Sisters-La Pine, OR: Beat the heat, climb a pass, in town by noon! - The Granny Panties Tour - CycleBlaze

June 26, 2015

Sisters-La Pine, OR: Beat the heat, climb a pass, in town by noon!

Highlander Motel, 51511 Hwy 97. 541-536-2131 queen bed $57. includes tax. Basic old motel, bathroom has been nicely remodeled. Continental breakfast that makes our fancy hotel's breakfast shameful. A very good deal for the $$$. Next door to grocery and several restaurants. Flat screen TV. Good wifi.

Oren and I agreed to up departure to 6 AM in order to beat the heat. Jacinto thought we were totally crazy to get up at that hour. Cycling in warm weather is the best!

We were rolling down the road at 5:50. There was very little traffic on Hwy 20 - a benefit to the early departure. Eleven miles later we made our right hand turn onto Tweed Rd. I need to interject here - we had major, major discussion and route searching discussing how to get around Bend. Oren's original ridewithgps route said to go 20 straight to 97. I questioned the wisdom of that - it must have been the car version. I routed it the bicycle way. It showed almost exactly the same route as the ACA maps. Oren has a deep mistrust of ACA maps, they take you on totally unnecessary climbs. He wanted nothing to do with my ACA map and hand wrote out the directions from ridewithgps. They were exactly the same except for one road on the actual Bend section. We had a moment of happiness at the thought of going south from Bend without getting on 97. That was immediately deflated after we saw a youtube video of the bike path in question - 15 miles of tree roots and rocks. Nope. Not going to happen.

After Bend we were off the official Sierra Cascades route because of budget. The Sunriver Resort is $350. a room for tonight. When we had the $300. cabin in Mazama, we shared that cost. Alison did put in her extensive notes another choice instead of Sunriver. It was a two night minimum with $199. a night. So. . . . I did try calling there to see if they had a cancelation or a one night hole in the schedule. Nope. I felt very bad to miss the Cascades Highway - but $350. vs $57. is quite a different. However, if you are interested in a hotel version of this route - there's your info.

Jacinto did take the Cascades route and is going to go past Sunriver, giving him a 75 mile day in this enjoyable heat. Oren and I made that early start and were on the far side of Bend, entering Highway 97 by 10 AM. I sent Jacinto a text to say where we were. He was still at the motel, getting his money's worth out of the nice room and trying to finish all of the Kuerig coffee. BTW, they have Kuerig coffee here also.

Backtracking just a little. The one road different between the two routing systems turned out to be a dirt road, one mile long. We took it in the interest of time. There were quite a few turns and road changes, but all were well marked. We saw so many club riders out I thought there must be an organized ride. On Friday? Scores and scores of riders. All very friendly. When we got more into town, we rode clear across on roads with marked bike paths. My one previous time cycling on the outskirts of Bend some ten years ago, we got lost. I was not impressed. This time we saw a little of the town and it looked very cute and bicycle friendly.

Oren was very not happy with ACA. It was all their fault we were on this hilly route that the elite riders were showing off on. Regular riders like us should be over on the direct route - highway 20 to 97. It didn't matter than I pointed out ridewithgps also had this route - he didn't like the climbs. I'd like you to note he climbs faster than I do. But that doesn't mean Oren likes it!

Once we got to 97, I told Oren to go ahead and do his thing. I was going to have a snack and top of my water bottle. Jacinto had bought us burritos at a little place. I was very happy all day snacking on my burrito as opposed to overdosing on sweet stuff. I also bought that peanut butter I mentioned. I didn't touch it all day - but I've got it. Along with an apple.

OK - 27 miles in. 30 to go. I wasn't looking forward to this part. When we did highway 97 previously the shoulder was impossible to navigate for all of the steel belt chunks. I had a flat tire. Fun, fun. This time the shoulder was very nice. Perhaps even cleaned this week? There was plenty of traffic, but plenty of shoulder. It was noisy, but fine.

What's this? A pass? Heck, I thought it was just a climb - but here is a sign. I take credit for any passes that have a sign. Now there will be a downhill and I will get to town faster?

Oren pulled away from me. Then I saw him again. But I had a terrible case of hot foot, so had to stop near the Lava Beds. I know Wayne would be disappointed - all of these interesting side trips to take and we are set on getting to town and out of the heat.

Oren called from a gas station where he had stopped for a cold drink just outside of town. That gave me a chance to catch up and we rode to the motel together. It is right in the center of town. Close to everything. Yay.

We doubted we could check in. I asked Oren if I looked pitiful enough, maybe they would let us in. Yesterday we didn't get in the room until after 3 PM. I just walked up to the counter and said I had a reservation, I'd like to check in. No problems. I just had to go to the gas station next door for the key. That was a new one. Ice is in a little house around back along with a very nice little breakfast room with goodies already set out. Kuerig coffee. Wait until Jacinto sees that.

Jacinto? He's going the long way to enjoy the heat. 75 miles. I talked to him at mile 35. He was on the Cascades Highway and said it wasn't pretty yet. Let's see if he back tracks tomorrow. If Jacinto is willing to put in a 90 mile day, he can ride the rest of the Cascades Highway to Diamond Lake.

One advantage to the early start and easy day is getting to town early enough to relax instead of rushing through chores and going right to bed. I believe I will even have a little nap while I wait for the ambitious man to show up!

Outside of Sisters in a field with real horses. I wonder if the real horses wonder why these never move.
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The view of the three sisters from Tweed Road.
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Our little adventure road.
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I needed a photo also.
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I take credit for all passes with signs, even if they weren't much work.
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We stayed here with Wayne Estes some ten years ago. I remember buying way too many groceries at the store, then having to haul them five miles uphill to this park. I'm pretty sure I was whining the whole ride.
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View across the street from the RV park. It pays to look over your shoulder.
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My after the bike ride look. It's not quite impressive enough as the sweat hasn't dried to salt on my shirt yet. A glass of ice water and a shower and I will be a new woman!
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Today's ride: 56 miles (90 km)
Total: 826 miles (1,329 km)

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