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Week 1: Day 1

Fort Stevens State Park, Astoria

Getting to the start of the ride worked great. We all met at Fort Stevens, and had barbecued salmon (from Russ) and fresh corn on the cob (from Pat and my garden), testing out the stove that we would be using for the trip.

The crowd: Benj, Candy, Beth's sister, Connie, (who didn't ride with us), Bruce, Pat, me, Joe, Russ, Beth (and Tom took the picture)

Day 1: Fort Stevens State Park, Astoria to Pacific RV Park, Tillamook

For most of us, this was a great day of riding! The weather was clear, but not too warm and we had a tailwind. The first 20 miles or so was flat. Most of us stopped in Cannon Beach for a snack (Benj, Candy, and I found a cooking school that served pastries and coffee) It was a crowded place -- good weather on a weekend was bringing everyone outside.

I continued the ride, which got more challenging. There was one long climb that seemed never-ended, and then lots of ups and downs along the coast.

There were also some great views

Beth with Beth & Tom's Bike Fridays

But, eventually we got there. We were all pretty tired! Just before I reached the camp in Tillamook, I got a call from Russ. He was about 45 miles back (he was driving the van, and should have been in camp awhile ago). He said he had a story to tell me...

We all hung out at the camp and waited.

Pat got off to a bad start. About 20 miles into the ride, an RV stopped in front of her, and she was unable to stop, and unwilling to turn into traffic. So she ran right into it. She cut her elbow, her wrist was swollen, and was pretty shaken up. The gas station owner helped patch her up, and she finished the ride, but was sore, and elected to sag the next day.

Russ was having the worst day, by far. I had been annoyed that he hadn't brought his computer along so I could show him how to use it. I strongly suggested that he return to Longview and pick it up, otherwise it would just be an expensive solitaire device. Reluctantly, he headed back home (1 1/2 hour drive) to pick up his computer. As he was headed across the Vancouver bridge, the car started to make grinding noises at low speeds. It got worse and worse (only at low speeds). He finally got home, put the car in park, and it rolled backwards. Transmission busted.

So there he was -- in Longview with a broken down van containing all our equipment.

Fortunately, Russ has a very generous friend with three cars, one of which was a Grand Caravan. He was able to borrow it for the entire trip, they arranged insurance  and got AAA coverage. They moved all the luggage from the old van to the new one, and Russ headed back to Tillamook, arriving only a little later than the riders.

The new van has more room, gets better mileage, and still holds the rocket box (which is lower, so easier to access.) The only downside is that it doesn't hold Russ' bike rack, so we need to use my 20-year old 2-bike-only bike rack. But it's hard to complain.

Russ wins the Tim "pulling rabbits out of a hat when I didn't even see the hat" Kneeland award!

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