he lead every Labor Day weekend. He was hit and killed by a delivery truck a few years ago while riding his beloved Fold Rush Easy Racer in Portland. I miss him very much and love that we all get to continue his ride to remember our friend.
Video about my winter plans
|At the start of the Kirke Johnson Memorial Ride|
|Barbara climbing at Stubb Stewart State Park|
|Kathi on the trail|
Video from the Kirke Johnson Memorial Ride with lots of recumbent buddies
The Recumbent Retreat is actually an annual tour for me, and whoever wants to come along. This year a new trike rider, Brandon, joined me. From my house, to ride west towards the coast requires a tough 1000 ft climb and more than an hour's ride. Luckily, my friend Kathi offered to give me a ride over the hill. She has done this for many years now and 'the lift over the hill' makes the 1st day of this coastal tour very manageable. We also picked up Brandon who lives on the way but still far from Banks and the start of the Banks/Vernonia rail trail. This is where I typically start this ride. The ride to the retreat is only a few days after the Kirke Memorial ride and so I get to ride the fabulous Banks/Vernonia rail trail twice in a week's time. The Banks/Vernonia trail is 20 miles long and makes for a delightful start for the ride to the Recumbent Retreat.
|Just a small obstacle in our path|
This was Brandon's 1st tour and we had a blast riding together. As usual, we camped at Big Eddy State Park after a very nice 35 mile ride stopping in Vernonia for lunch and picking up anything we needed for dinner and the next day. There are some logging trucks on this route but it seems every year there are less and less. After camping at Big Eddy, there aren't any businesses until we reach the coast so we needed to be prepared with snacks and whatever food we wanted for lunch the next day. The 2nd day's ride is incredibly beautiful but is 73 miles and much more demanding than the 1st day. There are a few places to stop for water and bathroom breaks but there are no stores or restaurants along the way. My 1st stop is always the firehouse in Mist to use their bathroom. Even though I only stop in once a year they remember me and are always very nice. From there it's another 20 miles to the Jewell Elk Preserve. There are tons of elk in this area but the only time I've seen them is when the weather is bad. Today's weather was very nice which meant no elk were to be seen. The Jewell Elk Preserve is a sweet place to stop. It has everything a touring cyclist needs. There are picnic tables to make and eat lunch as well as bathrooms to get cleaned up and wash our dirty dishes after making lunch. It's in a perfect place for a break because just a few miles further starts the climb over the coastal range. I'm a really slow climber and this isn't too bad. I think it's about 6 miles and 700 ft to the summit. From there we had a fabulous twisting turning downhill on a freshly paved road through lush forest. Cycle touring doesn't get much better than this. Almost at the bottom of the hill is an active fish hatchery with another perfectly placed bathroom stop. I've never taken the tour but hear it is worth the time. (Unfortunately, I need the whole day to complete the 73 miles to the Recumbent Retreat.) Leaving the fish hatchery begins the hardest part of the ride for me. From here, the next 20 miles have lots of short and steep hills along the Young's Bay River that really slow me down. The views are amazing though. Once we got passed the Warrenton airport it is a simple ride to Ft. Stevens State Park where we met up with everyone already camped. I found my site (many thanks to Greg and Lori for letting me camp) and got set up just as rains started to fall. I had a good time riding with Brandon and expect we will be riding together again next year to the retreat.
|Camping at Big Eddy Country park|
|Just before the Lewis and Clark Bridge into Warrenton|
|Sasquatch lives at Ft. Stevens!!|
Video of the wonderful Recumbent Retreat weekend.
|Official photoshoot photo|
|Lots of different kinds of recumbents|
|Peter Iredale shipwreck at sunset|
|Pic from the trikes ride with 40 trikes!!|
|Super Duper Fun Lighted Bikes Parade|
|Fun shot of the lighted bikes|
|Escuela Falcon in Guanajuato|
Another thing recently occurred to me. I have been touring on a trike all over the world for 10 years now and feel like I have a lot of knowledge I could be sharing. With that in mind, I decided to start a new Travels By Trike YouTube channel where I want to make short videos about trike stuff, updates while I'm touring, reviews of gear I use and any other information I think could be of interest. Matt Galat, of the Jayoe Nation, made me a new logo and intro for my videos. The logo is super cute and I love the snappy intro! This was a very thoughtful gift and the new intro is making my videos look much more polished. Aside from learning Spanish, another goal I've set for myself while I'm in Guanajuato is to get more comfortable shooting and editing video. I'll be making short videos about the town, culture and my experiences. I've upgraded to Final Cut Pro for editing and making videos will help me learn that software as well. My idea is to make videos that are less than 5 minutes long giving a taste of my experiences.
Another thing I have been thinking about for a long time is buying a drone to take on my tours. After reading a ton of articles and reviews as well as watching countless hours of YouTube videos, I decided to buy a small DJI Spark to bring with me to Mexico. By buying the drone months before my tour, I can take my time learning how to use it and, hopefully, I'll be comfortable using the drone for my trip through Central America. Guanajuato is delightfully colorful with lots of very beautiful buildings. I think it will be a great town to learn drone video and photography in. Excursions with the language school to visit ruins and historic sights should be very interesting to see from a drone perspective as well. I'm excited!
|The Spark drone is so small it fits in my handlebar bag using the case, 3 batteries, an extra set of propellors and the protected RC controller. Nice!|
|Tentative Trike Tour through Central America|
After studying Spanish, I'll return to Los Angeles in February. Then I'll be taking a quick trip to Las Vegas for a college reunion before returning, again, to Los Angeles after a long weekend. From there, I'll fly with Myrtle the Turtle to Cancun Mexico to, finally, start my trike tour of Central America. I don't have an exact route yet but I want to ride from Cancun through Belize, across the southernmost part of Guatemala to El Salvador to ride along the Pacific Coast. From there, I'll ride through a corner of Honduras into Nicaragua and then through Costa Rica before ending in Panama City, Panama. Because I'm spending so much time in Guanajuato this winter studying Spanish, this will be my shortest tour so far. It will cover 2,000 miles in 3 months. If anyone has any 'must see' spots along the way to recommend I'd love to hear from you.
|A fun photo I found on Facebook|
Aside from regular video updates on my Travels By Trike YouTube channel, I probably won't be updating the blog often until I'm ready to start my tour. As always, thanks for following along the continuing adventures of Myrtle the Turtle! Hasta Luego!!