Biking Hills versus Tunnels

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Climbed 850 feet within 2 miles, just south of Cape Lookout State Park.
Climbed 850 feet within 2 miles, just south of Cape Lookout State Park.

I was worried about the hills, since what they call a “hill” on the West Coast is what we refer to as a “mountain” back East. But they weren’t as bad as I had thought. On my first day of major climbs on the Pacific Coast trail in Oregon, I ascended a total of 3800 feet from Seaside to Cape Lookout State Park, and didn’t even use my lowest gear. The second day of climbing was harder, about 4300 feet in total, including this steep one just south of Cape Lookout, where I had to pedal up 850 feet within the first two miles of the morning ride. Good thing I ate my Wheaties. It also helped to stop a couple of times along the way to contemplate the ocean (huff, puff) and all of the beauty surrounding me (groan, huff, puff).

Tunnel at Arch Cape, OR
Tunnel at Arch Cape, OR

But what I didn’t expect to be so *surprisingly* scary was biking through the tunnel at Arch Cape. The Oregon Department of Transportation installed a button for bikers that triggers warning lights to inform drivers that you’re in the tunnel. But it’s more of a “feel good” button, because the RV driver behind me (blaring the horn) certainly didn’t slow down to 30 mph as the warning lights recommended. I guess he was just pressing his button, too.

Thanks to my Connecticut neighbor Kathy Barnett, whose FaceBook comment reminded me of Chuck Jones cartoon where Wile E. Coyote paints a tunnel to try to fool Roadrunner. Glad that I didn’t turn into a wall mural on this trip!

Wile E. Coyote from AnimationArtwork.com
Wile E. Coyote from AnimationArtwork.com

 

 

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Jack Dougherty

Jack Dougherty writes about cycling adventures, advocacy, and his growing appetite at JackBikes.org.