The idea of riding point-to-point across four states for 1000 km or 624 miles really fascinated me and I signed up for this ride right away. My $185 was well spent, which included a required membership in the Oregon Randonneurs, abundant dinners and breakfasts, and motels for the three nights. Plus, it would be a good shakedown ride for the PBP 1200 km coming up in August 2007. My boyfriend Bob even volunteered to fly me there and pick me up at the finish in his beautiful little Beech Bonanza. We decided to leave on Wednesday, June 27, as the next two days were going to be rainy with low clouds, no fun in a small plane crossing mountains. Our flight was quick with a nice tailwind— 2h45m beats driving and even the airlines when you factor in wait-in-line time. For the next two days, I rode only about 15 miles of the beginning of the 1000 km and we did some sightseeing, cherry picking and wine tasting around Mt. Hood and the Gorge.
Day 1: 400 km, Troutdale, Or to Connell, WA. At the 5:00 a.m. start, I met up with Linda Bott, my friend and fellow double century specialist. We would ride most of the 1000k together. We began with about 200 miles of riding east along the Columbia River Gorge, then north for 50 miles to finish in the farmlands of Connell. Beautiful waterfalls and rock formations, not to mention the giant river. The route was rolling hills with a light tailwind all day, and the scenery went from forest to farmland. We finished at 12:40 a.m. at our first overnight control, the M and M Motel. Dinner was ready for us when we came in, and breakfast was served the next morning, thanks to the dedicated volunteers from the Oregon Randonneurs club. I did something new for me— after shower and dinner, I took an ice bath for my legs right before bed and dosed up on ibuprofen (600mg). I got into bed at 1:30 a.m. with my ear plugs in and my black eye shades on—we were going to be sharing a room and I didn't want to be woken up later on.
Day 2: 300 km, Connell, WA to Kellogg, ID. Three hours of sleep. I knew I'd be very slow the next day after a 250 miler, so I was up at 4:30, ate breakfast, and was off by 5:15 a.m., with plenty of daylight already. We crossed the "scablands" of the Wastunka Coolee, where a gigantic flood carved the land into canyons and mesas. Many rolling hills, more farm country. But off in the northeast, in Idaho, the Rocky Mountains and forests waited. A highlight of today's journey was the Coeur d'Alene bike trail, 53 miles that followed the lakeshore and took us all the way into our second overnight in Kellogg. More dinner and breakfast as before, same ice bath to reduce swelling and inflammation.… it helped quite a lot. We got in fairly early on day two, at 10:15 p.m., but somehow I still only got about four hours of sleep. After the ice bath, I got hungry again and got up to eat a second dinner. Much to my surprise, there was a rider going out at 12:30 a.m. who had gotten in earlier and said he'd had his 3 hours of sleep and was ready to go. I saw a few more riders arrive, then finally went to sleep for the second time at about 1:00 a.m.
Day 3: 300 km, Kellogg, WA to Whitefish, MT (finish!) I was up at 4:30 a.m. without the alarm clock and on the road again by 5:00 a.m. This is getting to be a habit! We were on the same bike trail for a few more miles before leaving it to climb the two big passes of the day. Not long after starting, I encountered a moose on the trail, and she wasn't inclined to move along. I hung back and sang her a really stupid song about a moose on a bicycle, which worked like a charm to hurry her along. I kept rolling along and up the first climb, Dobson Pass, five miles and 1500 ft, piece of cake in my 27 x 28. At the bottom, I met up with Linda again and saw moose #2. Happily it was chewing grass in a swamp, not walking the road. We climbed the second big pass of the day, Thompson Pass, and had a great descent on the other side. Thanks to riding the Devil Mountain, Muholland, Central Coast, and Terrible Two California double centuries, none of the climbs here seemed very long or hard. But there were many shorter climbs and descents, setting a pattern for the rest of the day. When we topped the hill that overlooked Flathead Lake, we had a magnificent view of the gateway to Glacier Park and 40 more miles of big rollers to the finish. Linda and I finished at 12:15 a.m., on Tuesday, July 3rd, for a total time of 67h15m.
The next day, I met up with Bob and we rented a car to take the scenic drive around Glacier National Park on the "Going to the Sun" highway. I was still pretty sore and tired, so a car trip was just fine with me. Then on Wednesday, July 4th, I felt good enough to hike five miles in to see Avalanche Lake … and take my last "ice bath" in its chilly waters! We saw a huge fireworks show that night in Whitefish, and flew home Thursday, taking about five hours to get back to Concord. By Friday, July 6, my legs stopped being sore and I rode 30 easy miles. PBP, here I come.