Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 4

Total Miles: 73 (The most miles I had ever biked- ever)

Today we woke up at 7am and Kiana and I took forever to figure out how to re-pack our tent. Once that was accomplished, we loaded up our bikes and enjoyed some hot oatmeal for breakfast (it was gross). We started the morning off with some really hard climbs. I was in the front for a while, but then moved to the back. Jackie was really struggling so Julia and her hitch hiked again. We waited a while for them to figure out what they were going to do. We kept going and had to cross this HUGE bridge, the “Columbia River Bridge.” I learned that I HATE bridges.

We were on our way to lunch and I saw this huge hill coming up. I didn’t think I was going to make it, so Alex offered a push. He tried to push me and he ended up wiping out into the street. The cars slammed on their breaks and I jumped off my bike. We dragged him out of the street and recovered his bike. Everyone stopped to ask if he was ok, I felt really bad, especially since we never even went up the hill…oops.

We finally made it to lunch! I was starving! We ate lunch with Jackie and Julia at a grocery store. We had a rotisserie chicken that was so good. We ate a lot, which made it hard to bike afterwards because we were tired. Jackie and Julia hitch hiked to Portland, where we would meet them for the night at a hostel. Alex and I were biking on flat stretch for a good time so we decided to stop at a gas station. I went inside to ask to use the restroom and the guy responded in a BRITISH ACCENT!! (He was cute, that is why it was a big deal.) (He made a joke too, but I can’t remember it now). While Alex and I waited, Kiana showed up, and we stuffed our faces with some Nutella. 

We weighed ourselves on a truck ramp scale thing and we weighed 1,750lbs! (It was all the Nutella). We made it to the outskirts of Portland, after stopping a million times for Jacob to eat (he is seriously always hungry). We ended up on a side walk (not meant for bikes) and we had to navigate carefully down the ramp. It was dark by time we got to the Portland Hostel. I was really hungry, tired, and cranky (which means I was the most unpleasant person to be around). The hostel was awesome! Jackie made us cookies and were so yummy and Julia made us dinner. We all sat around a big table and ate. You could tell we were all exhausted though. I showered (best shower of my life) and then went to bed. I had to lay my sleeping bag and stuff out because we had gotten soaked in our “waterproof” tent. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Day 3

Total Miles= 55
                Today was our first day of actual riding. Successful? Depends on what your definition of success is. We cleaned up the hostel, loaded our bikes for the first time, and headed off towards Astoria.

It was all going really well, we had just dipped our tires in the Ocean and were on our way again, but then l I crashed… We were on a walking path, and I was staring up at this enormous highway. I was trying to figure out how cars got on the highway. I finally found the ramp, which was now behind me, so while looking back I didn’t see the big wooden post. I ran into it head on and flipped over my handle bars. My bike got stuck on the wooden post, but I skidded forward. After lying there for a few minutes, totally embarrassed, thinking about crying, I got up. Julia and David helped me fix my bike, which was a little bent, and the pedestrians made sure I was ok (even more embarrassing). The group kept going, so Julia and I rode to catch up. It was really hard to ride because we were on these old train tracks and my tires kept getting stuck in between the boards. I was terrified of falling again. Luckily, we made it the grocery store where the others were buying lunch. We bought a lot of food and carried it with us to a nearby park where we ate.
                The day seemed to take forever. We were moving really slow and had to stop every 10 minutes to make sure the whole group was there.  Luckily, it was a nice day. We were starting to get worried though because we had a lot of miles to still cover, but were running out of sunlight. Jacob was getting worried that we were going to have to sleep off the road somewhere. We were also worried about getting hungry. We stopped all the time to eat. We ate soup straight out of the can and Bryson chugged some mustard (that was gross). Julia and Jackie had to hitch hike, Jackie wasn’t feeling very well. So they went ahead and found a nice park in Clatskanie
Alex, Kiana, and I went ahead of the group. We were going really fast on this flat piece of land, after climbing mountains (hills) all day, which was really nice. Jacob got mad at us though because we never stopped, but we thankfully made it to Clatskanie and before dark for that matter!
We made it to the park where Julia and Jackie were. Jackie was already sleeping. We made dinner (the same soup that we were enjoying cold on the side of the road) and then got ready for bed. I was really dirty, so I cleaned off with my face wipes, which kind of helped. Julia, Kiana, and I all slept in the same tent, since Jackie had fallen asleep in Julia’s. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day Two

Total Miles = 30
We woke up today and were all really excited for our first training ride. We were going to go see the “big rock.” The girls made breakfast (I was beginning to think the boys had never cooked before). Jackie and I mainly made the pancakes, Kiana, well she tried to help. Once breakfast was over, we cleaned the kitchen and geared up for our first ride. It was a little gloomy outside so I layered up!

                We began our ride through town practicing the drop system (something we really weren’t that good at). Basically, whenever we turn someone has to say “drop right” or “drop left.” If the person was really far behind someone would have to wait on the corner for the other person to show up before they could turn. Also we signaled whenever we were stopping, to avoid a collision. I would say we were about 20 minutes into our ride when Peter’s bike broke. He had stripped his pedal- I don’t really know what that means, but it was bad because he could barely bike. We finally made it to the big rock! It was really cool. Turns out we were at “Canon Beach.”

                Some of the others were struggling, so Jacob let a few of us go exploring on our own. Kiana, Alex, Peter, and I went biking through “Ecola Park.” It was the most beautiful forest I have ever seen. We also got to go flying downhill which was AWESOME. We started to head back to the hostel and ended up in a cute little town. We stopped for a quick break and bought some delicious fudge. Once we were headed back to the hostel it started pouring rain, we could barely see in front of us. It was really gross because the person in front of you would spray mud up, so I had mud all over me and in my mouth. However, it was a lot of fun. I kept myself entertained by dancing to the beat of “Cupid’s shuffle.” We stopped really quick at the grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner. Kiana and I learned that shopping with Jacob was going to be difficult; he liked to go for the sales, whereas we just liked to buy the food.

             After a total of 30 exhausting miles of biking we feasted. That night we made pasta, chicken, and salad for dinner. No one really ate the salad, but the pasta and chicken was delicious. We also bought some cake, but once it made it back to the hostel it looked kinda gross (I didn't have any). David finally made it to Oregon so we all got to know him a little better through a game of charades (He laughed a lot so he wasn't very good at it). We talked about our day with “Rose, Bud, Thorn,” which is a good thing that happened, something you are looking forward to, and a bad thing that happened. We took warm showers that night and were off to bed early, eager to start our first actual ride. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day One

           Today was the first time I was going to meet the other bikers. I have only talked to Bryson and Kiana a little because I found them on Facebook. My parents and Kristi took me to the Seaside International Hostel where the others would be. The van pulled in and 8 people piled out. I introduced myself and met Kiana, Jackie, Julia (the leader), Alex, Peter, Bryson, Alex (Asian Alex), and Jacob (the other leader). We were all there except David who was going to meet us the next day.
    I was really excited to finally be in Oregon so I told my parents they could leave. We said our goodbyes and then moved into the hostel (Hostels are AWESOME). We walked to a pizza place down the road and got to know each other a little. We refrained from sharing our whole life stories since we knew we were going to be together for the next 55 days. After pizza we went down to the ocean and took our first group picture.

On our walk back from pizza we ran into a lady (a crazy lady). She told us how dangerous the highways were and how hilly It was. She advised us to not go biking. I don’t think she understood that the only way out of Oregon, for us anyways, was via bike. We put together our bikes. I had already assembled mine with the help of my dad, so I mainly just watched the others. It was pretty funny to see how little we all knew about our bikes. It made me feel a little better.

    That night we played a few games in the hostel, a little Pictionary action, which eventually just turned into charades. It was a great ice breaker and I learned that none of us were really that artistic. I enjoyed the first night in the hostel, but I would soon learn that I was really going to miss that hostel.