Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The 83 Mile Journey

Bike rides should only be 30-50 miles if you're asking me. Anything within that range is perfectly acceptable. 83 miles...well, that is just stupid.

I met Nik and Justin and Erica and Diane and Laura yesterday morning to "assist" them in their training for Canada Ironman. Seriously...I'm still not sure why I was there, but there I was.

While the boys did boy stuff...I don't know...talking about expensive bikes or something, the four of us girls headed out knowing they would shortly catch up. Although we had all looked at the cue sheet the previous night and noticed what we wanted to notice (for me it was the direct order to stop at Subway at mile 51 and FEED MY FACE and also the ferry ride towards the end where I might be able to dip my feet and/or head in the water to cool down)...but none of us really paid much attention to the start where it clearly states we would be entering I-5 at mile 0.6 and not exiting said highway until mile 1.7


We ride on highways around here all the time...little ones, like the St. Paul Hwy we hooked up to at mile 14 or Hwy 213 in Molalla at mile 50...which probably still isn't smart...but it IS legal. Riding on I-5...well...not so much.

So as we entered the highway (sorry, Dad!), we moved about as fast as 4 girls terrified for their lives could ride. When we weren't dodging gravel being flung at us by car tires or trembling as big rigs and mid-life crisis men in corvettes sped by at lightning speed, we were praying and hoping and wishing and praying some more that we wouldn't get a flat and have to stop. YIKES!

With a collective sigh of relief, we exited the highway 1.1 miles later, and continued on our way...just a little more sweat stained and with the smell of fear rolling off of us. The boys quickly caught us and we listened to their similar stories of terror while we made our way into and then out of Champoeg Park. It was at this point that we realized we were one rider too many. No one seemed to know this "Patrick", but he had somehow become part of our group...and he stayed with us until we reached that Subway shop 40 miles later. Weird.

Um...where was I...oh yes...what a beautiful ride. We made it through several small towns...past hops fields in St. Paul, the vineyards in Scotts Mills, the parade in Mt. Angel...yep...we made the rounds. The funniest place I found myself was back out in Molalla riding by the very rodeo I had been to the night before. And to think I was complaining about how far we had to drive to get there. HA!...and now I find myself stinkin' biking to it. Oh brother.

We were all pretty happy after the lunch stop at mile 50. After we ate, Justin's wife met up with us to reapply our sunscreen before taking her husband off our hands to go see the rodeo and drink ice cold strawberry lemonade while we continued on another 33 miles. BOO Justin ;-)

Down to 5 now, we found ourselves suddenly riding in what seemed like circles and slowly approached a fence...with shade...and... is that a camel? No. It's TWO camels. Camels? In Oregon? What is standing under it? Oh...an ostrich. Of course. And wait a minute, are those ponies? NO...it's a bunch of miniature horses surrounded by llamas. Are we having heat stroke? Ohhhhhhhhhhhh noooooooooooo...there goes Erica...over and down. First crash of the day...and it was standing in the middle of a country road looking at camels. Who can blame her?

Erica bruised, the animals looking at us looking at them...it was time to keep on keepin' on. After what seemed like an eternity... ETERNITY I SAY...we came to the Canby Ferry. We had tried to call them earlier in the morning to see if they were even running on this Star Spangled Holiday, but no one answered the phone. Not a really good sign, huh? It occurred to us that we might find ourselves at mile 75.3 of an 81.2 mile bike ride with no way to finish it...or with a way to get back to our cars. I thought we could all probably draw on our inner Abby and turn it into an adventure race where we would have to swim across the river with our bikes on our backs, but fortunately when we got there...


...the ferry captain was working hard.

He was a little grumpy and yelled at us...and because of that we were too afraid to ask him to take a picture of all of us...so here's one of just us ladies (ha! I called us ladies) with Nik behind the camera...
I was so very done with the ride at this point. I should have just jumped overboard, but I knew that we were to the final countdown and I had to finish this... this my longest ride ever...so up up and up we went. The hill directly out of the ferry was RI.DI.CU.LOUS. We wanted to ask the ferry captain if he would let us get a running start off the ferry, but again...he was a little too grumpy to be doing any favors, so we exited his fine ride. We whined about the hill for a bit and then Nik took off to see if he could make it. As I started after him and saw him take a corner and keep going WAY up looking like he might barf down the hill on me, I almost got off and walked. Instead I got out of my saddle...which I never do...but it got the job done. The hill was not too very long but it probably took me 3 miles more before I finally caught my breath and then we cruised on in. I think it was around the parade, way back in Mt. Angel, that we got a little lost... so we came in with a little extra mileage and an exact 83 miles.

The end.

13 comments:

ajh said...

Wow! I am so impressed. I am feeling impressed with my 36 miles today and you did 83! Why was the ferry guy so grumpy? I was on a ferry today too and didn't work up the nerve to ask anyone to take my pic. So so glad the ferry was running for you. Better a grumpy captain than no captain!

Nikki Kendall said...

83 miles is insane!!!

Julie said...

On the interstate!?!?!?!? That's crazy stuff! Way to go on getting it done...next stop a century. :)

Laurie said...

Congrats on the ride!
And, uh, what was the deal with your new friend Patrick? Bizarre.

Julie D. said...

wow, julie. I'm so impressed. camels and ostrich? so odd!!! Your ride sounds like I would be gripping the handle bars for life!! crazy. Way to go!

Mike said...

83 miles is very impressive! Riding on the highway sounds really scary. Someone like "Patrick" following the group sounds about as creepy as "Mike" reading your blog :-).

Cory Reese said...

This is the funniest thing I've read all day. The whole time I was reading I thought "Yep, this describes how I feel on all my longer rides." You're a great writer!

Way to go on 83!

TRI714 said...

cool. I think all rides should be 83 plus miles. And If I ever when the lottery, they will be. But for now it is several 25-31 milers during the week and one 65-85 miler on the weekend.

Tri-Living...Together said...

Wow.. oh WOW!!!! I am seriously impressed!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

That might be the longest ride sheet I have ever seen!!!

AND YOU RODE ON THE INTERSTATE!?!?! REALLY?!?! That is a brave bunch, noooooo thank you

So when is the century ride?

Jen said...

You are so freaking amazing. That is all!

Molly said...

holy cow, you're a rockstar.

Raina said...

What a beautiful LONG ride! Looks like a great day, Julie.
I am SO glad you made it off 15 safely, though.

When are you planning a ride to Elkton. I bet you could do it! There are a few wineries on the way too :)