Part Eight: Southern Oregon and Northern California


There has been an overwhelming response to my song writing efforts of the last posting. all requests for a recording of same will be addressed as soon as we can find a banjo player. No further comments on my poetry will be entertained.

23rd October (40 miles) (Corvallis – Eugene)

24th October (Eugene)

The good people at Co-Motion Cycles have been looking after me very nicely.  The bike has had some serious love and attention from Teryk and an overhaul including a new rear pulley and carbon belt.  I’ve been instructed in the art of belt tension checking and adjustment as the previous pulley and belt had suffered from my neglect and both had worn prematurely.  It is, however, worth noting that the new rear pulley is steel rather than aluminum, so it should last the distance.  With drive train, brakes and other minor adjustments, the bike now feels like a new beast.  It is actually the first time that both the bike and I have been in good condition at the same time (as on the Dalton Highway in Alaska I was in anything but good condition).  Man and beast are therefore now morphing into the one being capable of astounding feats of mile devouring daring-do (see man-and-bike photos).

Man & Bike
More Man & Bike

25th October (61 miles) (Eugene – Florence)

The cities of Washington State and Oregon have been very cool places and it has lead to some speculation on this blog as to where the not-so-cool places are – as some there surely had to be.  Alas in one or two of the little towns along the coastal strip of southern Oregon into northern California it has become apparent where the Oregonians dump a lot of their somewhat-less-than-cool people, some of whom appear to have developed very enthusiastic affection for their siblings.  On-on.

26th October (58 miles) (Florence – Sunset Beach Bay)

Did the wheel dipping in the Pacific here (Ocean to Ocean – Arctic to Pacific).  Camping can be a chore on occasion and when you have the combination of overly officious camp rangers and raccoons fighting and trying to get into the packs, it is just a complete pain in the arse.  I had to move my tent to be in the ‘hiker/biker’ section even though this section was closed.  I’ll write them nasty letter: that’ll show ‘em.  A raccoon managed to make off with the salami!

Ocean to Ocean (Arctic to Pacific)

27th October (55 miles) (Sunset Beach – Port Orford)

At Port Orford the road at the end of the main street leads up to a magical panorama across the bay. I decided to take a room at the motel at the top of the ridge and stroll down to the wharf for a seafood dinner and was very glad I did.  Other oysters around the world will hold their oyster-hoods cheap for not being on my plate in Port Orford this night.  After a few bad experiences with piddling little grotty oysters up the coast, ‘Griffs on the Bay’ out on the wharf came through with six huge pump jobbies.

South Oregon Coastline

Earlier that day I again met John and Kate who are cycling across USA and down the west coast for FarmAID (foodcyclists.org) visiting farms along the way.  We shared the Seven Devils coastal road out of Sunset Bay beach.  At lunch we also met a couple of guys doing the speed biking trip heading down the coast of USA in 11 days which is 150 miles per day! (see photo).

John and Kate
USA North to South in 11 days

28th October (50 miles) (Port Orford – Brookings)

29th October (58 miles) (Brookings – Orick)

Paul Bunyan
Babe the bull
Blue Balls

There are a number of statues around the USA of Paul Bunyan the giant woodsman and his side-kick ‘Babe’ the blue bull. The Wiki entry casts some doubt on the origin of the tales of Mr Bunyan and Babe and doesn’t really tell you what they did so here I will fill in the blanks. Paul was a popular chap because he was very large. Just why he befriended a bull and called it Babe is not clear but suffice to say that life on the frontier could be pretty lonely. This bull ‘Babe’ had rather large testicles whereas Paul, despite his large size, had small testicles. This infuriated Paul for people would come from far and wide to marvel at the size of Babe’s testicles. They were less and less interested in a giant man who cut down trees – who had meager testicles. Paul was, of course, very jealous of both the attention that Babe and his large testicles were getting and that he too did not have big testicles. He locked Babe away from sight. Being locked up, Babe was not able to date any cows and he became sexually frustrated. Having only hooves he was not able to masturbate (bulls not having thumbs of course). After a while of being without sex, Babe began to turn blue. This is where we get the term, ‘to have blue balls’ i.e. a male being deprived of sex. One version of the tale has it that Paul chopped Babe’s huge balls off in a jealous rage and some statues around the country reflect this in that Babe appears sackless.

30th October (55 miles) (Orick – Eureka):

31st October (45 miles) (Eureka – Weott):

Avenue of the Giants

The ‘Avenue of the Giants’ south of Eureka is a wonderful stretch of road running alongside the main 101 Highway that takes you through some breathtaking forest with majestic tree trunks on either side of the road in many sections (see photos). Chance had it that a good bunch of cyclists congregated at the camp site near Weott and being Halloween we had a campfire and your correspondent took the opportunity to get completely ratted on cheap whiskey. In the campsite there were a good few of us who are doing the pan-American ride (see photo).

Lovely people and sexy bike
Pub in Meyer Flat
Hardcore Pan-Am Cyclists

1st November (10 miles) (Weott – Miranda):

Left camp with Rob the Welsh biker (twatonabike) who is traveling south from Alaska alone after his colleague abandoned the trip very early on (after 30 miles!). After the excessive drinking of last night it was a minor miracle that we made it even the 10 miles we somehow managed, sweating whiskey all the way. Best call this one a rest day.

2nd November (64 miles) (Miranda – Westport):

A hard but lovely climb and plummet over the Coastal Range west to the coast and onto Route 1 which hugs the coastline for the 200 mile run south into San Francisco. Legs pumped along like over-sized steam powered pistons mercilessly battering the hills into submission. A long climb through the woods in the afternoon and then swoop to the coast and a magnificent view up and down the rugged coast line. Rob managed to get himself bitten by a spider by the road side so he repaired to the hospital for a patch up.

North California coastline

6 thoughts on “Part Eight: Southern Oregon and Northern California

  • Hello Robert, I loved this post. Firstly because of you whitty and interesting writing style and secondly because you are cycling through my favorite part of the world. Sunset beach and the avenue of the giants. Lisa and I even recognized the tree stump you were all sitting on in that wonderful camp ground. Did you meet the cranky old hippy who runs the coffee shop in myers flat? How was the climb from leggat over to the coast? Keep up the writing. Love your friend mikey

    • Hey Mike, The ride to the coast was indeed a good rise but the man-machine pistons just cranked it into submission. Then hitting the coast was well worth it. Avenue of the Giants was a highlight but sorry missed the coffee shop. Yours Buff3y

    • Mike, I can report that another hardcore Pan-American cyclist (Ian from Ireland) did go into that cafe in Meyers Flat and encountered that very same cranky old hippy who evidently is still cranky.

  • Hi Bob,
    Fantastic to receive your postcard and hence find your blog. Quite the adventurist, although one thing has me puzzled….I would have thought your many skating ventures at Macquarie would assure you a place in any ice-skating team. MISSED OPPORTUNITY I FEEL!!!!Very much enjoyed your poetry and song – tempted to use it for modelled teaching purposes, thats if copyright permission is granted of course! Seriously though, an incredible effort on leather (hopefully now worn in) seat. I ‘m keen to continue watching your blog, both for the outbursts of laughter from your witty tales and the inspiration of your “Hard Yakker”. Happy riding with those over-sized steam powered pistons of yours! Hope the wind stays on your back and them there bears stay in them there woods.
    Love Kathie

    • Hi Kath. At last somebody liked my song!! The kindest comment regarding my poetry to date had been, “As a poet you make a very good cyclist”. A tad harsh, no? You, however, obviously have impeccable taste in poetry and can recognise the tortured artistic soul behind those disarmingly simple lines. Am now inspired to pen more gems so all can blame Kath for any crap songs in future posts. I was going to give up! The Cannouks (whoever they are) did approach me but am committed to the hardcore road to had to politely decline. I think they just wanted me to be the guy who stands in front of the little goal and doesn’t skate ever and gets pucks hammered at him. Odd sport really. Yours, Buff3y

  • Go Buffy go, had a good old read of the blog today, Im loving it, I havn’t managed to find the song you keep talking about though…………maybe Im just lucky.
    Loved that video of you riding through the forest with the beautiful sky above, very inspiring, makes me very jealous, and not in a good way, dam you Buffy. I think I need to start planning an adventure, feeling old here, Ah well, keep up the good work and the relentless search for big testicles.

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