I started out my day today in Gresham, Oregon. A goal in mind of 50 plus miles to Aumsville, Oregon. I stopped within two minutes of starting to grab some water and put on my Pearl Izumi Barrier Elite jacket. As I’m filling up my water bottle I overhear some women talking about their full carbon fiber road bikes and how cool it would be to do a full century on them.
As they continued to converse I just smiled and thought to myself “Oh yuppies, if you only knew.”
The two women turned to me and asked me where I was headed. I chuckled and said “Salem area.”
I then laughed as both of their jaws hit the floor. Not only was I on a mountain bike but I also had a backpack full of backpacking gear, photography gear, an ipad, and a few changes of clothes on my back. The next question amazed me as they asked if I was crazy. I the mentioned the week prior which included a full century (100 miles), and 2 half centuries (50 miles). I also told them I rode the same route just two days prior. They were in disbelief as to how someone on a mountain bike with gear could do that.
I turned to them and said “It’s not about the gear it’s about the drive.” I then peddled away feeling like a God of the cycling world. I then proceeded to head south.
About 40 miles into my ride I was on a backcountry road, slowly peddling and enjoying the wonderful views. I check behind me and to my surprise about 30 yards back is a man on a road bike catching up quickly. He catches upto me and we start a conversation about the road we were both traveling down. He asked me where I was coming from and I told him the Portland area and he was also in the same amount of shock as the two women were earlier in the day. He asked me “On that?”
Me being the comical smart ass that I am I replied “Of course how else?” He laughed and we rode a few miles together chatting and talking about routes. He was amazed that someone could do such a feat on a mountain bike.
I continued onto finish my 300th mile in two weeks, and am starting to feel very good about my mountain bike touring choice. Although at this point a pair of cycling shorts with a pad in the ass would be a good investment I think.
For now keep the rubber down friends.
Moral of the story: against all odds, do what you want and shock those around you by what you do. If you got the drive you can do whatever you want.