Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Welches, OR to Boise, ID 6-23 to 6-29-10

Today is our rest day in Boise, ID--very much appreciated after biking over 600 miles in 8 days! To recuperate, I enjoyed a having a massage and walking around the city of Boise. The biking in Oregon was beautiful but challenging--one day we biked 117 miles and climbed 2 mountains, followed by 82 miles and climbing 3 mountains the next day! Oregon is a very scenic state--some of the highlights were seeing Mt. Hood, wild horses, abundant wildflowers, the high desert, Indian reservations, cattle ranches and farms, trains, fossil canyons, and even a little interstate biking (in the west, we occasionally have to bike on the interstate when there is no other road available--we hang tough in the breakdown lane). The last two days were pleasant surprises of some downhill riding, following the Snake River. The weather has been great, sunny every day, with a few breezes and a light wind to add some diversion. We have a lot of very strong cyclists in our group, and I was sad to see my two pals from MN leave yesterday--they had planned only to do this segment. We became instant friends on the day before our ride started officially, when some of us biked to the Pacific Ocean (so we'd bike coast to coast), and the three of us got lost!
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

St. Helens to Welches, OR 6-22-10

Today was quite an awesome day--we had been biking along the river for part of the day, and then along a rural area with lots of wildflowers, when I spotted Mt. Hood! "This Land is My Land, This Land is Your Land......" (Arlo Guthrie was singing it just for me.) It was a clear, sunny day--in fact, the tour leaders said that it was the clearest viewing of Mt. Hood that they had seen! Another highlight of the day was having lunch at Calmity Jane's in Sandy, OR--the burger and fries were yummy! The day started off with mostly flat roads, the hill climbing was towards the end of the day--77 miles with 3,150 feet of climbing. Tonight we are staying at the Resort @ the Mountains in Welches, OR--the lap of luxury in a wooded setting. Wow!
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Astoria to St. Helens, OR 6-21-10

Today, we officially started our bike trip across America! There I am in Astoria, OR, at the start of our ride. It was a cool, cloudy day (temps in the 50's and 60's) with a dampness in the air--the weather reminded me of days spent in Addison, ME in my youth. There are 47 cyclists who are going all the way across to Portsmouth, NH--another 13 cyclists started today with plans to do part of the ride. We are fortunate to have 6 staff members supporting our ride--I was especially thankful around mile 15 today when some shifting issues developed on my bike, but the problem was quickly remedied by our tour leader. I biked the 70-mile route averaging 12 miles per hour, which I thought was great considering the long, gradual climbs we had--the route sheet said we climbed 3,250 feet.
The logging trucks and fishing activities reminded me of Maine as well. After the 50 first miles of climbing (and then going downhill, too), I was delighted to find that the last 20 miles were flat. In fact, it was so much easier biking that I thought I had Leki on a third wheel behind me doing all the pedaling and letting me just coast! Who would like to come on the ride tomorrow?!
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Biking to the Pacific Ocean, 6/20/10

We biked 30-miles round trip to the Pacific Ocean so we could say we biked coast to coast! The weather was a bit of a mist, open and shut as they say in Ireland, temperature about 60. That's the Pacific Ocean behind me in the picture. After returning to Astoria, I had lunch at the Astoria Sunday Market, complete with entertainment and lots of things to buy. I really couldn't buy anything as America by Bicycle has very strict weight limits on our luggage, 50 pounds, and my two bags weighed 52 pounds at the airport! The tour leader writes an interesting blog, www.bamacyclist.com if you'd like to read more. At 3 p.m. , we had a 3-hour orientation meeting (after the meeting, a cyclist from MN said that the only thing he is doing right is hydrating!), dinner, and then another meeting to go over the route for Day One! This is the second time I've posted 6-20-10 so I hope it goes through this time! Happy birthday to Mom Z!
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bike Arrived in Portland, OR/June 16, 2010

This will be the most informal blog ever--just a way to keep you posted on my trip across America! I don't plan to post every day--if you check out the daily mileages at http://www.americabybicycle.com/AAN/AANPop.htm, you'll know that some days I'll be lucky to get to the hotel in time to take a shower and head for dinner! We actually start biking on Monday, June 21--I'm flying to OR on Friday, June 18. The reason I titled my post Bike Arrived in Portland, OR is because I FedEx-d my bike on June 10 and of course, I'm a little anxious to see that it arrives in Astoria by Friday, June 18 (Fed Ex doesn't deliver over the weekend)! I've also been advised that it isn't safe to post to Facebook that you're away from home....so please post here or send me an e-mail, O.K.?