Day 3, Welches to Madras, Oregon

80 miles, 5315 feet climbed

For the third day, I began the ride wearing leg warmers, arm warmers and a jacket. I shed the jacket towards the end of the day, only to be caught in a light rain for a couple of miles near Madras.

This ride has changed from past years. Previously we would stay at the Kah-Nee-Tah Indian Casino Resort. It recently closed in favor of a new Casino in Warm Springs, right on the highway. That meant the climb out of Warm Springs on Hwy 26 was on today’s menu, not tomorrow’s.

Continue reading “Day 3, Welches to Madras, Oregon”

Day 2 – St Helens to Welches, Oregon

76 miles, 3153 feet climbed

Today began as a part of the morning commute down to Portland. The shoulder on Hwy 30 was accommodating. We left the highway and crossed the Willamette River on the St John’s bridge. After our first SAG we made our way over to a series of bike paths near or on the Columbia River. At Troutdale, we headed south, climbing the bluff and then making our way over to Sandy and then to Welches via Hwy 26. Dinner and then breakfast where at the Whistle Stop, in two shifts due to its seating capacity.

Continue reading “Day 2 – St Helens to Welches, Oregon”

Day 1 – Astoria to St Helens, Oregon

81 miles, 4514 feet climbed

Today started out overcast and cool, with some condensed water on the pavement. I wore leg warmers, arm warmers and a my light jacket for the whole day. The sun didn’t make an appearance until I dropped off the last hill into the outskirts of St Helens.

This is the second year of a change of routing from that which we rode in 2004. (Stay tuned for more comparisons to 2004 as the ride progresses.) I recall liking the views of the Columbia River as we came down Highway 30 from Astoria. And at 69 miles, it was shorter and had only 2900 feet of climbing. But there was a lot more traffic, especially logging trucks than on this new route.

Continue reading “Day 1 – Astoria to St Helens, Oregon”

Days -1 and 0 – Astoria, Oregon

Yesterday morning (Saturday), I flew from Sacramento into Portland. The original plan was to take the Max light rail to Beaverton and then pick up a bus to Astoria. I would arrive in Astoria about 12:30. Instead I took a Lyft ride from the airport to Astoria and arrived about 3 hours earlier, shortly before I would have boarded the bus. By noon, I had my bike out of the box, assembled, and ready for inspection by the ABB mechanics.

Continue reading “Days -1 and 0 – Astoria, Oregon”

Getting Ready for the America North Ride

I’m making my final preparations for the America by Bicycle America North ride. We start riding on June 24 from Astoria, Oregon to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the starting point for last year’s East Coast ride. This is my second time on this route, the first being 15 years ago, in 2004. I’ve loaded my photos from that ride on my laptop in case the opportunity for some “then and now” comparisons present.

Karen and Judy are returning staff from last year’s East Ride. It appears that we have 38 riders going all the way to New Hampshire, and likely a few riding parts of the route.

Continue reading “Getting Ready for the America North Ride”

East Coast Postscript

Here, finally, is the postscript I promised. First off, some props to America by Bicycle for the new features they’ve added since my last ride with them 10 years ago.

GPS route files. During the Mississippi ride in 2008 one of the riders had a handheld GPS, probably meant for hikers, hunters and the like. Jeff, our ride leader gave him an advance look at the route sheets so that he could load the route into his GPS. Fast forward to today where GPS bike computers are readily available. I highly recommend them. Mine is an older Garmin 200, which doesn’t show street maps but does show the route as a line on the screen and can be made to beep 300 feet before each route cue (turn, point of interest, etc.).

Continue reading “East Coast Postscript”

Day 25 – Brunswick, GA to Jacksonville, FL

74 miles, 490 feet of climbing

It seems fair to say that every bit of climbing today was a bridge over either I-95 or one of the many rivers we crossed. Being the last day, some packed up there bikes and were gone by the evening. Others, including Melanie and I, stayed over night before departing. One rider was riding on to Fort Lauderdale, 300+ miles for crows. Continue reading “Day 25 – Brunswick, GA to Jacksonville, FL”

Day 23 – Rest day, Savannah, GA

Melanie arrived last night and we walked around downtown, grabbed beers and dessert.

This morning we headed out for an early breakfast and the walked the River Walk back to our hotel. Then to the airport to add me as a driver on her rental car. We spotted a Culver’s restaurant something I first encountered on the ABB North trip in 2004. I introduced her to frozen custard, Midwest style. Continue reading “Day 23 – Rest day, Savannah, GA”