Casual portrait, outdoors, of a young man with a touring bicycle next to a sign that reads “South Jetty — Mouth of the Columbia River — constructed by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Portland District”

Day 1: Hubris

Published 2002-04-29

Oregon Coast Bike Ride, Day 1

April 29, 2002
Clatsop Spit to Oswald West State Park
39.02 miles
2:35 saddle time
15.0 mph avg. speed.
Sunny, light wind W-NW, mid-60s

I don’t doubt that at the beginning of every unsupported bicycle tour, an unexperienced rider imagines he’ll do better time than he anticipated. In planning this trip, I expected the entire journey to take 7 days, based on an average rolling speed of 13 mph and days of riding 4 to 7 hours. The riding today was so smooth I fooled myself into believing I was tougher than I really am. With a little wind behind me and a nice wide road, I really scratched out the miles, even on the climbs. The road just peeled away beneath me, with a wonderful sense of rapidity. By the time I reached Cannon Beach around noon (28.16 miles), my average speed was above 16 mph, and I called a friend with a sense of triumph.

“I’m making fantastic time. You wouldn’t believe it, I did almost 30 miles in less than two hours. I could do this ride in 5 days at this speed.” Well, I suppose lots of people think this their first day.The day ended -- too early in retrospect -- watching the sun set behind Cape Falcon. A pretty good day, and I don’t even feel tired.