Posted by: Mark Wollemann: On the move | June 14, 2016

Day 2: Hills, rain, logging trucks and dogs

Riding in the rain

It was wet and cold, but the scenery was spectacular heading east from the Oregon coast.

I put Day 1 on our “55andalive” website. For all future updates, I’ll post the full blog here and Melody will link to it from our website.

Cottage Grove, Ore.
Today’s mileage: 70. Total: 95

We worked out the kinks today. I was able to get the “ridewithgps” app to work, even with no 3G signal. That was good, because when you’re lost in the forest, the disembodied voice of technology is a great relief. I took zero wrong turns and finished the day 12 miles past what I had planned as my Day 2 stopping point. So, progress.

I also had several visits from Melody, who was leveling cameras of all sorts at me throughout the day. She also brought me lunch, which was lovely. I’m definitely living the high life, compared to bikes “riding heavy” and fending for themselves. But I’m not going to apologize. It’s a pretty sweet deal that I’ve got here.

There was plenty of climbing today. I climbed around 7,000 vertical feet, which is quite a bit more than a usual ride around Chicago. (Understatement intended.) But the big climbs will start on Thursday, where I’m going uphill for about 25 miles (and more than 3,000 feet) and Saturday, where I’ll top out just short of 5,000 feet. Good tests for an old man with gravity handicaps, if you know what I mean.

Today’s ride took me through active logging sites. I had to dodge some big logging trucks, and of course (for those who know me) I was chased by a couple of dogs. They broke away from what looked like a friendly campsite that I was thinking I’d visit (they had a nice fire and I was cold and wet). But, no. I turned on the jets and put those pooches in my rear-view mirror (shades of Bulgaria).

I’m sore, tired and feeling good. The forest and river views were special. I saw some beautiful stands of old timber. Soaring birds of prey. A few deer (maybe mule deer?). No bears, though. And plenty of rain. My rain gear stood the test, though, and the bike was solid throughout. Day 2 was a good one.

Orange speck

That orange speck you see slogging his way up the hill. Yup, that’s me.



  1. Impressive! #55andAlive

  2. Great start!

  3. Yippee! I immediately thought of Bulgaria at the mention of”dog”. Great that you have the Felt instead of the ancient Bulgarian bike to make you fleet of wheel!

  4. It should dry out east of the Cascades.

  5. Way to go!!!!
    If you can conquer rain,hills, logs and dogs
    And still get 70 miles.
    You are Golden.
    Great start 😀

  6. 7,000 vertical feet, eh? Not too shabby for a newb. 😉 So glad to hear your ride is off to a great start, Mark!

  7. Enjoyed your post. Keep it up!

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