Pilotbob

Pilotbob

Pilotbob

I am a retired Airline Pilot and have crossed the United States at 33,000 feet for over 30 years. Now that I am retired, I felt it was time to cross it by bicycle. In September of 2015 I rode from Vancouver, Canada to Tijuana, Mexico with four friends, so this will be my second bicycle adventure. Although I spent 20 years in the Navy, eight active and twelve as a reserve, my experience was far different than those who have served in the last twenty five years. I plan to ride this trip in honor of all who have given so much to serve their country.



North America » United States » Oregon » Florence August 17th 2018

It’s done. I finished the last leg of my three month tour today in Florence Oregon. It was quite an adventure. Tonite I am celebrating with family and friends. I’ll put up my after action report soon. Tonight, party on!... read more
A toast to family and friendship

North America » United States » Oregon » Eugene August 15th 2018

This morning I started a little later than usual to take advantage of the B&B breakfast. I’m glad I did because it was truly gourmet and I enjoyed every bite. I finally started my ride after 9am however, and the road was already quite busy from the moment I started. I had to put up with Highway 126, ( and the drivers had to put up with me as well) on the narrow roads with very little shoulder. It was quite nerve wracking and I finally was able to turn onto a much quieter road about 20 miles from Eugene. It was much more relaxing and I’m sure the drivers were happy I wasn’t on their busy road anymore as well. Finally after a 45 mile day, I arrived in the vicinity of the rented home ... read more
Ann and I after dinner tonight.
Great scenery, but a busy road with limited shoulder.
Covered Bridge on the McKenzie Highway

North America » United States » Oregon August 14th 2018

I woke up this morning very excited about the day. Today was my last big climb before Florence! One of these days, I will sit down and figure out how many BIG climbs I have been over. I’ll define a big climb as one in which a steady effort of at least a thousand feet occurs. Today, the climb was about 2200 feet. At the very northern end of the town of Sisters, I turned left onto Hwy 240, (the Historic McKenzie Highway), and very soon I knew it was going to be a special day. The highway follows the path of an 1860s wagon route. Before that it was a Native American route. The road that exists today actually opened for travel in 1872. It was a toll road back then! It is a very ... read more
Windy Point with Mt. Washington in the background
Dee Wright Observatory
One of the many spots to sit and watch the river.

North America » United States » Oregon » Sisters August 14th 2018

As Bruce clarified a couple of days ago, one goes through several stages of mood swings while on a long distance ride like this. The first month, ( Virginia, and Kentucky), I was excited by the adventure. There were some extremely hard days, but I was determined to complete this challenge, so I met the steep climbs and hot and wet days with determination and confidence. Stage two was when I settled into the routine and peddled on despite the challenges. ( Illinois and Missouri). The Ozarks were definitely tough, but Bruce was there to enjoy those challenges with me and we had some great times. Stage three was the most difficult by far. (Kansas). I was past any excitement and to far along to quit. However, I really suffered through the headwinds and sameness of ... read more
Thank you Google Maps
Great gravel ride!
Ok, now this is a bit extreme!

North America » United States » Oregon » Redmond August 12th 2018

Today was a really great bicycle day for both of us. We rose early knowing we had 67 miles to ride for the day. At 0630 we started out with a downhill for about four miles and then began a serious climb for another twelve miles until we topped Ochoco pass (4592’). It was a pretty consistent 5-6% all the way to the top. As we were snacking and enjoying the summit, young Issac from Boston joined us at the top. We took some pictures together and then set off to finish the ride. Once over the summit, it was a glorious downhill day to Prineville where we stopped for a quick lunch. I loved the Ponderosa Forests along the way. From that point, we left the Trans America Bike Route to make our way to ... read more
Last day together.
Sadly the remains of last year’s fire near Ochoco Summit
Only on more to go!

North America » United States » Oregon August 11th 2018

Today the forecast was for cooler weather, so we didn’t feel the urgency to leave at the crack of dawn this morning. We had the ability to wait until 7am to stop at the Dayville Cafe and have another huge breakfast. There are absolutely no stops until reaching Mitchell, but with full stomaches and cold water in our bottles we were ready for the day. Today was going to be either a 90 mile day or a 38 mile day. There are no other options other than camping on the side of the road. We chose the 38 mile option from Dayville to Mitchell which consisted of a 31 mile climb and a 7 mile downhill into Mitchell. The ride was through a stunningly beautiful canyon. It reminded me of Southwestern Utah. Although we were going ... read more
Just entering the very narrow gap through the granite rock!
More of that ride.
On the other side the valley opened up.

North America » United States » Oregon » John Day August 10th 2018

Today was a day we have both been been looking forward to for many days. It was going to be a recovery day after the last two hard days. It was a downhill day from the start following the John Day River downstream from Prairie City to Dayville. It was a beautiful ride through the John Day valley. We passed huge ranches filled with lush grazing grasslands. Although we were told we would most likely see some wildlife, we saw none. The traffic was very light so that was a big plus! I did pull a complete bonehead mistake today! It is silly in retrospect, but sure had me going for a bit. Right from the start today, I just didn’t have it. It was supposed to be downhill but every pedalstroke was an effort. Sometimes ... read more
Beautiful tree in Dayville.
The Danville Mercantile
This dog was very calmly waiting for his owner

North America » United States » Oregon August 10th 2018

Today was a tough day, but by planning our ride carefully, we avoided the difficulties of Tuesday’s ride. The day took us over three mountain passes, a total of about 4200’ in 66 miles. Since the weather forcast was for record high temperatures today, we agreed to leave at Sunrise, which we did. We also filled our water bottles to 1/2 half full and put them in the freezer. This morning we topped them off and the resulting chilled water lasted for several hours. The early start was the key, however. We were on the bikes at 0530. We rode 51 miles and finished our second big climb by 10:15; early enough so it was still below 100 degrees outside. ( Our second climb today was over Tipton Pass, an especially picture worthy sign for Bruce ... read more
Tipton Pass.  Go figure.
Oxbow bar and grill.
Top of Dixie Pass, the third pass of the day.

North America » United States » Oregon » Baker City August 8th 2018

Today was s good Rest and Recovery Day for both Bruce and myself. We slept in, ate a leisurely breakfast in our cozy little 2 BR Air B&B and spent some time planning for tomorrow. It will be another long day, climbing over three mountain passes and the temperature will be a record hot day. We are planning to be riding our bikes about 5am to put a good deal of the ride in before it gets rediculously hot. Today we both got haircuts and my beard is gone! I was tired of looking like an old homeless guy! We also spent some time at the Baker Heritage Museum where we learned about the history of Baker County. As with most of the American West, early settlers in the Baker area were in search of Gold. ... read more
Powder River runs through town.
Inside the Baker Heritage Museum
Great depiction of a mine near Baker City

North America » United States » Oregon » Baker City August 7th 2018

Bruce put this ride on his shortlist of toughest ever! I’ll have to agree. It was long, mostly uphill and hotter than blazes! We started climbing from the start and it never quit. As soon as we left Oxbow we started climbing the 18 miles up to Halfway! Then the climb got steeper until we crested the top at 24 miles thinking we had done the work for the day. We did get to enjoy a mostly downhill to Richland where we ate a late breakfast. Since we had already knocked off thirty miles by 10:30, we were thinking we could finish the next 40 miles to Baker City without much stress. Wow were we wrong! What we didn’t anticipate was how much the extremely hot temperature would drain us! When you combine a long day, ... read more
We climbed high above the Powder River at one point!
Our Air B&B in Baker City.
Looking back at Oxbow.




Tot: 2.172s; Tpl: 0.044s; cc: 8; qc: 90; dbt: 0.0582s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 2; ; mem: 1.5mb