Heather's First Solo Bike Overnight

October 16, 2012


This week's story comes from Heather Andrews, who spent what she calls "an amazing summer" interning for Adventure Cycling Association's publications department in 2011. Heather made a solo ride to Oregon's Champoeg State Park, and had a blast doing it. Here's some of what she has to say about it:

"It was extremely important to me to do this trip completely by myself, from dreaming up the concept to unpacking my dirty socks. In the past I’ve fallen prey to messages that I couldn’t do such a thing for a host of reasons. Over the past two years in grad school I’ve proved many times over that I can get through anything. In fact, challenge usually finds me rising to the occasion and kicking it square in the bum. It was something I had forgotten about myself over the past decade.



"Journeying to Champoeg on Friday was a sunny and scenic affair. My ride took about three and a half hours, including a brief snack stop in Canby. The route I planned was a little challenging, but not too bad. I burned through much of my energy climbing through Oregon City and the series of smaller climbs between there and Canby, but biking through miles of bucolic scenery helped my spirit remain high! 



"Some of my favorite things about this overnight jaunt were the smells. The smells! Once outside of Oregon City, the sunny farm roads offered heavenly spring fragrances. I smelled fir trees, warm grasses, fruit blossoms -- even the smell of cow dung was a welcome change from the mundane odor profile of Portland. The sun on my skin, the aromas in my nose, and getting to listen closely to the sounds around me -- rather than the often uninteresting conversations of others -- was a real joy.

"Despite having done three overnight bike trips previously, this was the first one that I thoroughly enjoyed. Why? I suspect it has something to do with sparking that sense of adventure. Not only did I give myself a challenge and totally rise to meet it, but I called each and every shot along the way. It was an empowering, energizing, enjoyable, and easy experience -- made more so by going it alone."

Read the rest of Heather's heartfelt tale at BikeOvernights.org; and, while you're there, take a look through our collections of past stories and Photos of the Week. This week's image, shown below, comes from the post Bike Camping the Clackamas, by Matt Picio, a fellow Oregonian and co-founder of Cycle Wild.



BikeOvernights.org Photo of the Week, 10.12.12.


Top 3 photos by Heather Andrews; bottom photo by Matt Picio.


MICHAEL McCOY compiles the organization's twice-monthly e-newsletter Bike Bits and organizes the Bike Overnights program. Previously, from March 2009 through January 2012, Mac posted weekly at Biking Without Borders.


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