OK today is shakedown and start-the-tour-day out of Astoria which is the official launch spot for the TransAmerica tour. I woke up early and left Liz and Curtis' place to go to Whole Foods for breakfast and use the wifi to try to catch up on previous days of blogging. Then I started searching for transportation back from Astoria to Portland where I would be picking up Sandrine the next day. Couldn't get comfortable with what I found so decided to take the 100 mile trip by car with the bike and ride the trail starting at Astoria so as not to turn it into a 200 mile day if I couldn't find transportation back.
View en route. Sorry for the lousy exposure but it gives you a flavor for the views we will be seeing along the way:
This is the view into the bay at Astoria from one of the Bumble Bee Tuna processing piers:
The official start is at the Marine Museum where I met Michele and Eric who had just finished the TransAm going east to west.
As we were talking Michele started shouting "Graham, Graham!!!" as an older man walked up to greet them. They had ridden with Graham earlier on in the trip for a week and then Graham had decided to head off to Dodge City. Graham had arrived the previous day and was enjoying Astoria and deciding where he was off to next. All were very enthusiastic cycling tourists. They were being picked up by their friend Drew (on right) to go back to Portland.
Then it was off down the trail to the town of Seaside where I did the traditional dip of the wheel in the Pacific. It was quite a trek over dunes to the beach to the water. In these shots you will see my new front panniers that I purchased from North St. Bags (love them).
In getting back and forth to the beach considerable sand coated the drive train. Fortunately my photographer had a house close by where I could hose it off quickly (never could do that if I was using any of the traditional bike lubes as the sand would have just stuck to the chain and cassette). Yes this is a teaser. I have had a few enquiries as to why I am not using lube and how all of this works - I'll get to that soon.
A substantial part of my trip today has been on the original Lewis and Clark Trail.
Back to Astoria in the evening:
I returned back to Portland to join my next Warm Showers hosts at 9:30pm, Mary Lou and Les, a retired nurse practitioner and physician at their beautiful place overlooking the valley. It is so awesome to be with these folks as they are avid cycling tourists and just light up to describe their TransAm trip which they have repeated in certain sections. We poured over the Adventure Cycling maps and they gave a play-by-play accounting of the high-lights of the journey. Their advice is invaluable. We stayed up talking until well after midnight. I will get a photo of them to share before we leave.
Sunday July 13th
Sandrine arrives at 12:45 pm but I don't get to the airport until 1:20 as I had a scare with the cats at the house. I was tweeking my bike in the garage while Mary Lou and Les were at the market and I notice the door to the garage open a "cats-width" and then I couldn't find them inside. On no here I am with these wonderful people letting me stay at their house and I've lost their cats. So under high anxiety I leave for the airport and get lost in the spaghetti of roads here in Portland even with my GPS. All is OK as I find out later - the cats are allowed outside
Sandrine in baggage claim with bike in background:
There is just something about touring cyclists we are a stylin' bunch. Remember my bag man photos? How about this?
A Hello Kitty back bag that she took everywhere with us as we shopped for a few more things.
Mary Lou and Les along with Nick at Universal Cycles convinced us that we needed to get thorn resistant tubes for our tires so we ran around town to locate them and installed them. They are almost as thick at the tires themselves and weigh a ton. Sandrine also bought a Garmin Edge 810. Guess she doesn't trust my map reading skills.
Mary Lou and Les were at a wedding so in an exhausted yet hungry state we were off to Seasons and Regions restaurant for a delicious meal as recommended by Mary Lou and Les.
After that Mary Lou went with me to drop of the rental car at the airport - such hospitality - and then back to the house for more route discussions this time including Sandrine.
So as I write it is now Monday morning and SHOWTIME. Mary Lou is going to drive us out of the city and get us on our way - location unknown at his time - so we can join up with the Trans America Trail and be on our way.
NEXT TIME: I hope to show to give you a tour of my tricked out bike (DID I TELL YOU I LOVE MY BIKE?? IT IS GOOD TO HAVE GREAT EQUIPMENT!!!!) and put this no-lube discussion to bed as well as latest tour photos and info.
I will blog as I have internet service but if no service will try to keep current in a MS Word document so this may mean multiple blogs will be uploaded in a single day. So please stay tuned and don't be afraid to become a "follower" so you get email notifications of when I do update. Hope you're enjoying this as much as I am.
And finally please remember the cause - soldiersbestfriend.org I will go into this in more detail and perhaps some level of haranguing later on, but for now here is the link .... and an additional link for donation SoldiersBestFriend - Donate Please :):) As you donate please enter my name in the appropriate spot so the folks at SBF can tally the results to encourage me and let me know WE are getting something done TOGETHER. Oh and I would be a lot more comfortable if you use the "honorarium" option vs the "memoriam" option - you'll understand when you click on the link:):). I will be inserting this call-to-action in all of my blogs so I hope you don't mind.