For the third year in a row, Trisha and I tackled the 100 mile Reach the Beach bike ride on a tandem. It has become an annual tradition to ride with Mary and James and be our inaugural ride of the season.
Normally we do at least some training but it was literally our first real ride of the year. None of us had done the bike training we had hoped for but besides some issues with the heat everyone did really well. Trisha's line: "The hard parts were still there and tough but they seemed shorter than previous years." Yep, my girl just keeps getting stronger!
This year was by far the warmest with Oregon experiencing a heat wave. James' bike computer was reading 100 degrees on some parts of the ride including the heat coming off the road. We drove out the night before to drop off the cars and let the kids have some fun beach time with Grandpa and experience a rare time on the Oregon coast when it is warm and not windy.
The flat sections this year were devoid of the normal head wind which I think really helped us to have more strength in our legs for the last stretch of flat before hitting the beach to finish. The food at the aid stations was good with the watermelon at the Amity station my favorite. They do need to work on having better cookies :-) Supplemented with some great cold Cokes at mile 35 we were good to go.
We did have some nasty wind heading into the coastal pass but once we were in the forest it was much cooler and almost no wind and our traditional "discussions" about speed on some of the harder uphills
We did stop at all the aid stations ensuring to fuel and hydrate with an average bike speed of close to 16 miles per hour and around 6.5 hours of riding time. No flats as well...wahoo! Some sunburn in weird places but you live and learn :-) Speaking of weird...I saw Leif, an ultra runner, out on the course on a unicycle...ouch and crazy!
I am really happy with how my quads held up after a relatively hard week of 50 miles of running. Kickin' that training in for the PCT 50 miler!
We once again stayed at the Craftsman Bed and Breakfast in Pacific City with Mike and Laura as our excellent hosts. If you are in Pacific City, stay at their place.
An evening soaking in the hot tub with dinner at the Bistro catching up with new and old friends was how we ended a great day. Sunday morning was lazy with a light run and then a great Banana Foster French toast breakfast at the B&B and then the drive back to Portland. Some year maybe bike back?
I would highly recommend this ride for people wanting to try out a longer organized ride. There are several different distance options (110, 100, 80, 55, 26) and all have the glorious downhill at the coastal range through the Suislaw National Forest to be spit out on the coastal flats. No better biking than burning down a hill at almost 40 miles an hour through coastal rain forest following a beautiful river as it races down to the ocean :-)
Come join us next year! We have our hotel booked already :-)
- western states
- catalyst challenge
- tourist run