Gilchrist State Forest to Bend: Hit a wall but saved by a cyclist

Statistics for today
Distance 75.08 kms 46.60 miles
Climbed 220 meters 722 feet
Ride time (hours) 5.27 -
Avg speed 9 kph -
Avg climb 2% -
Max grade 4% -
Statistics for trip to date
Distance 29,697.47 kms 18,452.86 miles
Climbed 310,489 meters 1,018,665 feet
Ride time (hours) 2,096.34 -
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Thursday, June 12th, 2014

I'm really dragging today. Completely unmotivated. It takes a supreme effort to tear myself away from my comfy sleeping bag. Outside the tent the sight of all my gear that needs to be packed up fills me with dread, a large neon flashing sign that I'm badly in need of an extended rest. I resolve to make arrangements for it soon.

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I stop for breakfast in La Pine. Back on the road I'm really struggling to push the pedals. I wheel the bike into the forest off the highway to take a break, sitting in a rock chair that's perfectly formed to relax, I slowly lose whatever energy I have. I'm done, I've hit the wall. I feel like I can't even ride another mile. I start to wonder how I'm ever going to make it to Bend, just another 15 miles or so north. I have a dark moment of despair: I rode here all the way from Argentina, how can 15 miles seem like such an insurmountable obstacle? I look over to see a cyclist with a backpack and a bag on the back of his bike ride by on the highway. I think to myself that I should try to catch him, but the rock chair is too perfect. 5 minutes go by. I need to get off my ass, I'm going to try to catch that guy. I get back on the road and ride hard to make up the distance. It takes me 10 miles but finally I cruise up behind him, we start to talk, his name is Wil and he is riding out of Tahoe with plans to stay the night in Bend. He asks me if I need a place to stay, yes! I follow him into the city to his friends' house. Thank God I saw this guy ride by, he motivated me to get here. I had the energy to catch him so my problem isn't really physical, I'm just mentally worn out from the road.

I spend the evening with him and his friends who all know each other from UVM. They have a good community, all bike riders, skiers and general outdoors people, living 10 up in a house with a few in tents on the porch. It's interesting to hang out with young Americans... I have to ask questions about the terminology they have for things, I've been out of the country for so long my cultural references are stale.

I make arrangements for a recuperation stop in Portland, I am long overdue for a rest.

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The rock chair that almost swallowed me up.
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The house where I stayed in Bend, thanks to the UVM crew for a night of good conversation and free lodging.