Sunday morning, July 15th 2007. 6:30am outside Portland OR. I come across a lone cyclist in the industrial part of the city.
“Nice mornin for a ride isn’t it?” I asked as I pulled along side.
“Yup. I just got done riding the STP and I’m going to ride home today.”
“Congratulations. Where you riding too?”
“(I couldn’t make out the town name)”
“Is that far?”
“About 50 miles or so. Are you riding home?”
“… You’re one of those Crazies, aren’t ya?!”
This is not the first time this phrase has been uttered in my direction. And I think everyone at some point in their life, has or will do something considered crazy. My most recent bout with sanity was an annual event in the NW called the Seattle To Portland. A 202 mile, point to point organized ride that people can do one of two ways. Either a ‘sane’ 2 day, back to back century with an over night stay mid way with 6500 cyclists or a ‘committed’ all out assault to tackle the 202 miles in one day with 2500 other cyclists. However, a third option reveled itself to me at the bottom of a PBR and I decided to try a “crazy” 2 day back to back double century that (as far as I know) saw one rider.
Without going into too much detail about the whole weekend…Day one I got a late start at 6, because trying to be at the start line at 445am sounded nuts to me! I saw a 3 person/bike pile up in front of me around mile 65. I was able to ride with all my friends that I knew were riding that day and made a few along the way. The last stretch into Portland is the most dismal part of the whole ride but the welcoming committee in P town made me forget about it as I crossed the finish line. And by ‘welcoming committee’ I mean the New Belgium beer garden located 20 yards from the finish line. I managed to arrive in P town somewhere around 6pm but didn’t find my bed till midnight. Don’t ask me why it took so long to find bed. To know me is to know why.
530 am came around all too quick. But I was up, on my Prestige, and riding solo by 6. I saw my first 2 day rider some time around 8. I stopped waving to the 6500 cyclists heading for P town by 9. Instead I became content to examine their quizzical looks as I went the wrong way. Around mile 280 I passed my last STP’r and continued the rest of my ride home alone. Mile 320 my ipod died and I came to the conclusion that I would not finish my ride in a quiet and beer-less house. I sent out a text message to my friends informing them of my plan to stop at Hooverville for a celebratory pint when I rolled into town. With this in mind I put my head down, ignored the head wind, disregarded my legs, paid no attention to my gooch and focused on finishing.
At 6 pm I rolled up to the front of the bar and almost broke down from exhaustion. Lucky for me my friends were waiting with Pizza, a pint of Manny’s, and an amazing Little Debbie Swiss Cake Roll Cake as my reward. (you’d have to see the cake to believe it)
Three days later I’m still tired and haven’t been back on my bike. My legs are feeling better and the yoga ball I sit on at work has been a welcome relief from my Sella Italia saddle. I’m glad I did it. Will I do it again? Doubtful. I might be crazy, but I’m not dumb.
My final stats…
20 hours of saddle time
396 miles (I didn’t use the official start line)
19.9 mph average