By Dan Zassick
2012 Bicycle Adventurer
Hello, Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure followers! I will be blogging for you today on this Monday, the 23rd of July from tropical Crescent City, California. But first a little about myself. My name is Dan Zassick, and I join the trip from beautiful Louisville, KY. It is my first time riding with the FCBA and I cannot express how excited I am to be here. After being here over a week, I can gladly say that the trip, the people, and the beauty of the west coast are some of the greatest experiences I have ever had. Riding down the coast it is easy to take in the tremendous heights of the mountains, the sandy coastline, and majestic forests as we climb and descend the hills of the Oregon coast.
We began t
his morning in Port Orford, Oregon, the location of our first day off. And what a needed day off it was. I know I was certainly sore all over. My shoulders ached and my legs were tired from days of long riding. Stepping outside this morning it was clearly the coldest day of the ride so far, I donned my arm and leg warmers and threw on my dayglow orange (for safety of course) wind jacket to keep in all the body heat I could manage. Eight or so miles in I was dragging. I felt tired and heavy. It seemed there was nothing I could do to pick up and really get rolling. But soon the hills came. Quickly I was sweating beneath my jacket and so I stopped to store that in a pocket. Continuing on up the hills, the climbs got my muscles warmed up and I was finally really ready to ride. After cresting the peak of the biggest climb of the day I saw a welcome and exciting road sign: DOWN HILL GRADE 6%. I took off down the hill like greased lightning, trying to watch the road ahead for any stick or rock that might trip me up and quickly glancing down at my bike computer to check my speed. It was going up, and fast. 25.. 28.. 32.. 40.. 48…. 49…… This was now officially the fastest I had traveled outside of a powered vehicle, and I was acutely aware of every bump, shimmy, and rattle of my bike as I nearly flew down the hill at break-neck speed. I decided that the desire to get that last 1 MPH just couldn’t overcome my desire to not crash and so I laid on the brakes and eased my way down the rest of the hill. It was a thrilling experience to say the least!