Thursday, March 4, 2010

Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway

Today was a fun day. We drove the bikes over to Champoeg State park for a 44-mile ride on the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway. For the first 12 miles we only got passed by 2 cars and it was so much fun just to be able to ride. The stretches between turns or stops were long and we were cycling through beautiful farm country. We saw sheep, goats, horses, donkeys, cows and a number of farm dogs guarding the property. We cycled past fields planted with clover for the winter as well as hazelnut and apple orchards. There were fields of blackberry bushes and rows and rows of giant trellises for growing hops.

About 16 miles in we stopped to eat our half sandwiches along a white fence planted with daffodils. We stretched for a bit and then hopped back on our bikes for a few more miles to Willamette Mission State Park. The park was quiet, the roads were smooth and we were having a fabulous time. After a quick bathroom break we rode on the bike path for a bit to get to 22 miles (and change). Where we stopped there was an old fashioned ferry taking 3-4 cars at a time across the river.

About an hour and 50 minutes into our ride I started feeling really tired and my legs felt sluggish. "I gotta eat, " I said, and we stopped unceremoniously at a stop sign and ate our other half sandwich. I drank more of my sports drink and a few minutes later I was feeling better. We stopped for a few more pictures on the way back and when we hit 42.1 miles I yelled out, "42.1! Longer than we've ever gone before!"

When we got back to the car we were officially at 44.6 and feeling fantastic. We plopped down on the sidewalk after loading up our bikes and feasted on dolmas, beans, artichoke hearts, and leftover chicken tagine from last night. We pondered on how lucky we are to be so well-matched athletically. It wasn't something either one of us knew to even look for in a partner, but it really worked out for us.

Upon returning home and showering we sat out back on the patio and had our first sample of Peter's home brewed wit beer. He and his dad spent the last month making this beer and it tasted great. The perfect "recovery drink" for a perfect day.

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