Tuesday, April 17, 2012

... and back again

With mother nature smiling down on us, I ditched my plan to carpool back in Michal's car and instead got roped into traveling back by bike with Ed, Theo, and Asta.

Yes, 273 miles in 27 hours, and I was wanting more.

We printed out cue sheets based on an SIR 200K from Olympia to Portland (no cards though, I'd had enough of receipts and signature by that point... and I wasn't sure I could average a consistent 10mph for the return trip).

First was a grocery stop at the Olympia Safeway, and a fortuitous encounter with John P (who had organized the 400km I rode the last time I was in that town on bike)

He snapped a shot of our traveling troupe:

And then we were off. The first 30-ish miles covered the same roads into Centralia as last June's 400K... and we had the blessing of a wind out of the north, pushing us forward at a ~16mph pace that felt surprisingly comforatble.

Simply a glorious day, too nice to be confined in a van:


Snack stop in Winlock:

Would have been happy to spend a few hours in that field:

But, alas, back on the road... towards Kelso/Longview.

The SIR route follows the Seattle-to-Portland path over the Lewis & Clark Bridge and into town via fifty miles of Hwy 30 -- we decided to take some back roads on the WA side instead, generally following (but thankfully not riding on) the interstate.

I had been hoping for a ~1am arrival in PDX, but that possibility slowly faded away thanks to accumulate fatigue, a glut of flat tires, a couple wrong turns, and one damn hard climb up Green Mountain Road north of La Center. Still, smiles and nachos were had:

We headed over the I-5 bridge into Jantzen Beach just shy of three in the morning, and by the time I rolled into my southeast home it was nearly four a.m. and my weekend mileage was somewhere around 422. I felt worn and weary but surprisingly positive -- hopefully the Eugene-Olympia-Portland trip was a good step towards trying a 1000K or 1200K this year or next.

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