My ride is over, but the memories will last forever.

A life long dream fulfilled ... a great cause ... new friends ... amazing support

Thanks to everyone who helped make a difference!

I have maxed out the picture space on this blog. To see my postings for Day 42 (August 1st) onward click the link below:

GOTO Mark's Trek - NEW Daily BLOG (August 1st Onward)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 2 -- June 22nd -- St. Helens, OR to Welches, OR

Miles  Ridden: 74.8
Avg Speed: 15.7
Avg Heart Rate: 139 bpm
Climbing: 2,680 ft
Calories Burned: 4,105
Dave and I were up early again ... 5AM comes quick when you don't go to bed until 11:30.  I think I have a routine established, so I should hopefully get to bed a little earlier starting tomorrow.  We waited for most of the other riders to head out and hooked up with Toronto Mark (Weisbarth) and Jeff Douglas (Connecticut) as planned.  Another typical Oregon day ... cool temperatures in the 50's and no sun to be found.  We headed back out Route 30 toward Portland.  Mark continued his quest for the most flats with another one about 10 miles out of town.  We had to re-pass all the folks we had passed before the flat.  We are all amazed how quick and strong we are relative to the other riders (gloat ... there are of course a few folks cruising ahead of us, but we are in the top 10-20%.  Karen has repeatedly told me that it is not a race, and I agree, but it nice to see the results of training and 40,000+ miles over the last seven years.

Here is the route thanks to Jeff ... our stats were pretty much the same today, as we stayed together most of the day.

We finally headed off the busier roads as we approached Portland.  We crossed the St. Johns Bridge ... good place for a photo opportunity, but a little hairy riding on the elevated side walk. We started catching a lot of the early departure folks on and just after the bridge.  A couple good shots of my riding group and one of Ellen Call from Portland, Maine.  Ellen has been doing the Trek Across Maine for over 20 year ... great old riding jacket in the photo.  Following the first SAG stop we entered the Portland bike path system. 

Once we got out to the airport and got much more scenic and quiet.  Some neat river houses lined the Columbia river along the path.  We encountered our first detour ... the road crew was very helpful.  Nice flat riding continued to the second SAG at the Blue Lake Regional Park.  The ABB crew picked another great spot.

The gentle flat route gave way to some climbing as we started our approach to Sandy,OR and Mt. Hood.  I dropped back with Dave as Jeff and Mark pushed strongly ahead.  Dave and I must have hit every light within the first mile of the climb. The first glimpses of Mt. Hood began to appear.  Amazing ... and even better as we climbed closer.  The pictures don't do it justice.  We settled into a nice pace and finally came upon Mark and Jeff at a great clearing with views of the snow capped peak.  The snow line is very low and they ski almost year round.

Jeff Lazer from our ABB staff was on the road and joined up for a short while.  He is a very strong rider.  They dropped me again, but I caught them once more and we stopped for more pictures. 

We pushed through Sandy (the gateway to Mt. Hood) and stopped for a great lunch at Calamity Jane's.  Burgers (we are talking big) and milkshakes (again,we are talking big and thick) were the order of the day.  Dave's even had two eggs in it.  Several other folks stopped as well. A few hit the neighboring DQ.   

From there it was a quick 15 miles in only 50 minutes to the base of Mt. Hood and our hotel for the night ... The Resort at the Mountain.  Mark and Jeff dropped me on the climb, but I put in a screaming descent to catch up with them and ride into the resort.  The facility is very nice and much higher-end then most of our accommodations.  Jeff took a video of the approach.

A bunch of us got together and chipped in to buy Katie a new compact crank set for her "Maddy".  The better gear ratio will help her over the upcoming climbs.  After route wrap and a beer with the boys, we walked down the road for Chinese food.  A pint of Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey topped things off.  Tomorrow we climb early and long ... 3,000 feet over 15 miles to the top of Mt. Hood.  I expect to find my own rhythm and let Mark, Jeff, and Dave do the same.