Day 7 – Baker City to Ontario, Oregon

84 miles, 2096 feet climbed, 13.8 miles on the Interstate

Today we crossed over into the Mountain Time Zone. Still in Oregon, but just barely. Tomorrow we’ll cross the Snake River into Idaho on the way to Boise and our first rest day on Tuesday. This small part of Oregon is more a part of the Boise area and therefore has chosen to synchronize clocks with Idaho.

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Day 6 – John Day to Baker City, Oregon

81 miles, 4931 feet climbed

After yesterday’s long ride, many admitted to having tired legs, me among them. Today promised about 500 feet less climbing but still a lot, spread over three mountain passes, over only 45 fewer miles. We’re starting to seesome injuries that may keep those riders in the vans for a few days, but no ride-ending events. However one rider did have to abandon the tour due to a death in his family.

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Day 5 – Prineville to John Day, Oregon

116 miles, 5417 ft climbed

Today is the second longest ride on the tour. We started early, loading luggage at 6:30 am. The first climb was a moderate grade of 1 to 2 percent, with 3 to 4 percent for the last mile. The second climb began gradually as well, but finished in the 5 to 7 percent range. Both downhills were fast, with light traffic. After the second descent, the road was ever so slightly up into John Day. Everyone made it in, though one rider did have 3 flats.

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Day 4 – Madras to Prineville, Oregon

47 miles, 1535 feet climbed.

Today was a recovery, take it easy, day sandwiched between yesterday’s 5k+ feet of climbing and tomorrow’s 116 miles with, oh, by the way, more climbing. As I explained yesterday, this day used to be longer. To keep it interesting and keep us off of highway 26–the direct route between the two towns–staff rerouted us to the west of 26 on a southward trajectory and then eventually east into Prineville.The traffic was generally light but we did have our share of gravel trucks to deal with near the end on a stretch where the shoulders were narrowest. Those drivers were polite for the most part.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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