Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 1, Astoria to St. Helens Oregon. 69.5 miles with 3000 ft of climbing

Day one was officially started today with getting up loading our luggage on the truck at 0615, breakfast at 0630 and I was on the road by 0700. 

The day started out cloudy, overcast and a cool 50 degrees. I wore my knee warmers, arm warmers and wind vest as I am a wimp any more when it comes to riding in the cooler weather.  We rode hwy 30 all the way and most of the way there was a good wide shoulder.  There was a whole lot of rocks, glass, debris and chunks of wood bark that was being blown off by the logging trucks.  The 1st 20 miles I hooked up with Dan and really enjoyed riding with him.  He starts out every day with the song "Oh what a beautiful morning.  This was really a nice touch as it was really great to  be alive and out in the fresh air on my bicycle.  We did some climbing and Dan said that he was slow on the climbs so for me to go ahead.  I rode by my self for about 2 miles when another rider caught up with me and started up a conversation.  I did not get his name but he owns the Holiday Inn express in Astoria where we stayed last night.  He told me that  he had watched the America By Tour leave from his hotel for the last 5 years and he decided to ride along with us today only.  He was a great help on the 2 big climbs we had today as he stayed behind me and let me  know that the top was just around the bend.  Mentally this is helpful as you know when the suffering is to end soon when the road levels out.  After the 2nd water stop at mile 48 he rode on and I said thanks for being a great tour guide.

After filling up my 2 water bottles I rode out by myself.  After riding to mile 55 I thought that the pavement had really gotten rough.  Supprise I had my 1st flat tire.  All of the things in the road a staple was stuck in the tire.  I pulled off the road and put my bike over the guard rail as this was a whole lot safer than having my back to all the traffic on the shoulder.  One  of the tour staff member's stopped and kept me company and gave me moral support until all was aired up and good to go once again.  2 riders came by and I rode in with them the rest of the way to the motel.

We got back to the motel just in time to help unload the luggage truck.  That is the one thing about getting to the motel daily is the chore of helping unload every ones bags.  There were lots of help and we were done in about 10 minutes.  Everyone has 2 bags.

After taking a shower and getting cleaned up I was going out the lobby door and 2 other riders were ready to go and get something to eat.  We all went to subway and got a sandwich.  Then we went to the drug store and bought some efferdent, which we are told is a great way to wash your water bottles daily so you don't get mould on them.

This is all for today.


  1. Other than the flat tire, it sounds like you had a wonderful ride. Dan sang the song reminded me of my 250 mile ride in Boy Scouts which started in the Redwoods of CA. I (Dan) sang "The Sound of Music" and all the scouts took off rather quickly. I still enjoyed the song. Now you have a song to sing in the morning! Yeah Right!

    You did well on the climb and the weather, while slightly chilly, would feel great about now. It was 99 back home.

    Take care and looking forward to your journey report for today.

  2. Maybe that will be your only flat tire...yah right! I remember us changing a few.sounds like the Holiday Inn rider was a lot of help. You need to sing a little Italian tomorrow morning to your singing buddy. Efferdent in your water bottles? Never thought of that...I bet that would clean out a Camelback too. Stay safe and by the way it's 101 here right now (1500). Bet you miss that!