Monday, June 18, 2007

Day 0 in Astoria

Day – 0 We arrive in Astoria

After having a nice breakfast with Tom Moyer in downtown Portsmouth and a very enjoyable stay at “The Ambassador”, Rich, Sue Nancy and Dennis pick me up for a trip to the beach and on to Astoria. Portland and the surrounding drive are very lush, tree laden and have bright yellow flowers that provide highlights for the landscape.
This photo was taken by the nice mountain biker who sold me his "helmet cam"

I discover that my camera display is inoperative due to my accidental dropping of the camera… bummer. It still takes pictures that can be viewed on my cell phone, but no display on the camera.

We get to Astoria a little later than hoped for. Much hubaboo at the hotel. Papers to complete, materials to review and the bike to put together. As Rich helps me get air in my tires I suffer the first flat tire of the trip! Somehow the valve on the inner tube breaks. A very busy, hectic time. Most of the others have already taken off for the “tire dipping”. This involves a 10 mile or so trip to the beach to dip the rear wheel into the Pacific. We’ll dip the front in the Atlantic in a few days when we get there.

I finally get the bike road ready and Rich and I make it out to the beach and back. I think they knew we were from Ohio. The temperature dropped to about 61 degrees and we had solid rain for the hour or so we were on the road. Good think I worked so hard to clean and lube the bike before shipping it.

When we returned it was straight to the orientation which lasted almost 4 hours including a meal. Not much time to meet or get to know the 70+ riders in attendance. The tour guides and ride leaders seem like some of the most serious and safety conscious I’ve ever experienced. They really impose upon us the dangers we face and the risks we are taking on in a way I haven’t quite been presented before. Today, despite my lifetime of riding, racing and feeling like I know quite a bit about this sport, our leader Mike (retired Army Col.) and his team really taught me some new perspectives and tips about riding that I am sure will make me a better, safer rider.

We end with a briefing on the route. Tomorrow, day 1 we head North for almost 70 miles to our first stop.

Bye for now!

1 comment:

ODIMD said...

Listen Samson, its time to cut your hair. I promise you won't lose all your strength. Have fun, Mark