Monday, June 30, 2008

 

Hardin to Ashland, MT....84 miles


We did near 3,000 feet of climbing today and including a 1,300 foot climb after 60 miles of riding. Whew! Not to mention the heat...it was 106F when I arrived in Ashland at 2:00 PM. Early on we passed Custard's Last Stand Battlefield. We were in Indian Country for most of the day and are spending the night in a dump motel here in Ashland. I'm ready for some flat stuff.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

 

Billings to Hardin, MT...52 miles

Wheels up this morning at 7:30. We wanted to get to Harding and see Custard’s Last Stand re-enactment but the event was down 2 miles of crappy dirt road so we took a pass....in case your interested the Indians won again today. So with plenty of time on my hands and being it was Sunday afternoon I watched a Disney Move on TV and took a nap.



Weather remains perfect. After a week or so without flats we had 4 today. Also we climbed about 2,000 feet which didn't seem hard so we must be getting in shape. The 80 mile day tomorrow should tell the tail.

Friday, June 27, 2008

 

Columbus to Billings, MT....50 miles


Billings is largest city in Montana with a population of 92,000 people. Our ride over here from Columbus was sweet. We did have to tack back and forth on the route to avoid traffic when we neared the city which in typical Adventure Cycling fashion added 10 miles to the ride.
I've noticed that the closer a saloon is to motel in Montana the larger the room numbers on the doors of the motel.
Tonight we were treated to dinner by Rich's friend Brian who is a Special Agent for the Bureau of Land Management. Nice guy.
We're off the road tomorrow.

 

Big Timber to Columbus, MT...46 miles


I feel great...got 8 hours of sleep last night for the first time in many days. PCM is back.
For some insane reason the Rocks were on the road this morning at 8:00 AM going to what was described as self-service laundry that just happened to have a motel and truck stop on-sight. Conditions were perfect for a fast ride; slight downhill, tail wind and cool temperatures. By 11:30 AM, I was eating Chinese in Columbus with a whole afternoon to kill.. We did stop at Prairie Dog Town–a state park on route– and watched and were watched by the locals who kept barking their disapproval of our presents. My camera batteries ran out so I had to steal this picture off Google.
I also missed a great shot of a couple baby skunks but didn’t hang around for mom to show up.
Columbus and our motel turned out to be a pleasant surprised. I had a interstate truck stop pictured but it turned out to be a 1950's main street motel with a gas pumps out front and laundry in the back. Kind of old fashion but very clean....we did need the laundry.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

 

On the road with the other folks........





 

Bozeman to Three Timbers, MT...64 miles


Up too damn early for the climb over Bozeman Pass. Everyone was shocked...could it be that easy? YES! Bicyclist need to change the name to Wimp Pass. Over all, even with the 1,500 foot climb over Wimp Pass we lost about 1,700 in elevation today. Great ride, mostly down hill next to the Yellow Stone River. Big Timber, so named by the Indians, is a nice little town even if the liquor store is too far of a walk from the motel.Tomorrow we say goodbye to the Rockies and hello to the flat, brown stuff.

 

Three Forks to Bozeman, MT 47 miles




Easy, mostly flat ride today. We stopped at the head waters of the Missouri River where this picture was taken. Lewis & Clark accomplished one of their missions when they reached this area. A guy could pee in the river here and it would be a 2,300 mile trip to the Mississippi River....but who would be so crude to do such a thing?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

 

Why didn't I read the fine print?

To maximize profits...er keep prices low, Tour Daddy Bicycle Touring Company may have to confiscate bicycles to help pay for your trip. Not to worry, most of you cheapskates don't have bikes worth a shit anyway. In addition, you maybe asked to participate in the Tour Daddy's mobile advertising program. Our modern looking, cardboard signs will add a little class to your ride....and no bitching about those signs slowing you down.

Monday, June 23, 2008

 

Helena to Three Forks, Montana...70 miles


click to make larger


Sunday, June 22, 2008

 

It's a crappy job......


Sometimes the stories get a little long or repetitive on XC-2008 and Tour Daddy has to get out the BS shovel.

Rich's wife Mary joined us for a few days. Since he is my roommate I have my own room. Good thing with this damn cough.

 

Great Falls to Helena, MT...2 days 98 miles


This section of the trip took two days; it's 28 miles from Great Falls to Cascade where we spent last night and 70 miles from there into Helena.
The ride to Cascade was mostly flat and follows a frontage road next to I-15 and both roads go up the Missouri River. I-15 is more like a busy secondary road than an interstate highway. We nearly had the frontage road to ourselves and rode for miles side by side. This is the first time on the trip that I have not been to the area; it would have been a shame to miss this part of Montana. Did you know the river here has 7,000 to 8,000 trout per mile? I cooked pasta for the group in Cascade...they ate every scrap.
In 70 miles from Cascade to Helena is rolling with a 3 mile climb at about mile 50. The river, rock formations, wild animals, people floating the river made time fly on this section of the ride. I've still got what we're calling the Company Crud but about a million cough drops a day keep it under control. I got 5 hours sleep last night.

Friday, June 20, 2008

 

2nd letter to my hotel friends in Charleston

This is my 2nd trip report for my friends in the hotel business in Charleston.
So far my bike buddies and I have been almost a thousand miles. I’m writing this email from Great Falls, Montana. Since my last report the bicycle riding has been a little like riding back and forth across the Copper River Bridge–lots of up the hill and down the hill. On route, we passed over Lolo Pass. This requires riding a steady up hill for about 60 miles, then we did the downhill into Missoula Montana. Since Missoula is surrounded by mountains, you don’t have to be to smart to figure out that the climbing ain’t over when you get there. Sure enough, a few days later we rode over the Continental Divide at Rogers Pass which is about 90 miles west of Missoula. So far we have been in Oregon, Washington State, Idaho and into Montana. We’ll be in Montana for several weeks, it’s the 4th largest state but only has a population about the size of Charleston. In the last few days we’ve stayed in Ovanda, MT population 61, Lincoln, MT population 1,100 and Augusta, MT population 284. Lots of open space around here.
The weather has turn from COLD to warm. We start the morning with a wind breaker on and finish the ride in short sleeves. I sweat like a pig going up hill and freezing to dead going down hill but don’t worry I’ll be complaining about the heat in a few days.
Hope you guys are all doing fine. Reports from the Bike Taxi business have been good but we can always use more so keep giving out those yellow business cards

 

Augusta to Great Falls, Montana 58 miles and rest day


I took this picture of my friends Ron and Cal at the Bunk House. None of our riding days are really that hard-- most cycle clubs have rides about as hard each week-end-- but the day-in day-out riding does take it's toll. Plus we have the common cold crud floating around and most of us have been sick with it--all that sweating like a dog going up hill and freezing on the down hill...don't you know.
The ride from Augusta was mostly flat and the weather was perfect. I bought a new tire pump and am trying to catch up on my sleep on the off-day.

 

Lincoln to Augusta, MT 57 miles


This is wonderful country but not a lot of folks. Skulls are common on the wall and there are plenty of The best Gun Control is a steady Hand signs.
For the first time on this trip I rode alone, mostly because I'm still feeling bad and just wanted it to be over. The ride over Rogers Pass was fairly easy but the rollers on the other side of the pass were a labor. You scream down into a little river valley and have to climb the mile or more steep hill on the other side. There were about 3 or 4 of these little beauties to keep us awake.
Augusta is a great little Montana town...they have real cowboys and everyone was small town friendly. We stayed at the Bunkhouse Inn which has about 10 rooms and two bathrooms. Since I was first into town I took the room across from one of the bathrooms and told everyone that the bathroom was exclusive to my room...no luck.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

 

Breakfast..on the road

video

 

Ovanda to Lincoln, Montana..28 miles


There is a K through 8th grade school in Ovanda and next year they will have one girl in the 8th grade. The kids here go 45 miles one-way to high school. No cell phones but good WIFI. The lady at Trixie’s Café last night did a great job waiting on us and taking care of her other duties. No screwing around just get the job done...a real pro. This morning she was working the other café in town which she owns.
The ride up to Lincoln was just that...mostly up as we get near to Rogers Pass. Several of the group took a detour to add some miles to this short day. I kept the ride as short as possible since I’ve come down with a cold and feel like hell. I can’t believe I survived 18 months with little Jack and not get a cold but come down with one the first time in years when I really need the energy. RATS! Tonight I take a magic pill and try to get some sleep.
We’re staying at the same motel here in Lincoln that Bill and Tom stayed at last August when we were in the area. Last year I drove here from Great Falls it took about 1 ½ hours. What I remember about the drive is that it’s ugly from a bicycling point of view. Lots of up and down even after we cross the pass.
The picture is the view we had from the B&B/Dude Ranch we stayed at near Ovanda.

 

Missoula to Ovanda, Montana..59 miles.


I've lost track of the days...This is a joke picture I took to kid Rich about; it's part of his Tour Daddy Bike Trip brochure I'm putting together. This picture showing the great accommodations we have on this trip.
We said goodbye to Tom who was getting ready for photography school and rode over to Adventure Cycling HQ. I purchased a $30 dollar shirt for $75 dollars that says Bike Montana and got my free water bottle for being a member and making the visit to HQ. AC took a group picture of our group for their historic records.
The weather was perfect, some where in the seventies, clear and a tail wind. We did some light climbing but don’t get the hard stuff until the day after tomorrow. Due to our group size and the accommodations were at two different places last night. I'm staying at Lake Upsata B&B which is 6 miles down a dirt road and worth every inch of the trip. Rich say the road out to the B&B is horrible but when I put an Alabama perspective on it becomes.."Maybe later in the summer we'll call the road commissioner and have him send out the road patrol." Case your a Yankee a road patrol is called a road grader up your way.

 

Tom Robertson


Thanks again to Tom for being a great host. Here is a night photo that Tom Robertson took. This picture will help you understand why he is getting in the photography business--you can make a small fortune in this business, you just need a large fortune to get started.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

 

Locha Lodge, Idaho to Missoula, Montana 59 miles..up and down hill.

Locha Lodge, Idaho to Missoula, Montana 59 miles...up-down hill
When I told the group we would have 8 miles of easy climbing and only 4 miles of the steep stuff apparently some of them didn’t believe me. Bruce left a dark-thirty and was in the tour guide business in Missoula by the time we arrived. When we reached Lolo Pass after those first 12 miles there were some happy folks. Rich got a bunch of us organized for a photo shot which after awhile started to feel like a wedding. If you have 10 people with cameras all wanting group shots, single shots and small group shots the smiles can start to get a little forced–I think the wait around for pics was harder than the climb but managed to smile on....and on....and on.
Then we did the 35 mile downhill to the town of Lolo and got there just in time for much needed taco lunch.
Rich and I are staying with my friend Tom Robertson in Missoula. Rich also knows Tom from when they did an Adventure Cycling event together in 2002. It was great fun to hang around with a couple bike-heads. We had plenty of bike-war stories to tell. Rich is staying on the couch in Tom’s bike room which has bikes mounted on the wall and a espresso machine– heaven on earth for bike guys. Later, Rich told me he counted 13 bikes in that room. Still later, I spot a couple in the side yard and Tom said he had a couple more in the shed and his wife Ruth has 2 with her in San Diego where she is attending Rolfing School. That’s 19 more or less.
Rich, Tom and I took Judy to dinner for her birthday. We ate at a nice Italian restaurant . The next night we had sushi. Both were good meals after our time in the wilderness.
Looking around 360 degree in Missoula you see nothing but mountains. It does not take masters degree in physics to figure out there going to be some climbs ahead. A rest day will do us all good particularly since there is a bug loose in the group causing some bad colds. Our route raps sound like there taking place in a TB ward

I know I look like hell in this picture and that these post could use some editing but I'm too darn tired to give a shit

 

Day 13 Lowell to Locha Lodge, Idaho 68 miles..up hill


Day 13 Lowell to Lochsa Lodge, Idaho, 68 miles.
We got an early start and did the nice steady climb on the road next to the Locha River for 68 miles. It didn’t seem that hard when we were on the road but everyone was whipped and in bed early. It’s a scenic ride up to the Lolo pass but after a 90 miles it’s starting to get a little old. We were entertained by the river rafts headed down river and Ron actually saw one girl go over-board and helped her get up the bank where she hitched a ride down river to her buddies. Also, there is the Historic Ranger Station on route which I visited on my last trip with Bill and Tom–lots of old pictures of rangers and horses.
It’s Rafting season at Lochsa Lodge. Apparently you can get drunk as hell and still ride the raft. There are grown men running around up here with hula skirts and fake black breasts. Hopefully, the mosquitos will run them inside after dark...mosquitos the helpful pest.
Judy, my riding buddy, seems to be getting stronger. Keith and I have been sticking with her for morale support. The signs around here can be a little troubling like when you see one that says Lolo Pass 75 miles and you know that means it's uphill for the next 75 miles.

 

Day 12 Winchester to Lowell, Idaho 75 miles


Day 12 Winchester to Lowell, ID 75 miles.
Another long day but with only 2,100 feet of climbing. The rocks [ Keith, Judy and myself] were on the road at 7:00 AM. The breakfast spot we picked on route was closed so we did 43 miles before stopping for lunch at Kamiah, including a nice 10 mile down hill. Kamiah is near the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. They say property is all about location, location, location. If this is true the Indians really got screwed cause there ain’t to much in them there hills.
Lowell is location on the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River and our cabin at the 3 Fork Inn has the river as an extension of the front lawn. This place is first class in the world of river rat camps, really not bad. They even had a veggie burger in the café.
I’ve mentioned before that our riding friend Cal has been getting cookies mailed to him at different motels on the route. Keith came up with a plan to get his friends to send cookies. He send an email to them and said, "I want to thanks everyone who has sent cookies." Now he is getting emails from friends asking for his schedule so they can send goodies. We’ll all be fat as pigs before this is over.
WIFI and cell service that works have been hard to find on this part of the trip so my calls home and blog updates have been sporadic.

 

Day 11 Lewiston to Winchester, Idaho, 42 miles

The miles may seem low today but the climbing was a bear...4,000 feet. The weather was cold, when we left Lewiston it was 49 F and the high in Winchester was predicted to be 49F. Where are the woollies when you need them. The ride out of Lewiston along the snake river was scenic then the next 18 miles was black sky and green hills. After a brunch in Culdesac we started the never ending climb to Winchester. Time after time we thought we had reached the top but it didn’t come until after we has given up. At 40 degree temperatures and light rain to the mix and you have an ass breaker of a day.
We have bunk house accommodation tonight in Winchester but this place is much nicer than the dump Bill, Tom and I stayed at a few years ago. Last time I was here must have been early July rodeo time because I saw a billboard advertising it for July 5 of 6th. Last time I was here the rodeo was on and it was hot as hell going up the mountain.
Tonight the group had chicken and I had canned tuna. We also had rice and fresh corn. Our best friend Cal has people sending him cookies so most nights we have homemade cookies at happy hour–a nice treat.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

 

Pomeroy, WA to Lewiston, Idaho 32 miles and Rest day


I took this picture down the road a bit in Oregon. Normally, as long as there are trees, bushes, back alleys, deserts or tin cans I'd never visit one of these guys but this one came highly recommended by one of my riding buddies. It turned out to be clean and best of all fume free. I had to have a picture.
On this trip we have three kinds of riders, 1. Rocks: slow on the up hill but we'll run your ass down on the down hill, 2. Rabbits: good all around riders, not the best going up or going down and 3. Feathers: little ass folks who float up the hills without effort. We had only one feather, Hal, and he is just riding the first segment and is going home today. Hal, at 69, is a great feather, so good we are renaming the classification to Bubbles. right now we have no bubbles, just Bubble want to Be's. It will be interesting to see who steps up.
Our ride over the hill from Pomeroy to Lewiston yesterday gave us a chance to practise our climbing which will come in handy the next few days. There were some negative comments about the accommodations here in Lewiston but tomorrow in Winchester this place will seem like the Hilton. Also, the phone service will be sketchy all the way to Missoula. I think it's going to be great fun.

 

Hotel update...



It's hard to get away from work. I promised Nike I'd stay in touch with my friends who work in the hotel business in Charleston. Here is copy of email I sent them:

Friends,
I hope all my friends, who work in the hotel business in Charleston, get to see this email.
As you know I’m traveling with 14 other people on a cross country bicycle trip from Seaside, Oregon to St. Augustine, Florida; 4,700 miles. Is this crazy or what? Most of my riding friends are from up north and sound funny but I’ll have them talking southern before we reach Mississippi; it might be safer this way.
I’m rooming with a Cancuk from Canada, every time I see the police I tell them he is with us but they haven’t sent him home yet.....this is a big joke with us.
We are staying in cheap motels...nothing like the places in downtown Charleston. These places maybe a little scary from the outside but so far they have clean sheets, soap and warm water; good things to have after a long ride. So far we have been going to bed early by 9:00 PM. Going to sleep is kind of like getting hit in the head with a hammer; one minute your awake and the next minute it’s 8 AM.
This first week we’ve been about 450 miles. Most of it in Oregon and Washington State and following the Columbia River East. This is the route Lewis and Clark followed a few hundred years ago; I think some of our motels were built then. The winds real blow in the Columbia River Gorge, 30 mph is common, and we were lucky because it was at our back. I could tell you how nice and cool the weather is here but someone might take a poke at me when I get home. The bad news......IT AIN’T FLAT. Its been awhile since I’ve had to climb a hill other than the 12 foot hill going up State Street from the Market. The Bike Taxi business has given me a chance to stay in good shape for riding.......hauling 500 plus pounds on a 12 foot climb is about as much work as climbing some of these hills out here.
I miss you guys and look foreward to seeing you...hopefully when it’s cooler
jim

Monday, June 09, 2008

 

Day 9 Wally Wally to Pomeroy, WA 67 miles


Great day of riding through Eastern Washington. This part of Washington is grain country, with fields of plowed under winter wheat and new crops of summer grain. We did about 2,800 feet of climbing mostly on big rolling hills.
Pomeroy is a one road community which is making an effort to stay alive. There were high school graduation activities going on in town so our waitress was on alone and had to handle waiting on tables, tending bar and running the cash register. A few in our party were distressed with the situation but fell into line as there was nothing to be done. Might as well have a drink and relax. It’s like we’re riding across country at 10 mph and end up stressed because it takes 40 minutes to get dinner? Go figure. I was very relaxed by the time we got back to the motel which by the way is another bike rider special. Know what I mean?

 

Day 8 Umatilla, OR to Wally Wally, WA 57 miles


Day 8 Umatilla, OR to Walla Walla, WA 57 miles
An early, 7:30AM start. Then another wind ride today as we were pushed on up the Columbia, River to just pass the Washington State line where we hung a right and rode on into town.
Umatilla is another one of those back country towns going to seed. Among other things the older population has headed south. "Hey, Ma you wanted hang around Umatilla a few more weeks or take off for Florida early this year?" That’s a no brainier. It’s not just the cold weather around here, you have the wind.....the gas station across from the motel has their signs out front tied down with rope and the grocery down the block has the door on the windy side locked. Once your door gets jerked off the hinges with a 40 mph wind you look for ways not to use that door.
About the only negative in traveling with this big of group is that when 15 people show up for dinner it can it can take a little long to order, eat and pay for your grub. Last night a bunch of us went to a Italian Restaurant who it turns out had a new cook. After a long wait several folks left before their food arrived. Bet they’ll learn to chill before we reach Florida?

 

Day 7 Biggs to Umatilla, OR 90 miles

Day 7 Bigg, to Umatilla, OR 90 miles.
Today we rode from the motel in Biggs to the very next motel on our route. Both motels are in Oregon but we did the 88 of the 90 miles in Washington. We also enjoyed the Columbia River Cruise Control–30 mph east wind– the whole trip. Even with 2400 feet of climbing it was easier than the 65 miles we did 2 days ago. Even with a long lunch in Pendelton, WA we made it in 9 hours. By the way, in the Patty Girl tradition, I tipped the waitress double when she called me honey.
We've been going to bed early, around 9:00 PM and it's kind of like someone hit you in the head with a hammer.

 

Day 6 [47 miles Hood River to Biggs, OR]


XC Day 6 [47 miles Hood River to Biggs, OR]
Today started with a long climb on the Historic Columbia River Highway and then continuing on the Columbia River Trail, which is a nice paved bike path with over-looks and a couple tunnel through the mountains. After two days of over-looks I’m about over-looked out; one more, "What a beautiful view" and I’ll throw up. We probably did 40 hair pin turns today. The annual rainfall amounts drops about one inch per mile between The Dalles and Biggs, OR so that this morning we were in wooded area’s and by the time we arrived at the motel the hills are bare. The only trees in Biggs are scrub stuff on the run-offs.
A little shower this PM and a few more flats from riding in I-84 for about 10 miles. Biggs is really just a big truck stop off the interstate. A few dumps called motels, fast food joints and the city-center aka Pilot Fuel Truck Stop.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

 
XC Day 5 [65 miles Portland to Hood River, OR]
Today was eat up with scenic wonder as we ran down the Columbia River Valley, on the Historic Columbia River Highway. Plenty of water falls, over looks and some great bike trails. It’s a nice climb out of Hood River area up the hill to the Columbia River over-looks. Sweating like a dog on the up hill and freezing to death on the down hill.
At some point in the day we passed everyone and everyone passed us; an indication that everyone is taking time to enjoy the trip. The flat tires continue to mount up, I added 2 to the list today and we had to send the van back for Bruce and Beth who ran out of tires and tubes. On the final 10 mile run into Hood River we used the east-bound- Hood River- cruise- control–the 30-40 mph west wind that makes this town the wind sailing capitol of the world.
My riding buddies did fine.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

 

Day 4...57 miles from Rainer to Portland.


Picture of Judy and Keith on St. John's Bridge going into Portland. It rained the first 25 miles today. I had on my upscale rain boots –plastic bags– which didn’t work to well when they rapped around the bike pedal. The group had five flat tires today, guess we’re officially on the way. We got off route and lost in Portland and don’t believe anyone made it without some problems, particularly finding the motel.
We have a vet in the group named Fred. I helped him get his bike fixed today. Pay back is hell, Scooter now has his own on-call vet.
I was talking to Rich tonight and it turns out he stayed at the Natchez Trace Motel when he rode the Trace. This is the same dump Uncle Bill, Jannie and I stayed at on our trip to Missoula from Fayette, Alabama. The good thing about this motel is that after staying there everything else is an improvement. I loved the broke down John Deere lawnmower with four flat tires sitting out front in 8 inch high grass.

 

XC 2008 day 3...50 miles Astoria to Rainer, OR

We had a couple big climbs today and I felt comfortable doing them. It’s the first time I’ve been on a real hill in several years. It was kind of scary doing the 30 mph plus down hill runs. I tried to give Judy some moral support on the climbs and staying with her kept me in a comfortable zone all day. I’ve also bonded with a Asian guy named Keith; his grandparents came from Japan and were fishermen in Washington State. What a crew we make, a Japanese American, from Seattle who can’t program a bike computer; a retired Army officer from New Jersey with a sign on her desk that says, "I’ve got a gun and I’ve got PMS, any questions?" and a bike taxi rider from SC.
We’re staying at the Budget Motel. When I saw the place it made me wish I had my piece but turned out to be just fine; hot water, clean sheets. We did a group cook-out with wild salmon as the main course.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

 

XC 2008 1st riding day...


Today we rode down to Seaside, OR for the traditional dip the bike wheel in the Pacific Ocean. I wasn’t about to drag my baby over 1/4 mile of sandy beach and did the dip my finger in the sea and bless the bike trick; much cleaner. We also did the group pictures–almost as bad as a wedding, only cheaper. My new friend Judy was having problems on the hills so we found a bike shop and got her a new cassette which has the lower gearing needed for touring. Had dinner at Lamp Lighter which serves Bosnian cuisine; not bad. It takes forever for 14 people to have dinner together and by the time we finished it was light out; a bunch of tired puppies.
After dinner tonight I meet a local kid who is in the process of buying a couple of bike taxis to run in Astoria. Nice kid. We took turns riding each other around in the cab shown in attached picture.

 

XC Arrival in Oregan..........


Continental Airlines did a good job–for awhile there I didn’t think I’d be able to say that again about any airline. Arrive Portland on schedule at 11:00 AM. Rich, the group leader, picked up several of us at the airport in the pickup truck, we are using to pull the mother ship–cargo trailer. I lucked into a jump seat in the back and thought they would have to use the jaws-of-life to get me out when we reached Astoria, OR. The Lamplighter motel we stayed at for the first couple nights is nicer than a flop house and about typical for XC ride budgets– the staff was first class.. I guess you could say it’s an Uncle Bill kind of place.
I’m rooming with Rich Gallo, the group leader –he needs to keep an eye on me--and Ron Winney. Ron is from Canada and even though I’ve reported him to the police several times he hasn’t been deported yet. So far, living on the road with an Italian from New York –shades of Patty Girl– and a Canuck has been great fun. Kind of like camp.
The happy hour and route rap–review of the next days ride– has given us all a chance to become friends. We’ve done a good job in this area. By the time I picked up my bike from Bikes and Beyond, finish the bikes assembly, had a group meeting and ate dinner it was 9:00 local time. I ran into the one and only bike taxi guy in Astoria, OR after dinner. We bonded, then took turns riding each other in the pedicab back to my motel. Lights out.

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