Today's goal was Monmouth, OR. 85 miles with around 4300 feet of climbing. Beautiful weather again! More riding along the Oregon coastline and following some of the same route that Lewis and Clark took while exploring. At least that's what the signs claimed. I wasn't around when they were. :-)
I do not really like to eat breakfast before a ride and usually prefer to stop after about 20-30 miles to eat. So today I rode to Pacific City before stopping. A breakfast burrito and coffee hit the spot and I continued on. The route turned inland from the coast midway through today and I ended up on some pretty rural roads. This is good because it means low traffic and nice scenery.
I passed Nishanth Iyengar, a fellow from India who was ridie the same route across the US. I had me him before we started so I knew who it was as I came around the curve and saw him. He was stopped and doing something on his iPhone. It wasn't a tough climb but I didn't want to stop so I just high-fived him as I rode past. We'd meet again later in the day after I missed a turn and had to backtrack about a mile.
I had actually planned to ride farther than Monmouth but did not have a firm plan as to where to stay for the night. I ran into another cyclist who was staying in town and he invited me to eat with him. I'd done a much better job of watching my nutrition during the day, so I was not exhausted or cramping but it was getting to be later in the afternoon and Monmouth was a nice little town so I decided to get a hotel room, a good meal (the biggest burrito I'd ever seen), and a hot shower. Plus WI-FI and somewhere to charge my batteries. The dyno was keeping my phone at 100% as long as the bike was moving, but low signal strength drained the batteries quick when stopped.
Once I was checking in and settled in Monmouth, a friend I'd met online contacted me. He didn't live very far away and was wanting to come by to meet in person. So we met at the little Mexican place next to the hotel where I had the burrito fit for the Hulk. We chatted for a while. It was cool getting to meet someone you'd only talked to online a few times.
Later in the evening, Nishanth Iyengar came into town. I knew he was riding around the world on a VERY limited budget so I offered the second bed in my room to him. He was very interested in learning about American culture so I answered his questions as be I could.