Day 0 – Portland airport to Reedsport

June 9, 2008

Today we picked up Ian and Brian from the Portland airport and drove down to Reedsport for the great kick-off to the ride. First, however, we had to figure out a way to get all 5 of us plus all the gear into the van, which as yesterday’s report indicated, wasn’t exactly a piece of cake. In addition to the two new gents plus their bikes, we added two large duffel bags, one more laptop, a large backpack, and Brian’s hard shell bike case. Hmm. The latter was one we hadn’t planned for. After much hemming and hawing, and some rejiggering of the van’s now-formidable contents, we managed to get everything in, albeit with bags on laps and various accoutrements sticking out just about everywhere. However, to make matters even better, the machine actually functioned, handling its duties exceedingly well despite the amount of weight (which, we are certain, now exceeds the recommended safe levels). In any case, we reached Reedsport at about 5 PM, unloaded at the Anchor Bay Inn (odd place but the beds are nice), and drove to the Pacific to do the rear wheel dip. To get to the water, we had to snake our way through a state park, and on the way we were stopped by an Umpqua Lighthouse State Park cop driving an ATV (complete with red-and-blue flashing lights — on top of the ATV!!). Turns out dad was doing 43 mph in a zone where we were legally allowed to 12.5 mph. Turns out the fine was $421, but of course dad saved our bacon by talking our way out of this fine by pointing out that we were clueless Midwesterners about to embark on this absurd quest. In any case, the officer was an exceptionally nice guy and let us go with a warning.

Another half mile later, and we were at the parking lot for the beach. Unloaded the bikes and began the hike to the Pacific, which was a good 300 yards across fine sand. Now, bear in mind that there were other people on the beach and that we consisted of 4 guys carrying ROAD BIKES down to the surf. After getting some strange looks flashed our way, we made it to the waves, took off the shoes/socks and waded in ankle-deep. Point number 1: the Pacific is freaking cold. Point number 2: we took shots as the sun was going down, so the photos look like a bunch of fence posts holding bicycles in the waves. Some photoshopping appears to be in the future.

The ride officially began Sunday evening circa 6 PM, as we started from the state park lot next to the beach. Did 13 miles, past Reedsport and onto Little Smith River Road. We were obviously psyched as we easily averaged 18 or 19 mph. So the ride was begun, although Monday was the true start of the trip, as we were slotted to do a full ride to Eugene.

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