Monday, July 16, 2007


Saturday was my longest bike ride ever--204.5 miles. Roughly from Seattle to Portland. Actually, exactly from Seattle to Portland because that's where the awesome Jim Robbins and I rode. Along with about 8,998 others. We were among some 2,000 who did it in one day; the rest rode both Saturday and Sunday.

It was long, yes; oddly, not terribly scenic with much of the 50-mile Oregon section qualifying as downright skanky-looking, and the food and drink never quite what we were looking for. (Jim's disgust with the Ultima replenishment drink was downright hilarious.) Still, it was an amazing experience and one I'm super glad I did.

My favorite part was the variety of other riders. From no-nonsense, ultra-serious, matching-jersey types to how shall I say, large-ish folks reclining in recumbents and who appeared to be going backwards on the Puyallup hill, to several dudes on single-speed beach cruiser bikes attempting to ride 200-plus miles in one day. I'd be hard pressed to ride the three miles to Fairhaven on one of those things. Our favorite was the 20-something kid riding a cruiser bike on which he'd installed aero bars. We even saw one guy trying to do STP on a skateboard.

Something we're curious about. On a particularly sketchy, high-traffic area, we saw EMT folks aiding a rider who was lying on the ground, face down and not moving at all. Something bad happened but we've not heard anything about it. Read in the paper today about one rider getting clipped by a driver just outside Portland. Eeek!

Stats: 11:36 of riding time; 17.7 mph. Woke up at 3:15 a.m. Riding (in Seattle) by 5:05 a.m.; finished (in Portland) at about 7:10 p.m. Back to Seattle and Jim's brother-in-law's place (we took a bus) at 12:15 a.m.

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