There was a cyclist with a BOB trailer modified to carry his surf board.
Left with everyone: Janelle, Bill, Sara, Ted, Jamie and Heidi with the special addition of Marissa, whom we met at the campground last night. Marissa was doing a loop from Portland (a Lewis and Clark student) to Tamarook to Astoria and back to Portland. She was a new cycle tourist using borrowed equipment and discovering that her bike did not really have adequate gearing for touring. She was doing phenominally well considering.
We lost Sara while taking a shortcut. Sara's shortcut cut off more than ours, so while we waited for her, she was ahead of us with Ted and Janelle, who had missed the shortcut entirely.
Silver Lining: Bill and Heidi got to get coffee while we waited and Marissa caught up!
At an overlook, we commented on all the imaginary wildlife and creatures we saw swimming in the ocean and fog, while Bill talked on the phone.
Heidi rang Bill's bell to notify him we were ready to move on, but he didn't take her seriously, so I rang it a gazzilion times. It was very inordinately funny at the time.
This section of the route included a tunnel.
There was a button to press which lit up a warning sign to drivers that there were cyclists in the tunnel, but fortunately no cars came along while we were in the tunnel. I don't know if Marissa shared the same luck. She doesn't have to be in Astoria until Friday, while we are due in by today at 3pm.
Along a really busy section of 101, Jamie said her knee really hurt and asked to stop. So we did. Right there. To multi-task we pulled out lunch stuff. This also gave Marissa a chance to catch up. She sat on the road with us against the guard rail and ate an apple, then proceded to toss the core behind her. What are the odds a car would be coming up the on-ramp that happened to be on the other side of the guardrail?
A southbound Pacific Coast cyclist stopped and commented on our lovely choice of lunch stops and it turned out he, Jamie and Heidi have mutual friends.
We decided to regroup in Seaside with Janelle, Ted and Sara. While trying to find each other, Janelle mistakingly thought we were in Astoria, because she was reading a text from her husband and thought it was from me. This led to some funny conversation as we tried to sort out who was where. Seaside's boardwalk proved a challenge to negotiate, given all the bodies, dogs and small children darting out. It was amazingly busy, considering it was quite cool and foggy.
When we moved back to the streets we tried to take the lane since traffic was moving so slowly, but it was difficult to hold nine cyclists together. We held together until the last big hill identified on the map, when we divided into 2 groups.
The directions included things like this: At water treatment facility, continue straight across private road. I did manage to take the correct roads and was followed by Janelle, Ted and Marissa for most of the way. Bill, Heidi, Sara and jamie went the wrong way, but ended up in the right place anyways. They asked to regroup in a certain place, but since they were not on the route, we missed them. A little comedy of errors.
Finally, we were able to regroup at the Astoria City border. Our little Peleton worked its way toward the finish line, but one of the roads we were supposed to take was barricaded for the first 50 feet. No Problem. We just detoured through a parking lot to get around it. A DQ parking lot. NO WE ARE NOT STOPPING, EVEN IF WE HAVE GONE 30 MILES!!! Next up? A really steep hill. Oh, cruel fate. One of the steepest hills on the route. Two of us had to walk it. Fortunately it was pretty short. Up and around, twist and turn, through center of the city and... Violà, the Maritime Museum!
None of our peeps were there, but a tourist recognized what must be an important moment in history and took several pictures of the group, promising to email them to Jamie and me.
Bob, Dwight, Elliott, Rachel and Aaron showed up shortly and then there was a giant photo op.
It didn't seem right that Bill had no flats this trip, so I thought I might fix that.
Ted, Janelle and Bill ran off to ship their bikes, we said goodbye to Marissa and everyone else made for the restaurant, were we made merry until quite late and drank champagne, compliments of my parents.
Last order of business was to drive Jamie back to Bay City to retrieve Sara's car. It was fun to drive back part of the route.
What an exceptional adventure. This was the best group ever and we were very lucky to have such great support from our families. I will miss you all until we hopefully meet again.
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