Monday, May 17, 2010

Reaching the Beach

I was more than a little nervous about getting on a bicycle and riding it 55 miles over the coastal range. I am quite glad that someone agreed to do it with me so that I could not back out. I did some training to get ready and held tight to the wild and crazy idea that I just might pull it off. Oh wow, was that an incredibly fun day and I would do it again right this very minute if somebody let me.

The whole excursion involved over 3000 cyclists and was put on by the American Lung Association. The route started in Portland (for those wanting to cycle 100 miles) and ended in Pacific City, Oregon. I hitched up my padded bicycle shorts and headed out at about 9:15am or so from Amity, Oregon and rode west through Sheridan (past the prison) Grand Ronde (past the indian reservation) up through the Siuslaw National Forest, and down the most exhilarating curving hills ever at 35 miles per hr? Not sure. I was going FAST. I wasn't worried since I had a helmet on. No problem. It was a gorgeous day and between the mountains and the farmland and forests and the ocean, the views and terrain were amazing.

After about 30 miles, my legs started to hurt like a bastard. Not muscle hurt so much as lactic acid crampy hurting. It went away about 30 minutes after I finished the ride. The old timers said it was because I did not have enough electrolytes and that I can "power through it." I'll work on that.

My favorite parts of the ride involved trying to keep up with the Lazy Tarantulas, pedaling past little waterfalls, and my friend yelling at cars in traffic to ask how fast we were going, according to their speedometers. OH YEAH and seeing the guy in the green spandex body suit who did the whole 100 mile ride on a unicycle.

The whole ride was to benefit the lung association, and it sure did feel nice to breathe all that clean air on my way down the road. My two inspirations for the ride were quitting smoking last year and going to my cousin's funeral after she died from a very fast moving lung cancer called mesothelioma. Bad business. She was just 22. The lung association is all over that problem, along with general air quality efforts. They are awesome. If you are so inclined, kick a few bucks towards my fundraising (it's not too late!) by making a tax deductible donation to the American Lung Association here.