|At the Starting line, ready to get going!|
Some people are crazy enough to do the whole ride in one day, but Joel and I know better than that. We decided to ride 150 miles the first day and 54 miles the second day. With so many miles to go, we started at 5:15am.
We pretty much rode all day, stopping now and then at the various sponsored pit stops, which were just crawling with people in spandex and funny little velcro shoes. It was interesting to see what kind of equipment and clothing people decided to bring with them for the big ride. I mostly just stuffed my face and used the restrooms as these stops.
Jackie and Chris came along as our pit crew and they really helped us out! They got food for us, cheered us on, filled up our water bottles and kept us going strong. As the morning turned into the afternoon, the temperature grew. We spent most of the day riding through temperatures in the mid 90's, which is pretty darn hot when you have no shade to hide out in! We just kept peddling and counting down the miles.
|How Joel managed to take a selfie while climbing the hill all the riders call "the hill from hell", I just don't know.|
What a stud.
Honestly, I thought I would take more pictures along the ride, but it rarely crossed my mind. I was thinking more about shifting gears, drinking water, eating more food or energy blocks, and keeping my pace. By the late afternoon, Joel and I had slowed way down. I think the heat and the long day just got to us. We were tired and worn out, but still had another 50 miles to go before the end of the day. We could have just called it and had our pit crew drive us to our hotel. But we didn't. Because Jackie saved the day. She jumped on a third bike we had brought along and rode the last 50 miles with us. I don't know what it was about having her along, but we perked right up and clocked in speeds up to 25 miles an hour - which is pretty darn good for us. Chris drove the car and meet us every five miles to allow for water bottle refiles and quick bites to eat, keeping our energy and spirits high. With such amazing support, we rode the rest of our 150 mile goal and made it to our hotel in Longview. 16 hours after leaving the starting line, we called it a day.
We were back on the route the next morning by 9:00am and were really excited to finish this thing! We crossed into Oregon on the Lewis and Clark Bridge and started the last leg of the trip. I am not sure what was tougher, sitting on my bike seat with my sore buns or feeling that first drop of rain. That's right, day one was spent in hot, hot heat and day two was spent in rain. We took it five miles at a time and rested when we needed to. Before we knew it, we were just outside of Portland, about to cross the St. Johns Bridge.
Once we crossed over the bridge, we had just ten miles go to the finish line. I started to let myself feel the excitement of finishing. I was going to make it! I was going to finish! Riding through the middle of downtown Portland and watching for cars, traffic lights, turns and other bikers kept me distracted from all the pain my body was feeling. Before I knew it, there it was. The finish line!
We did it! It was over! I am a bit embarrassed to say it, but I just cried. I was proud of myself and my husband for accomplishing such a big goal. I was thrilled it was over. I was so happy to get off my bike. The emotions just kind of hit me and I cried. We were Finishers of the 35th Annual Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic.
I know that I said it over and over on Facebook and Instagram, but seriously - THANK YOU to everyone who sent kind words of encouragement and support. A giant THANK YOU to Chris and Jackie for your unconditional and tireless support. Joel and I would have never finished without you!!