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...