After a year of talking, planning, discussing and thinking, the time for the Oregon Coast ride was upon us. Our buddy Rob and Michelle’s best friend Kim drove north from southern Oregon last night, and spent the night in Astoria.
Michelle and I woke up in Seattle and had to start the drive…
Our plan was to get up about 5 and head south by 6:30. Well that was the plan. We finally drug ourselves out of bed at 530ish and started getting ready to go. After breakfast, a Starbucks run, and final packing of the car we were out by 7:00. We relearned a valuable lesson, the later we leave, the worse Seattle traffic is!
Ten minutes after reaching the on ramp, we FINALLY made it onto the freeway! Then, once we made it to the express lanes, we almost hit the speed limit, but then hit the LONG line of cars merging into the mainline. I dove to the offramp, drove back NORTH through town and onto the southbound freeway mainline. I am not sure it was faster, but we were finally going south.
This whole time it was raining….
As we went south, the weather continued to improve, by Centrailia, the sun was out!
Suddenly, though, I had a realization… I know the way BACK from Astoria to I-5, but, the only time in the last 5 years I have gone to Oregon via Longview was on the bike for the Seattle to Portland. I honestly wasn’t sure which exit from I-5 to take. Luckily we took the right one, and soon we were at Portland meeting the team!
Before the start, we had to have the first photo, so we moved to a river view. Kim pointed out the following sign as we moseyed…
I am really trying to figure out whether the key danger here is booze, biking or the tracks….
But I digress…
Rob and I saddled up and we were ready to go!
I am not sure why he is smiling and I look stern….
We took off through Astoria and over the drawbridge (the video will be available later…)
Soon we were on 101 and heading south! One of the advantages to riding this time of year is the prevailing winds. Sure as hell, even though Rob has not ridden much overall, we were flying, with a tailwind at times at 16 mph. A great day! Sure as hell, we were soon at Seaside
From there, I decided to take a detour to the water for our first look at the Ocean
And the sharks
We also ran into Michelle and Kim again, always a good thing!
After leaving them we continued south, and hit the first big hill. Rob self admittedly HATES hills, but the man powered up it! I did give him a few hints afterwards, as I saw his legs spinning WAY too fast. The key is to find the happy medium between easy to pedal AND pedaling so fast you can’t breath! (He set a new heartbeat record on this hill!)
The next stop was Cannon Beach! Once again we rain into the ladies, but this time it was at a Yarn store. Kim being an avid knitter (and winner of blue ribbons at the fair) never misses an open yarn store.
We stopped for Gatorade, and ran into me 30 years from now. There was an older guy and his wife who asked me where we were riding. When I told him he started into his story about his coast ride in the 70s. His wife rolled his eyes and said, “Dear that was SO long ago, things have changed…” Yep, Michelle will be telling me this in 2056…
It was a gorgeous day in Cannon Beach
South of here is the famous 101 tunnel (this is the video from May)
The key is to pedal quick, and get to the other side! Rob was a trooper, but tired afterwards.
From there on it was mostly uphill. We each cruised along at our own speed, but I made sure to keep him in site.
Soon we were at the top of the hill!
I had decided to make a change in day one at the last-minute. The initial plan was to ride to Cannon Beach and stop. BUT, if we went about 10 more miles, we could kill the biggest hill of the next day, and the ladies could come get us and take us back to town for the night. It worked like a charm!
Tomorrow we will be dropped there and start with a great down hill, then mostly flat for 40 miles! A perfect 2nd day.
Rob has also learned one of the common occurrences of cycling. While we were waiting for the ladies we kept hearing:
- Where did you start from
- Where are you going
- WOW that seems fun
- OMG the hills are hard!
- You are going HOW FAR???
I let him know it will be worse as we ride farther!
All in all it was a great day! I am looking forward to tomorrow! Like the wind!