John Aylward Photography: Blog https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog en-us (C) John Aylward (John Aylward Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:33:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:33:00 GMT https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u959202006-o932723478-50.jpg John Aylward Photography: Blog https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog 120 120 Day 7: La Grande to Baker City https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Day-7-La-Grande-to-Baker-City Today's Highlights:

Our last day of Cycle Oregon Classic took us 58 miles back to Baker City with only 1800 feet of climbing. It was the easiest ride out of the 6 days, and equally as scenic as the others. In total this week, I cycled 385 miles and climbed 23248 feet.
I started at 6:45 AM this morning and was actually a little glad that it was already 39 degrees. But unfortunately, it dropped to 33 degrees in the first 5 miles across the valley, then took a while warming back up. It was also cloudy most of the time, so it was another chilly ride nearly the entire way.
Our route traveled north to south in the Grande Ronde Valley, which is a beautiful valley surrounded by the Blue Mountains. It has excellent farmland and we cycled passed huge farms and ranches the entire time. About 10 miles in, we passed Hot Lake, which interestingly is a very hot lake giving evidence of the volcanic activity that created the valley and surrounding mountains. We also cycled through a small canyon and up to an elevation that supported a sagebrush plain. There was a windmill farm on the ridge. Cresting that ridge presented a fabulous view of the Elkhorn Mountains jutting straight up from the valley floor, with lush pine forest and topped off with high granite peaks. It reminded me of Jackson Hole, except this valley had more fertile farms. These farm and mountain views just kept getting better as we got closer.
It was a nice flat finish into Baker City and we were greeted at the finish line by cheering staff.
The Cycle Oregon staff and organization are really amazing. Everything ran smoothly for this 2000-person moving city. All the meals were great. The routes we safe and very scenic. If you like climbing, then it was awesome. The only tough part for me was the cold, which of course is not under anyone's control. But these trips are adventures, and having a mindset to ride in any condition is a requirement for enjoying it. Everyone I met or saw along the route and in camp was cheerful and committed. It was a great experience.

Pictures Of The Day:
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(John Aylward Photography) 2018 Cycle Oregon Classic Day 7 https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Day-7-La-Grande-to-Baker-City Sat, 15 Sep 2018 21:15:00 GMT
Day 6: Pendleton to La Grande https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Day-6-Pendleton-to-La-Grande Today’s Highlights:

Cycle Oregon gave us another awesome route today. We covered 57 miles and climbed 4662 feet. With all the climbing, a few water stops and a great lunch, it took me 6-1/2 hours. That’s almost double what a flatish 57-mile ride would take me.
I dressed lighter today. For the first hour it was 33 to 38 degrees, so it was quite chilly. We had a slight climb for the first 8 miles, then our big 14-mile climb started. It warmed up to 50, so it was perfect for this climb. It was the most fun climb I can remember, because it snaked up Blue Mountain such that we could see cyclists zig zaggin above and below us. This west side of the mountain is wide open grassland, and the views were spectacular. After climbing about 2500 feet, the route was rolling hills for another 20 miles, slowly gaining elevation. Then another big climb, peaking out at 4340 ft 36 miles from the start. That was a lot of exercise for one morning. I had a flat tire just one mile from the top, which only took several minutes to fix.
The east side of Blue Mountain was beautiful pine forest. The ride down was really enjoyable. Part way down the mountain we had to get on interstate 84 and ride on the shoulder for 12 miles into La Grande. We had a very nice lunch at a park off one highway exit.
I finished at 1:30 and started the usual camp chores. We are at another nice school yard and it’s a beautiful afternoon.

Pictures Of The Day:

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(John Aylward Photography) 2018 cycle oregon classic https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Day-6-Pendleton-to-La-Grande Sat, 15 Sep 2018 05:45:00 GMT
Day 5: Pendleton https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Day-5-Pendleton Today’s Highlights:

Today we stayed in Pendleton. It was nice not having to pack up and move. The ride today was optional and I, like many others, chose to not ride. Instead, I walked into town and checked out the festivities. The Pendleton Roundup is in progress. I didn’t attend the rodeo events, but I did enjoy all the native American art vendors with their pottery, rugs and jewelry.
I finally attended a yoga class, which is one of the many extras on Cycle Oregon. Tonight, a geology talk and more good live music. Tomorrow we head to La Grande, and it will be another scenic ride.
I was able to transfer photos from my camera to phone today, and posted some of them to previous posts.

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(John Aylward Photography) 2018 cycle oregon classic https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Day-5-Pendleton Fri, 14 Sep 2018 05:45:00 GMT
Day 4: Elgin to Pendleton https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Day-4-Elgin-to-Pendleton Today’s Highlights:

This morning I tried to wipe the dew off my bicycle seat and it wouldn’t come off. It was ice! I had to scrape it off! It was 33 degrees when I started riding at 7:00. I was bundled up again, but it didn’t really help. Within minutes my feet were numb and I was soon sweaty and freezing, and stayed that way for almost 4 hours. One mile from camp we started a 20-mile climb over the Blue Mountains. The climb was fine for 10 miles, then it got tiring and colder. The downhill was welcome, but even colder going 25+ mph. Finally, at about mile 33, we left the forest and the landscape opened up to vast open rolling hills, and the sun finally shown on us. I felt just a bit of welcoming warmth. At mile 41, we rolled into the little town of Weston for lunch and the temperature jumped up to 60. I stripped off all my wet gear and put on a dry jersey that I was smart enough to pack. The day just turned from torture to good as I sat in the sun and ate lunch.
The second half of the ride was awesome! I even stopped several times for pictures. For the next 35 miles we cycled though beautiful rolling hills of crops, sometimes seeming to stretch 100 miles to the horizon. We had one fun steep winding decent, complete with several hairpin turns. There was a picture perfect sky to compliment the landscape. I rolled into Pendleton at 3:00 after 75 miles and 5000 feet of climbing feeling pretty good. We are camped up on a hill tonight with a nice view. The band is playing and it’s almost dinner time. The day just keeps getting better.

Pictures Of The Day:

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(John Aylward Photography) 2018 cycle oregon classic https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Day-4-Elgin-to-Pendleton Thu, 13 Sep 2018 05:45:00 GMT
Day 3: Wallowa Lake to Elgin https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Day-3-Wallowa-Lake-to-Elgin Today’s Highlights:

Today’s ride had some of the best scenery of any ride I have done. My day started at 5:00, with breakfast at 5:30 in the dark with temperature in the mid 30s. People are actually quite cheerful doing this. I started the ride at 7:00. It was 40 degrees and very cloudy. It stayed cloudy all day and also remained very cold for cycling. I never warmed up until the nice hot shower in camp around 1pm.
Otherwise, it was a beautiful ride. We traversed the east side of Wallowa Lake and went through the quiet town of Joseph. Outside of town are farms with rolling hills of green and gold, with a backdrop of the Wallowa mountains. We passed through Enterprise and a couple other small towns which also had nice farms and ranches. One stretch of the ride followed along the Wallowa River through a canyon with step high walls.
The first 46 miles we’re mostly downhill, which was a relief after yesterday’s climbing. After having lunch near the Wallowa River, we climbed the one big hill of the day, a steady 6-mile climb. It wasn’t bad, and again had nice views of cliffs, mountains and farms. At 53 miles, we enjoyed another 8 miles of downhill into Elgin Oregon. An entire class of elementary students lined the sidewalk cheering and waving flags as each cyclist rode by. All the communities are very supportive of this event.

Pictures Of The Day:

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(John Aylward Photography) 2018 cycle oregon classic https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Day-3-Wallowa-Lake-to-Elgin Wed, 12 Sep 2018 05:45:00 GMT
Day 2: Halfway to Wallowa Lake https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Day-2-Halfway-to-Wallowa-Lake Today’s Highlights:
Today’s ride was very challenging, covering 78 miles and climbing almost 7000 ft. I started at 6:50 AM and finished at 4:00 PM.
I dressed lightly this morning thinking I would warm up fast on our big hill climb. Unfortunately, it was only 35 degrees when I started and we had 8 miles of flat roads before the hill. At mile 8 I could feel my jersey getting soaked with sweat while both feet were numb and my fingers and most of my body were very cold. I guess there was no good compromise on how I should dress.
We started the first hill climb at mile 8 and it was a steady 20-mile climb with not one foot of flat or downhill. Our next two hills were equally challenging, but 10 and 4 miles long. The downhill sections were fun, but chilly. All this was through forests of towering pines, and sometimes followed a mountain stream. There were occasional views. After the last big hill, we had one more small climb approaching Joseph. That too was a bit of work after 60 miles of cycling. Once we crested that hill, the town of Joseph came into view, transitioning from the mountain forest to rolling hills of grain. The first view of Wallowa Lake was breathtaking. It easy to understand why it was sacred land to native Americans.
Our camp was at the South end of the lake under the pine trees. The bandstand was set up in front of the lake. It was such a nice setting.

Pictures Of The Day:
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(John Aylward Photography) 2018 cycle oregon classic https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Day-2-Halfway-to-Wallowa-Lake Tue, 11 Sep 2018 05:45:00 GMT
Day 1: Baker City to Halfway https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Day-1-Baker-City-to-Halfway Today’s Highlights:

I woke up at 4:00 this morning, but stayed in my warm sleeping bag until 5am. Breakfast was at 5:30 in the dark, with the temp around 38. After breakfast and packing, I started the ride a little before 7:00, bundled up for the 40 degree clear morning. After a short ride through town and passed some ranches, we turned onto RT 89 and followed it all the way into Halfway Oregon. It was a beautiful ride though vast open terrain of dry high desert hills. Often we looked down onto lush irrigated farms in the valleys, and we had a long stretch riding in a canyon along the Powder River. There was a short climb or two in the morning, then about 20 miles of downhill to and along the river until we reached the little town of Richland (population 131) for lunch. Immediately after lunch, at mile 40, we climbed an 8-mile hill. It was quite a challenge for me. I used to climb better, but now it is harder. I was really happy to see the top, and then flying down the other side into the little town of Halfway was really fun. Halfway Oregon is incredibly beautiful – a little lush valley surrounded by pine-covered foothills and towering mountains. The population is 110.

Pictures Of The Day:

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(John Aylward Photography) 2018 cycle oregon classic https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Day-1-Baker-City-to-Halfway Mon, 10 Sep 2018 05:45:00 GMT
Day 0: Baker City https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Day-0-Baker-City Today’s Highlights:

This morning I drove 220 miles to Baker City mostly following the route I cycled on my very first bike trip across the US in 2002. I recognized a few places along the way. Tonight’s camp is at a big town sports center, and the tent city is on a very nice soft lawn. There are 500 tents packed very closely together. People who brought their own tents are spread out in several areas. It’s a beautiful afternoon to relax outside and there are nice views of the mountains that surround this valley.
There was live music on and off between 3:30-9:30, and a couple meetings about Cycle Oregon and tomorrow’s route.
Dinner was plentiful and good, and it was surprising how quickly and efficiently they served the entire camp.

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(John Aylward Photography) 2018 cycle oregon classic https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Day-0-Baker-City Sun, 09 Sep 2018 05:45:00 GMT
Training Day : Hill Climbing https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Training-Day-Hill-Climbing Today’s Highlights:
Today I stayed close to home and focused on hill climbing. I conveniently live at the bottom of a butte, so I can immediately started climbing. I cycled to the highest street on the Butte, then did five intervals on the west side entrance hill. Check out the elevation chart.

Pictures Of The Day:

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(John Aylward Photography) training ride https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/9/Training-Day-Hill-Climbing Tue, 04 Sep 2018 05:45:00 GMT
63rd Birthday Ride in Jackson Hole https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/8/63rd-Birthday-Ride-in-Jackson-Hole Today’s Highlights:
I was in Jackson Hole for my 63rd birthday and had a brilliant idea to cycle 63 mile to celebrate the occasion. It seemed like a good idea at the time. However, maybe from here on I should use a different algorithm, like subtract my age from 100 and attempt to ride that far. The ride was fun from about 40 miles, so that algorithm would have worked fine this year. The last 20+ miles was a lot of work. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the scenery and was glad I finish.

Pictures Of The Day:
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(John Aylward Photography) biking https://www.johnaylwardphotography.com/blog/2018/8/63rd-Birthday-Ride-in-Jackson-Hole Wed, 22 Aug 2018 05:30:00 GMT