“See that Rock… Its the ocean!”

Today was the Reach the Beach ride put on by the Lung association.  It is a century ride (100 miles) from Portland OR to Pacific Beach OR.  I’ve been looking forward to this ride for a long time!  Today was the day!

Michelle and i woke up at 5 AM and I started getting stuff ready.  Started to fill water bottles, but the stupid powerades froze in the hotel fridge over night.  Chaffed my hide a bit.  Sure enough, by the time we got to the school that was the starting point it was starting to sprinkle.  (yes this IS a bit of a foreshadowing!)

Let me say up front this was one of the most well-marked and best supported ride i have been on in a long time.  There is just no way I could have stopped at ALL the food stops!

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The first 25 miles was just NOT fun though.  For some reason I just didn’t have my bike legs this morning.  Then it poured for most of that first section.  Add to it a gawd awful uphill.  First we went downhill for a couple of miles, but due to the rain and wet roads, I couldn’t let loose and ride it.  Then came the 2 mile, soaking wet, LONG uphill…

My mom and I think I should do one of these rides on a pedicab with her in the seat handing out cookies to the other riders.  This part she would have hated! Moms don’t like to be wet and cold, and the cookies woulda been soggy!   I won’t lie, I had the fleeting thought of calling Michelle and having her come get me so we could just DRIVE to the damn ocean, but I refrained.

Luckily the rain stopped for the next section.  This tool me through Oregon wine country

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I swear there were as many wineries on this route as there are in Woodinville back home.  Yep, again the fleeting thought of “Hunny, meet me at Cooper Hill winery!”  However, the weather had dried and the views were better!  However the hills got higher!  This was the steepest part of the climb.  It seemed like just when we should be going downhill, we ended up making a turn to go further up hill.  The sign the said “Construction ahead on Mountaintop road” was not encouraging.

Luckily, we soon hit the downhill and ended up on flat farmland.

The bikes name is NOT Fred
The bikes name is NOT Fred

It was soon after this photo I kept noticing a guy in my rearview mirror on my back tire.  He stuck to me like glue.  The winds shifted a bit, and we had either a tail or semi-side wind, so I was flying.  It wasn’t long before I heard a voice behind him thanking him for pulling him along.  An Irish brogue replied that I was pulling both of them!  Soon after I met Portland Tom and Irish Shawn (yep from Ireland!)  I pulled the two of them for 50 miles plus!

Gotta admit, it is good for the ego.  Shawn was in his 20’s and Tom in his 30’s.  They were calling me an ‘animal!’ and a ‘pedaling machine!’  I just pointed my nose and kept going through the rest of the 2nd and ALL of the 3rd section.  The 3rd had a few more cars, but again mostly farm land.

We stopped for lunch at a food stop and Tom hugged me saying “I am not weird, but I owed you that!  This is my fastest ride ever, and it’s because you are pulling me.”

He held back as we left, because the steepest hills were coming.  Add to it, yep you guessed it, the rain!! Shawn and I stuck together and climbed hard.  We both gave out a yell as we reached the summit, and let gravity take us!

As we were getting closer to Pacific City I saw Haystack rock in the distance.

Haystack Rock just off the coast of Pacific Beach
Haystack Rock just off the coast of Pacific Beach

“Shawn see that rock?” “Yes” he replied.  “THAT’S the ocean and the end of the ride!”  His 20 something legs took over and took the lead!  I head on for 3 miles, and we were over 20 mph, then I had to let him go!  He disappeared in the distance.  Not sure if it was the smell of the salt water, or the beer at the end that inspired him!  Never saw him again!

I reached the beach in just over 7 hours!  And I did the customary pose at the end of the ride!

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I was feeling pretty damn good AND Michelle was there waiting for me!  We took off back to the car (the Pelican Pub was a nut house, I didn’t stop for a beer!  We went down to Lincoln City (Famous for being on the 45 parallel (right in the middle between the Northpole and the equator) as well as for having the world’s shortest river (The ‘D’ river) to spend the night at the Inn at the Spanish Head.  The place is built on the side of a cliff and every room has an ocean view

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I had a great seafood pesto linguine and now we a sitting, enjoying the view and sipping wine.  105 miles today!  Felt good, though I am sure tomorrow I will be making old man noises every time I move! Yep I will do this one again!

3 thoughts on ““See that Rock… Its the ocean!”

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