After a slow start to the cycling year, heavy rains, freezing temps and a move to a new state will do that, now that we have gotten down here, the miles have picked up! April got me 426 miles, and yesterday was the first century (100) mile ride of the year. The Reach the Beach 2018. Portland Or to Pacific City on the coast.
I’ve lost count of the century rides I’ve done, though if you ask me about any one of them specifically, I can tell you a story about it. This one was different though, for the fist time I was not riding alone…
This ride marked the reunion of the team from the Oregon Coast 2016 trek Rob was joining me for his first ever century!
For Michelle and I, it was a multipurpose trip. I had tried doing an OS update on the Mac Book a couple of weeks ago, and it choked and puked. After trying Apple Chat for an hour, it was deemed we needed to bring it into the shop, turns out, the closest Apple store to the Ocean is Portland.
It took a couple of hours, but it was a success! We were live!
All that was left to do was have a big dinner the night before the ride!
The Lung Association always does an excellent job on their rides. The routes are well marked, they have cars and motorcycles along the way to assist those in need, and the food is great! I was looking forward to the ride.
There are a few challenges though…
First off, at 2 miles, LONG before these old legs have warmed up, there is a long slow climb. It’s not an epic climb by any means, Compared to the ocean climbs, or Rainier, this would be laughable. At 6:05 AM at mile 2 of 106, it sucked!! But we made it!
It’s funny how you can blank out things from previous rides…
I knew there were hills for the first 25 miles. But I’d forgotten about the dreaded ‘double hump…’ The double hump is the bane of the Oregon coast. A long hard climb, followed but a long down hill, only to find yet another steep climb.
I am a better climber than Rob so I made it to the top of the first hump. I waited, for him to reach the top, and then I bombed down the other side. I was a happy boy, smiling as I flew down the hill, and then it all flooded back to me… ‘SUCK!!! DOUBLE HUMP!!!’ It was too late to warn Rob. The longest, steepest climb of the ride was ahead of us.
It was a pretty climb though, the fields had crimson clover making it a sea of red.
When we finally made it to the top, I found where those who didn’t survive the climb end up!
The next 50 miles were much easier, and relatively flat. We made up for the climbs and kept a steady pace. I made sure we knew which way the beach was!
We continued to crank out the miles, and were happy to have Michelle and Kim catch up to us in Sheridan for a bit of encouragement.
After this though, the challenges started to increase. Being closer to the coast, the headwinds started. Add to it, Rob’s longest ride ever was 76 miles. We hit that mark and still had 30 to go.. PLUS, as I remembered it, another double hump even uglier than the first, was coming!
We made it through the last town, and onto the one stretch of busy highway we had to deal with. 2+ miles of Highway 18. I met one grouchy Winnebago driver, but otherwise we were back on a rural road for the last push, 25 miles to the end, over the last hill.
This called for the last rest stop, that had a great smoked salmon potato hash meal.
It hit the spot! We weren’t looking as spry though…
Remember when I told you sometimes you block stuff out? Well sometimes the rides mesh together in your mind. I was expecting an epic climb… I was wrong! It was a steady incline, but suddenly we were on top, there was no second climb! I am telling you, if there bugs yesterday, we would still be picking them out of our teeth! We were smiling that much.
I have NEVER been so happy to be wrong!
We still had to fight headwinds, and there was one more surprise short but steep hill, but soon we saw the rock in the distance that marks the end.
We were both feeling it by then, but we knew the end was in sight. We put our heads down and pushed on.
Soon we were rounding the last corner!
Of course we had to have the celebratory end of the ride shot!
106 miles, Rob’s first century and my first one not riding solo. Then, 30 minutes later we were at our house. Soon showers were over and we weren’t smelly any more.
Sadly, though, Rob and Kim had to hit the road, as today, Rob is stuck in a plane flying to the east coast for work! But, he flies knowing he is now a century rider!
Well done buddy!!