Day 4 – McKenzie Bridge to Prineville

Fri 4th June 2010

Well today has been a testing day. We left McKenzie Bridge at 6:30, a nice early start. After about 10 miles I realised, by not paying attention to the GPS, that I had missed a right turn to take HW242 over McKenzie Pass. So we turned around and went back only to find that the road was closed due to snow. Great!

The alternate route was along the road we were on so we turned around again and rode that 5 miles again which, overall, cost us an hour. The alternate route would take us over Santiam Pass at 4,817ft and was also a lot longer to reach the town of  Sisters where we could pick up the main route again.

Highway 126

On HW 126 climbing to Santiam Pass

The weather this morning was awful with really heavy rain and we have had enough of it now thank you.

Chris’s knee is getting worse and he was in agony all day. He did make it despite a tough day but it is quite a concern right now. At Sisters he bought some strong painkillers that made him numb from the neck down (he’s always been numb from the neck up) and they have helped a lot.

The climb to Santiam Pass was very slow and difficult in the conditions. Wearing full rain gear to climb a mountain is not to be recommended. At the top it was freezing cold and we had snow. We were both feeling miserable, cold and fed up.

It's cold up here

It's cold up here

The ride back down was very fast and made us even colder. We had been told that on the other side of the mountains it would be dryer and within a few miles of the pass we had warm sunshine and blue skys. We really needed that as I was chilled to the bone and took ages to start feeling warm again.


The charming town of Sisters

It took us 8 hrs to ride the 50 miles to Sisters and it was like a different day, warm and sunny. Chris even put sun cream on. After leaving Sisters we still had another 40 miles to do but flatish roads and a strong tailwind pushed us along at up to 20mph. It was just what we needed and arrived at Prineville at about 6:30pm having completed our first century ride.

Road to Prineville

Hot, sunny & a tailwind. Just the ticket

We bought our food at a local shop and cooked it in our room (still too soggy to camp). We are using alcohol burners and for fuel we bought some Gas Line Antifreeze. We filled the stove with it and unsure how it would react when lit I took all reasonable precautions and stood well back while Chris put a match to it.

We are well fed and tired now. We have another long day tomorrow but the forecast is good.

Rustler Inn

Home for the night

Daily Mileage – 100.1 miles

Time in Saddle – 9 hrs 8 mins

Total Climbing – 5,351 ft


  1. It is great to read how you are getting on eventhough it sounds as though you are being tested – especially Chris. I hope you feel better soon Chris. the photos are great, it makes a difference seeing where you are – even just a little bit. i hope the weather stays good for you now. Have a nice day!!

  2. Hey you two!!
    I’m really feeling empathy for you at the momment. Losing that hour must have been more than frustrating! You must have been v v annoyed.
    Dad, you need to rest the knee as much as possible when you can! I’m getting concerned for you! dont be stubborn though and if you need to go to a doctor, then do it!!
    Nice to hear you experienced some fine weather at the end of the day!!
    The pictures look amazing and i’m sure the piccys of the santiam pass dont do the climb justice!!
    You’re both doing so well! Very proud of you!
    Love Tracey

  3. Well what a testing day, at last you got a bit of sunshine, chris look after that knee if you need more painkillers get some, very proud of you, stay safe, love you xxx

  4. Hi Alan and Chris
    Sounds like your having a bit of a tough time. I had a few problems with my knee when we were in France, but I managed to cycle through it. Hope Chris can do the same (I’m sure he will). I remember what he told me and that was just to imagine treading water and keep the pedals turning.Hope the weather picks up for you.
    All the best

  5. Hi boys, Have Mum sitting next to me, very bemused I think. Chris – you need to get your knee well and truly strapped up. It will help a lot, but some support will do wonders. I really feel for you. Also get some voltarol (diclofenac) gel if you can and rub that in – it really helps my bad leg. The strong stuff needs a GP over here so please go to the Doc. There’s a long way to go yet, and I’m sure everything will get better from here in. I send you all my love – Mum and Stan do too. Catch up tomorrow after Nick’s Half Ironman. Ann xxxxx

  6. What a fantastic challange you have taken on. Tom told me about your web site and having viewed it for the first time i will be checking on your progress on a regular basis.
    well done and good luck.

  7. Hi boys; just got back from holiday and read the blog, sounds like its tough going for you at the moment, you being southerners and all! Still, we had a splendid week of surfing in sunny Woolacombe, although I have to say in one pub the beer was slightly too warm!!! Hang in there boys…I know you will.

  8. Well done lads – keep pedalling! If you want more (I doubt it!) you could try lengthening day 19 by heading south out of the Yellowstone down to Jackson at the far end of the Grand Teton Nat Park (one of the nicest bits of scenery I have seen anywhere) and then across back to your route. Meanwhile you are not forgotten here at Avebury; one of Chris’s lady (friends) has posted the photo of him asleep (after day 3?) on the office door. Knowing that he would take a Trip Pad on such a journey, we are agog to know how many ROF’s he has joined? Best Wishes – BGV.