Day 3 – 2018 Western States Tour

Day 3 route

Day’s distance: 225 miles
Total trip distance: 641 miles

Typical coastal cool weather was back today. It stayed in the low 50s all day. It felt downright cold after the first couple of warm days. I used the heated grips and heated seat the entire day to stave off certain hypothermia 🙂

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I noticed in my pre-ride inspection that one of my headlights was burned out. I have discovered that headlight bulbs have a somewhat limited lifetime on this bike.  I carry two spare bulbs for just that reason.

I departed a little before 10am and stopped in Bandon, the next big town south of Coos Bay for a latte and snack.

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Since I was dressed for cooler weather, I sat outside and enjoyed a really tasty carrot cake muffin with my latte. I would definitely recommend the Bandon Coffee Cafe, if you’re in the area.

There are more bicycle travelers along the route than I expected for this time of year. I saw a bicycle with a small trailer leaning on the utility pole in front of the cafe. When I stopped later to take a photo of the bike at coast …

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when another bicycle traveler pulled up to say hello. Jeffrey hails from Detroit and was completing another section of the Pacific Coast Highway. I shared some of my experience riding a large section of the coast highway with a friend while I was in college.

Jeffrey also belongs to a street-legal dirt bike club back in Michigan and we talked about KTMs and riding sand dunes, etc. until we each took off to continue our rides. Everyone seems to have a motorcycle story. 🙂

The low hanging overcast turned to heavy fog in places. The moisture collects in the redwood trees and then drips down onto the road surface. Something a car driver might never notice made me smile when I felt the drops hit my helmet.

There was a lot of highway construction projects underway. Google maps showed one construction site but there were many others. Luckily, traffic was light and the delays minimal.

I grabbed lunch in Brookings. I struck up a conversation while eating with a guy who works in the IT field for UPS. We talked about Amazon, the Post Office, and package delivery issues addressed by UPS drivers.

I thought the funniest part of our conversation centered around the Amazon logo. Of course, he sees the logo all the time and thought it was meant to represent a smile. According to one media story, it is supposed to be a smile.

That yellow arrow is more than just a decorative swoosh. The Amazon logo was created to represent the message that it sells everything from A to Z (the arrow connects the two letters) and also represents the smile that customers would experience by shopping on the Amazon.com Web site (the arrow becomes a smile).

I always thought the symbol was more phallic shaped and told the UPS guy that issue came up in an all-hands meeting back in the early days of its use at Amazon. He laughed and says, “Now that you mention it, you’re right!”

I don’t think he’ll ever look at that logo in the same way again.

The ride across the state line and into Eureka was uneventful. There are some twisty sections of Hwy 101, but they are generally short. The scenery is spectacular and the redwood forests smell great. There was a small group of elk along the highway at one point.

One flagger I spoke to at one of the construction sites didn’t ride 101 much anymore, saying it was too beat up. I still enjoy it to the alternatives and want to thank all the construction crews for their effort at keeping this cliff-hugging coastal highway under repair after the heavy rains they experienced this last year.

I had dinner at Bless My Soul Cafe. This is a Cajun restaurant I ate at back in 2014. The highlight was the Voodoo Pudding. Very tasty chocolate pudding made from a secret recipe. 🙂  Sweet Mama Janisse, the owner, was telling me of their struggle to keep the restaurant open in the changing economics of this small town. Fingers crossed she is successful.

Tomorrow I’m looking forward to visiting the Lost Coast on my way to Fort Bragg.

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