Prineville, Oregon: Another great day of cycling in central Oregon, with beautiful summer weather to go with it. As rides go, today’s 60 mile journey was an easy one, with a modest climb of 3200 ft out of the canyons and onto the mesas. This is the fourth day in the saddle and I’m getting into a riding rhythm. I look forward to getting up every morning, hopping on the bike, and cycling through some amazing country. So far I don’t have any aching muscles or sore body parts, but my lungs are having an allergic reaction to all the fresh Oregon air. And all my sinus issues have evaporated. I feel great.
Each day I try to soak in the scenery, which is pretty easy when you’re averaging about 12 or 13 mph. It’s remarkable how quickly the topography changes into farmland from the high desert plateaus. I never appreciated how diverse Oregon terrain is. The ride today was beautiful, mostly on back roads. Cutting through the Canyons, we rode in parallel with the Deschutes river. Once out of the canyon and on the plateau we rode through expansive farmland and through the Crooked River National Grassland.
Tonight we’re staying in Prineville, a quaint town of about 10,000. The people are friendly here and quite curious about all the cyclists they’re seeing on the roads. A group of us had lunch at the Tastee Treet, which has been serving burgers and ice cream since 1953 and still serves a big dose of Americana. I had the soft serve blended with Reece’s Pieces — very yummy, but probably won’t make it to the finals in my quest to find the best ice cream in America.
There’s much apprehension about tomorrow’s ride. While our journey today was one of the easiest on this transcontinental expedition, tomorrow’s 117 mile trek to John Day will be one of the hardest. I’ve never ridden 117 miles in a single day, so I am looking forward to establishing a personal best distance record.
For today’s slideshow, there are diverse images of central Oregon, including the mesa and farmland. There are also two candidates for prettiest barn in America, and a couple shots from Prineville.
Day 4 summary:
Day 4 route: Kah-Nee-Ta to Prineville, Oregon
Day 4 mileage: 60 miles
Cumulative mileage: 270.9 miles
Elevation: 3200 feet of climbing
Terrain: mesa, high desert, and farmland