Seattle to Portland 2007

Saturday and Sunday was the 2007 Seattle to Portland Classic Ride. I rode it in 2006.

This year I really wanted to push myself and see what kind of distance and speed I could maintain on such a long course with minimal hills, supported rest stops and plenty of food and water along the way.

I rode the entire 205 mile course in one day and have the patch to prove it.

Mile 0 – 5:36 am, I departed from the University parking lot in Seattle, WA.

Mile 50 – 8:35 am, I pull into the “Lunch” stop for 2-day riders. I grab a bagel, banana and energy drink, stuff it down my gut and get in line to wait for an available porta-potty. This was my longest planned stop at 20 minutes.

Mile 100 – 11:45 am, I pulled into Centralia College, filled my water bottle, grabbed a creamsicle to eat it on the road. I was there for less than 2 minutes. In retrospect, I should have stuck around for a few minutes to grab some free food.

At this point, I felt pretty damn good about reaching 100 miles in a personal record time of just 6 hours and 10 minutes. My legs still felt strong but getting only a bit stiff, the sun weather was perfect, everything was going excellent.

Mile 108 – 12:15 pm(ish?) A near miss. I had started chatting with a fellow from Seattle that was riding a really nice triathlon bike so I started drafting off of him to rest a little bit and make some good time through some farm area. But as we were coming up to a corner, I could see an oncoming motorcycle that was approaching a bit too quickly for my comfort. I tried to yell out a warning to the the other rider but the motorcyclist slammed his brakes, we slammed ours, he skidded over the line and into the middle of our lane causing Kai and the motorcycle to collide side-by-side.

Crunch.

Somehow, the worst injury was actually obtained by the motorcyclist’s ankle. Kai’s chainring bit right into the foot and caused a series of cuts that looks like a shark bite. Kai’s bike was not so lucky. His large chain-ring was taco’ed and his carbon fibre rear wheel was just crunched with broken spokes. Ruined.

A lady that lived on the corner quickly came out with a first aid kit, about a dozen riders behind use saw the accident and we were able to contact the organizers for a support vehicle to pick up Kai and his ruined beauty. So sad.

I could only hang around for about 15 minutes to make sure everyone was OK and help was on the way before returning to my quest for speed and distance.

After this brush with disaster, I felt a bit uneasy and had a dramatic drop in energy. Perhaps it was my nerves getting the best of me, but my right knee was starting to bug me even though I’m not the one to hit anything. So, the next 80 miles or so were quite an ordeal.

I did make a couple more stops along the way to dowse myself with water since the temperature started to climb and the sun scorching exposed skin. Power-Ade, Mountain Dew and Gels started to become regular in my consumption as solid foods started becoming less and less appealing.

As I started slowing down, the groups of riders started thinning over the distance of Highway 30, my energy waned and the pain in my knee came and went in waves as I figured out that it was slow and hard spinning that irritated it.

I eventually got another peak of energy and was finally able to start gunning my way through the last 20 miles into Portland.

Mile 205 – 7:15 pm. I roll across the finish line with many strangers cheering me and all finishers for our accomplishment. I’ve not felt so fulfilled about a ride in such a long time.

A quick trip via the Max to my apartment, Endurox into my gut and a most awesome feeling shower later, I was out for the next 10 hours.

Sunday: Ouch. I was going to try to do some more riding and meet up with some friends but my quads were so sore and my knee so cranky that I couldn’t get up off the toilet without propping myself up on the water-tank.

I then spent the rest of the day trying to rehydrate, stretch and ice my knees.

I can’t wait to hit the road again. 🙂

-Tomas

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