Day 2 started early in the morning, just before dawn -I think- when a plump drop of water hit my nose. It was raining.
Anne-Chloe, bless her 100% in Outdoors Education little heart, got out of the tent and pulled on the rainfly.
We got a bit more sleep, but since we did want to get an early start, we eventually crawled out of sleeping bags to find a rainy, cool -almost cold-, and misty morning.
Dressed, in full gear, ie our STP jackets from a few years back, we headed out to breakfast.
Why the old jackets, rather than this year's? Because they were easier to spot, there were less of 'em than of the 2012 variety. We'll wear our 2012's next year, probably. Oh, I didn't mention we're planning on freaking DOING THIS AGAIN? Fingers crossed, with AC this time.
Breakfast, and then we headed out. The rain had stopped, but it was a cool misty morning, not too bad for biking, all things considered. AC and Greta took care of breaking camp etc.
So off we went. This section of the ride is called "rollers", so ups and downs. There was one bad hill at Vader, and again, I was able to bike up it, I didn't have to get off the bike and push.
More worrisome, however, were dh's knees. They were starting to really bother him.
Lunch stop at Lexington. It was much earlier than we expected to be there. We were making seriously good time. We'd averaged over 13.3 mph on day 1, so we were pretty confident going into day 2 that we could finish at a reasonable time.
Saw some more cool jerseys at the Lexington stop. The Iron Maiden one was dh's and my favourite.
Onwards to Kelso, and The Big Bridge.
The way it works? They collate riders on one end, and let traffic by. Then they stop traffic and let a whole wave of riders go past.
Dh took a photo while we were waiting for our turn to cross. I'll put up a post with all the photos as soon as I'm done with all this.
As usual on an incline, dh and Perry got ahead of me. I went at my own uphill pace, but almost got in a minor wreck when a guy ahead of me to the right slooooooooooowed down to take photos of the view from the top, and the guy behind him swerved towards me to avoid hitting the idiot.
Zipped down off the bridge. We were in Oregon, Rainer Oregon to be precise!
50 or so miles to go!
And on we went. It was mainly uphill this whole way, and dh's knees were in pain. Plus there was a guy who randomly passed people, cut them off, etc. A lot of us complained about him, he almost hit Perry a few times, and I think he was the cause of an accident that took out a small group of people.
It was about then that we encountered a woman, STOOPID, who would be paralleling us the rest of the way into Portland. I think I saw her almost get killed at least 3 times. More on her later, but I'll say now that considering how utterly stupid she was, I'm surprised she managed to avoid being creamed.
Perry and I got away ahead for the St Helens food stop. Dh was not doing well at all, and while we waiting for him, we saw a spectacular face plant. The guy was ok aside from road rash, but damn, that was scary. Dh managed to avoid the aftermath, and we all went to sit in the sun, finally warm after a cool morning, and get some food.
At that rest stop, we saw a kid from the Velodrome, and a kid from the Velodrome who is also at AC's school.
Greta and AC met us there, and dh took some more Motrin, and debated if he could finish or not. His knees were pretty much done in for, and he wasn't sure he could finish the final thirty or so miles. He decided to continue so on we went, keeping closer together at this point.
Portland city limits, which comes about 15 miles before the end of the ride! Which is extremely frustrating, but we could taste the finish line, even dh.
We crossed over the St John's bridge. That was pretty damn spectacular.
We meandered our way through Portland streets then. The gal whom I mentioned above? OMG so fucking STOOPID. She'd scream STOP! at cyclists who were going through intersections because a car was waiting. Um... we have a green, ie right of way, STOOPID? And she'd stop randomly for traffic, confusing the other cyclists and the drivers. It was pretty awful, and we sped up big time to get ahead of her, which we did.
Then Perry fell again. Oh, no biggie, he was trying to do a track stand at a red light, failed, and couldn't unclip fast enough. Down he went, I had to right him, bike and all, and she caught up with us, and was with us all the way to the end.
Until the last intersection. STOOPID, who'd been slamming on her brakes and screaming STOP at intersections when cyclists had the right of way? Sped through a red light when we didn't, and caused a minor fender bender between two cars on the perpendicular street. AS I said. STOOPID. By then I was SO pissed with her, I thought about giving her number to the ride refs, but in the end, I didn't.
Because, yay, finish line! We went through. AC and Greta were there, but for some reason, they'd taken my SLR with them -I did not know this- , they did not know how to use it, and were attempting to take photos with that. Needless to say, there are no photos of us from the finish line. More on that in a bit.
But finished we were! Got our finisher badges, got out of the way, and I hugged my little brown boyo and started to cry. I was so so freaking proud of him. He did it, all by himself, all spindly-legged 11 years of him.
A moment of extreme bitterness. Right before we rode in, a dad came in with his 7 year old on a cushy custom recumbant-trail-a-bike with headrest and five point harness. She had a sign that said, "I'm Leia, and I'm 7!" or some such, and the announcers made a fuss over her finishing. And didn't notice Perry. What was worse? The course photographers were making a fuss over her too, and thus there are no photos of him at the finish line, neither ours nor theirs. I'm a bit bitter. Yeah, the kid did the whole ride, and that's quite impressive. However, she didn't bike it solo, and she was also featured in the bicycle club newsletter the following month, interview and all. I'd not care, except for the no photos of Perry thing. Bitter, bitchy me, sorry.
Also, rereading myself I realise I complained a lot about people... but there were SO many nice ones. So many people who shouted encouragement at Perry, congratulating him. Me too, but I always feel uncomfortable when I get that... Like Oh Look, Good Fatty Biking! People who let us pass politely, or more often, passed us carefully, were safe riders, and who made the ride better. They were there, but alas, somehow, it's always the jerks that you remember.
It was so exciting to be done! It felt good. Dh's knees had just
held out, though he was in a lot of pain.
We got our bikes on our SUV, and drove over to the Westside to go for dinner. Perry had ever intention of eating a yard of Coneys
at Sonic. He actually managed to eat 1.5 of them, I think he could have gotten to two if he'd skipped the tater tots!
So we'd done it. Seattle to Portland in a weekend, dh, Perry, and I. It was a good fun ride, we were all in easy shape to do it, give or take dh's knees, and we made good time. And more importantly, for dh and I, it was something rather special we did with Perry. He's a fun kid to be around, and we had a good time training with him. For all he was a high-strung, wailing infant, he's not a whiner, and indeed is a strong, focused, and competent athlete. I'm very proud of him, but also very impressed by him.
Because I had a lab the next morning at 7:30, and Linnea had math camp, we drove back to Seattle that evening. It had been a long day, but I think it was taking all of us a long time to come down from our adrenaline high! Even AC was bubbly and in a great mood. I hope that the excitement will be enough to encourage her to bike it with us next year.
A few stats:
Day 1: Time on bike: 8 hours 52 minutes, Average speed: 13.3 mph, Distance: 119.7 miles
Day 2: Time on bike: 6 hours 16 minutes, Average speed: 13.3 mph, Distance: 84.45 miles.
Total training for the ride: 666 miles! Heh.