Leaving the hostel this morning with a bit of an unknown destination today: Nate will no doubt end the day in Madras, per plan. Michael is monitoring a swollen Achilles tendon. It is still sore this morning. He’ll know as of the first climb–and it’s a long one–whether he’ll get farther than the midpoint in Prineville today. Worst case, if the heel won’t hold, he’ll return to Mitchell for a rest day.

Check back for updates…

Update: Nate’s ride went well. Indeed, the climb over Ochoco Pass required little effort compared to other ascents, for both of us.

The descent into Prineville was windy for Michael, limiting the yee-haw potential significantly.

Neither of us* saw any black bears, elk, or cougar in the Ochoco Forest. Disappointing turn out, forest animals. (*Nate saw some sort of antlered animal, species unconfirmed.)

As of Prineville, Michael’s Achilles is totally ok to ride on; He’s still debating whether to stop or push through to Madras–considering mileage, time of day, wind, and a small climb out of town. (Nate has already checked-in with our Warm Showers hosts there.)


More later…

Update (Day’s end): Michael did reach Madras this evening, but not before a (random and fun, not medical) delay in Prineville.

After refueling with a bite to eat in town, he had decided to continue on to Madras; His Achilles wasn’t hurting too much, and it’s a fairly short ride between the two towns.

Pedaling through Prineville, however, he saw a bike shop, The Good Bike Co. He pulled in for a quick look. Another cyclist, coming out of the store, intercepted him and asked the usual questions about the trip. They chatted a couple minutes. Then he said, “You have to meet Dan,” (touring cyclist codename), and went back inside to get him. Dan came out, he and Michael started chatting, and the other guy road off.

Dan’s completely bonkers bike. (He’s pulling a trailer, too.)

Dan is cycling across the U.S. (but ending in California), then traveling to Hawaii, Australia, and eventually Nepal. He’ll be traveling at least two years. Dan is an awesome human.

Inside the shop, Michael met the owner, James, and bike tech, “Lake Shore” (her Bike Shop codename, or LS). LS grew up in western New York about five miles from where Michael went to high school. Super cool people.

So, Michael, Dan, LS, and James were having a perfectly chill time chatting over beer when Michael recalled his decision to get to Madras today. D’oh! (He almost reconsidered…)

The rest of the ride was just wind, wind, and more wind. But, Michael, reenergized by the bike-shop detour, was undeterred and made it to Madras in time for dinner.

Our hosts, Stan and Maura, prepared a delicious meal including bowtie pasta and a garden-vegetable/fresh-basil primavera, fruits, and oatmeal-raisin cookies. Maura is a home-brew master, so we also enjoyed her beers on tap. We had a wonderful evening talking about cycling, running, travel, The Eclipse, and more. (Stan and Maura are super bad-ass distance runners and cyclists who’ve helped put Madras on the map for running and cycling in Oregon. It’s awesome to have met them!)

Oh! Speaking of The Eclipse, Maura showed us new stamps from the U.S.P.S. that we must get: They feature an eclipse and reveal the Moon when the image is pressed, with a thumb, for example.

Fun fact: Madras is the birthplace of actor River Phoenix. (“Stand by Me” is one of Michael’s all-time favorite movies.) Incredibly, this wasn’t discussed at dinner.

We can’t believe we’re almost to Portland! Tomorrow’s ride will take us near Mt. Hood–which we first saw from mile 40 en route today as we rounded a corner approaching Prineville.

See the day’s ride on Relive.