Since the last post, I hardly made some progress mileage-wise, but managed to get a few other important things done.
Rose, Will and I rode our last miles together from Mitchell to Bend. We were lucky to be able to stay with Warmshowers hosts on the way as the weather suddenly turned very cold and a big storm hit the Rockies. We arrived in Bend, Rose and Will’s final destination (for now), just in time. The temperature dropped below zero (Celsius) and was pretty wet for the next few days.
My main reason to come to Bend was to get my knees checked by a physiotherapist that I met years ago, when I was still running dogs. Wes Rau came to the Yukon to give workshops to dog mushers so we could learn more about injuries and what to do to prevent and fix them. I remember thinking that he was a remarkable dog person but also a great and unique physio. Also, Wes has a friend, Scott Peterson, who makes orthotics for cyclists and does biomechanical analyses and bike fit. I was curious to see what they would say about my knees…
Scott was away for a week, so I ended up staying in Bend until he came back. Which gave me a chance to rest but also to do some work on Laf. After roughly 6,000 km on this trip, we both needed a tune-up!
I spent the week exploring cafés, breweries and bike shops (there are apparently 11 in town!), often with Rose and Will. I stayed in 3 different places because I didn’t want to “overstay” anywhere.
My first hosts, Kathleen and Brian were awesome: Kathleen is an amazing cook and Brian a great bike mechanic and he helped me a lot with bike maintenance and preventing some serious issue with my rear rack.
Ginger and Tucker, who used to live in Alaska let me stay in their beautiful cottage and also invited me for dinners. They are colourful, passionate people and I had an absolute wonderful time with them.
Finally, Paul and Erin who are accomplished cyclists, also shared their home and lots of useful information with me, not to mention a tasty homemade Indian dinner. Unfortunately, even if Erin is a wonderful quilter, she could not resuscitate my beloved hammock that ripped a couple weeks ago. But I suppose I got the best out of that $3 investment in India 10 years ago…
And how about the knees? Well the news were both good and bad.
The bad news is that my legs are not exactly straight (well, it’s not exactly “news” to me!), and it is not surprising that I have issues. Bike fit is good, so unfortunately it is not just a matter of adjusting the seat height or something that simple.
Good news is that orthotics may help. And what is incredible is that Wes and Scott generously offered treatments and orthotics at no charge. I was speechless, and am extremely grateful for their support. There are some really nice people in this world. It’s also heart warming to feel so much support for my “CAT project”.
After a week off, I can hardly wait to get back on my bike. Today I am getting a ride to Portland with Chris, a man I met in Kenya last winter. He lives in Portland. Yes, I will cheat a little, but am going back north, so adding more miles to visit Portland, and then I will head further north to Astoria, to ride the whole length of the Oregon Coast. Riding to Portland using the best bike route would have taken at least a week, including riding over now snow-covered high passes. Doable, but I decided that I’d rather spend more time enjoying the coast instead.