Total Miles: 4250
Rider: Robert (Bob) Hess; 19 years old, Holographer, Non-Member UNITED STATES
Summary: I went East to West with a camping group of 15. We had a mother & daughter team (Shirley & Coleen), a tandem couple (Len & Lori), Yuichi from Japan, and I'd list the rest but I can't remember a couple of names so I won't go further (old age). ; Self-Planned
Health Issues: Apparently I drank some bad water after White Bird, and a few days later just totally ran out of steam. They couldn't get me up the next day and all just stayed there until the next morning when everything was back to normal. I didn't remember a thing about the previous day.
Motivation: I just wanted to ride. I'd done RAGBRAI and the Wisconsin trail from LaCrosse to Kenosha.
Most Challenging Aspect:The inadequate rack I was using was unstable when I stood up on the hills. That kept me in the saddle, but I developed a smooth riding style as a result.
Favorite Experience: One was just sailing along in Wyoming; 20 miles of gently rolling brand new pavement, 10th gear and can't pedal any faster, tailwind gusts pushing the front fender's mudflap into the tire, warm sun on my back. Another was the day I broke a bead on my rear tire. Jumped off the bike before the tube blew, but had no spare tire. Took what's since been called a 420 break, stood there wondering what to do, then saw a van in the distance, cresting the hills as headed toward me. I could see bikes on its roof. It pulled up next to me, and the door slid open revealing a huge box of peanuts (recognized to be from the bar in the previous town), all the bike equipment you'd ever want (a rolling bike shop), and the organizers of the whole event (pretty certain it was Greg Siple). I bought a tire, put it on as we had a nice visit, got on the bike and rode happily on my way. I heard a camera snap as they drove by, waving out the window to head off down the trail. Twenty years later I get a phone call from out of the blue from Big Dave, who was on the trip that summer with me. He called to tell me he saw my picture on the cover of Adventure Cyclist magazine! It's the shot taken that day, of a very content cyclist without a care in the world, that graces the cover of the 20th year anniversary issue in Julyof '96.
Least Favorite: I flew into Eugene, planning on riding to Reedsport for the start. In my excitement, I neglected to pack adequate food for that very first bit of the ride. Waaay more remote than I thought it would be. Had a couple bananas for dinner. Big lesson learned early.
Date Entered: Jun, 2008
Photo by Dennis Coello