Daily Archives: June 20, 2010

Day 0 – Astoria Orientation Day

Click for Garmin Data

Note to self: Remember to turn the Garmin OFF when I’m done for the day. The data is not entirely accurate. My old-style Vetta C-10 “analog” computer is more meaningful today — It says we went 29.7 miles in 2:04 with an average speed of 14.3 mph (max of 28.2). My odometer is now at 2762 miles.

What a day!  Started with a 2 hour drive from our hotel in Vancouver, Washington to Astoria, Oregon where our hotel is adjacent to the river front boardwalk and is aligned with the foot of the Astoria Bridge. Very nice view of the water.

First order of business was getting Scooter out of his cramped quarters and ready to ride. Jim, the main mechanic, gave me a hand and within about 20 minutes Scooter was looking like his old self again. There were also a handful of forms to fill out, instructions on baggage tagging and I was given an America By Bicycle (ABB) ID card with my personal information as well as contact phone numbers of the folks on the road. So, between that and two “Road ID” bracelets that I’m wearing — if something happens to me and they can’t figure out 1) who I am and 2) who to call  we’ve got a real problem! Hopefully, none of the information will be needed! The ABB ID card will also be needed to check into my hotel rooms and as access to any ABB off-site function (like meals at restaurants outside of the hotel where we stay). I sure don’t want it.

After all the initial check-in stuff was taken care of, my tour-roommate, Nan and I headed out in search of the Pacific Ocean. It was 15 miles south and west of the hotel. We left in a foggy drizzle that really was not unpleasant. The route was lush green and followed the coast line most of the way. We went over a small draw bridge — it even had a small section of metal grate that reminded me of a bridge  we referred to as the “Singing Bridge” that my family used to go over to get to my Dad’s parents house in Stratford, Connecticut. Scooter’s tires did not make the bridge “sing” when we crossed the grates, but the cars going the other way did. Other than a few small undulating hills, the route was pretty flat. About 2/3 of the way there, another ABB cyclist, Jeff,  caught up with us. His pace was quite a bit faster but he rode with us anyway — a nice gesture — and we all arrived at the beach together and took each others pictures. By the time all our little festivities were over, we were running behind and had to hustle to get back to the hotel in time for the start of the 3pm meeting and more orientation.  Jeff probably got back on time, but Nan and I were a few minutes late.  We missed a few of the individual introductions but were there to hear most of the folks talk. It is definitely an interesting group. About 90% men, looks like there are a few folks under 45, but not many. I remember a 29 year-old gal from New York, an 18-year old who just graduated high school, and a guy who is still IN high school (riding a tandem with his Dad). I’d say I’m on the young side of the median age. There are several guys who have ridden HUGE numbers of miles in the last 10-15 years, one mentioned that he’s ridden over 100,000 miles! Now THAT’s impressive!

Tomorrow we start “for real.” I’m gonna put this page up, so you know I’m off and running. I’m feeling good and looking forward to riding.  Will finish this page tomorrow and add the pictures….. with the meetings and all, no time to do it now. Sorry.