Six weeks worth of planning and hard work brought in an amazing amount of support! I want to personally thank everyone that donated to Out to Pasture Animal Sanctuary! Every dollar helps keep this fantastic organization running all year long in their goals to assist abused and neglected animals. While we were there, we were able to visit with some very happy pigs and an exuberant goat! Lots of kitties lolling in the warm sun. There were volunteers working to upgrade some shelters and it was all very pleasantly shaded despite riding in the sun most of the day. Their hospitality was overwhelming!
We began our ride a little casually than intended at about 9am after Mark and Shannon provided a fantastic breakfast. Incidentally the participants ended up being exclusively three members from Monkeywrench Bicycle Club and three members of Flahute Racing p/b Trailhead Coffee Roasters. I only wish we had been wearing our respective team kits so we could have wasted time posting fight photos.
Josh, who I rode the Sanctuary Century with last year showed up again to power through yet another 100 miles on a fixed gear. What a trooper. (For the record, he does have a geared bicycle and this was a conscious choice! He’s just badass like that!)
A great surprise was when Lisa, our car support showed up to the door and she brought her bike into the house. She had decided to ride with us up to our first checkpoint; Kelley Point Park and then come back and pick up the car. Lisa fractured her spine in mid-June during the Rainier Road Race and has yet to hit her three month recovery mark yet. We were thrilled to have her join us for this stint of the journey!
When we arrived at Kelley Point, there was a huge line of cars and people standing around the sign. It looked as if an event were happening, so instead of an idyllic photo at the beach, we rolled on through and got on Marine Drive. We instead made our first rest stop at the new boat launch installed this summer on the Columbia just out on Marine Drive. For a parking lot rest stop, we gave it a thumbs up for the Dyson fans. Super classy.
Powered on through to Troutdale where we stopped off for another rest about 20 miles later. Chris, who just had a major rebuild done on his bike and was super eager to take it out on some open road let us know that he was going to “throw down the hammer.” He ended up putting down an extra 20 miles round trip, touching down to Bridal Veil Falls and then making it back to us. We went up to a very popular Women’s Forum Viewpoint where we found out that Lisa was still about 20 minutes away. Just enough time for us to work our way back down to the Sandy River where we ended up eating lunch next to the Stark St Bridge. Lisa and Chris both arrived within minutes of us and we all ate lunch together.
We hit exactly 50 miles as we passed Mt Hood Community College. Lisa was standing about a mile further down the road with cups of coconut water for a quick drink! We were so grateful as the weather was starting to get pretty warm. The heat was starting to get into the high 70s by then.
I was riding a little sluggish towards this point. I was doing everything correctly. Keeping my electrolytes up, eating little bites of food the entire time. I did just have a seizure earlier this week and understand my energy level isn’t at 100% but this was beginning to frustrate me. It was about then that I noticed the “fork flop” and then the flat rear tire. Thankfully I was the only person that got a flat this year. Unfortunately the rims that I was riding on were really difficult for me to put the tires on, so I was really loathing having to change the tube. Especially with just 8 miles until the Sanctuary where we could sit down and I could wash my hands of chain grease, etc. After several minutes of attempting to listen for a leak, Mark put co2 in the tube, but sure enough a couple miles down the road, it was dead again. He was kind enough to yank the tube out and replace it for me. What a difference a firm rear wheel makes! I wasn’t bonking at all! I was riding through peanut butter!
We got to the Sanctuary and were greeted by tons of signs welcoming us!
We then flew home by way of the Springwater Corridor Trail. Lisa met us at a baseball field in Troutdale to give us a final cheer before the end point and we were off. Chris raced ahead of us as it was beginning to get a bit dark and he didn’t have lights. So he hustled off ahead to beat the impending dark. Along the path, we met up with a young man named Jason who asked about what we were doing. He chatted with us and was just going to ride a few miles, was curious about the Sellwood path interchange, and then ended up riding with us all the way back into Portland. So congratulations Jason! If you have to go back as when you picked up with us, that will almost be 60 miles!
We ended our evening with delicious Portobella pizzas and sitting outside enjoying the lovely night.