Day 20 July 7, 2001
Aberdeen, WA to Astoria,
15.13 average speed
5:21.38 travel time
1283.15 total trek miles
Our final day in Washington State was a quick one, or at least it
seemed that way. Jake's rear wheel has been giving him some problems,
so we decided to switch it with Rocky's to see if that might solve
the problem. Well, it didn't. Rocky broke a spoke, so as a team
it was the third consecutive day that a spoke broke on a wheel.
Fortunately, the problems were with the same wheel each day, so
replacing that wheel was the solution.
The spoke broke five miles into the ride on the rolling hills outside
of Aberdeen. We called ahead to Astoria, where a bike shop prepared
to help us out once we arrived. Our only problem was that the bike
shop closed at 6pm so we needed to go the 80 miles rather fast.
We couldn't afford any major problems or set backs. We were blessed
and we made it by 4 o'clock.
The ride itself was difficult. Our morning was full of 500-600 foot
climbs followed by 500-600 foot descents. Translated into car language,
this means that we went through the rolling hills of Southwestern
Washington. During past days we never averaged 15mph on hills, so
our average speed indicates just how hard we were pushing it in
order to arrive at the Astoria bike shop in time.
Our lunch stop was only a quick one on the side of the road. Afterwards
we rode hard for two hours experiencing all sorts of winds. We passed
through, Raymond (The oyster capital of the world) and South Bend
(A great place to raise a family and a fine place to retire). As
you can tell the city slogans stuck with us. Before passing over
the Columbia River into Oregon we had a nice 13 mile climb aided
by a very pleasant tailwind. The wind pushed us along as we cruised
to the top to see the gigantic Columbia River down the hill from
us. Nobody on the team ever imagined the Columbia to be so massive.
It looked more like a bay than a river!
The last part of our ride was over the four mile long Columbia Bridge
into Astoria, Oregon. Bicyclists are allowed on the bridge, but
I wouldn't recommend it as a nice joy ride. The bridge was probably
one of the most dangerous times we have had on the ride. The shoulder
was about one foot wide, and we had a huge sidewind pushing us into
the direction of the passing traffic. I think each one of us feared
for our lives, especially when we had to dodge a plastic child seat
(who throws a child seat out the window on a bridge?) laying in
our narrow path.
We made it though, safe and sound to the Mortenson's house where
a gracious meal was prepared for our devouring. Bye, Washington,
I don't think you will ever see the five of us again, on bikes,
unsupported, with no other company!