Cycle Oregon Visits Clarkston

These hungry cyclists biked to Clarkston from Enterprise this day. It was 7:30 and yet a line stretched out from this tent each cyclist waiting patiently for his/her turn. The menu? Tonight was Turkey and Gravy.

Linda had scoffed the night in Stanley when OBR offered her turkey and gravy. We had pizza that night and indeed so did some of the Cycle Oregon riders. The difference? We had to go find our own pizza in Stanley. Cycle Oregon riders could find pizza and ice cream right on site not to mention a well-supplied beer garrden.

Linda and I have been doing these supported tours for about 10 years now but never with groups larger than 250-300. The some 2600 riders and support staff constituted a small city its own right.

Surely Clarkston could not easily have accommodated all these folks “on the economy.” They move lvoraciouslly ike an army across the countryside consuming all they find before them.

And for an evening in September the Clarkston Hgh student parking lot played host to six shower trucks.

The street between Beachview Park as a beer garden. Music played from a portable bandstand in the park opposite the beer garden. Around the perimeter local vendors like Sage Bakery, and the usual assortment of artists and craftsmen and had set up tables from which to sell their wares. Other “store fronts” apparently came with the tour.

For a bicycle ride, I found the number of trucks, vans, RVs, and cars (many with one, two or three bikes racked) a bit startling. I doubt the carbon footprint for these 2200 riders was reduced much.

Tents varied from the helter-skelter, first-one-takes-the-best-spot plan Linda and I expected to rigid rows of identical tents pegged next to one another like ticky-tacky.

I think they must have shared tent stakes on adjoining edges. You paid extra to have your baggage off-loaded to your own private tent already pitched. No word as to whether you could pick your neighbors.

The neighbors along the street found their street closed and cars lining it up one side and down the other. By 8 in the morning they’d have their street back. Other valley natives came and mingled among the crusaders just to see what this bike touring was all about. Here’s Linda and Brenda MacIntosh.

There were lines at least at the mess tent and participants reported lines for the showers even with six trucks, but despite their numbers, and all the goings on with vendors, bike-detailing, and entertainment, this seemed a pretty sedate group. I guess riding from Enterprise to Clarkston will do that to you.

If you’ve never tried this kind of touring, you might like it. The more rugged among us like to carry their own homes like tortoises. But I sort of like not having anything to do but pedal.–Corrie


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