My latest adventure down the west coast is now over. Posts are listed by date on the right. In a departure from previous years, I am not asking for donations. Instead, I will be making a sizable donation on behalf of my father-in-law, father, and all the wonderful people who have supported me over the years.

My rides will continue to make a difference in the lives of families fighting lung disease and to increase awareness about the importance of lung health. Follow along … Together; we are improving life, one breath at a time.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Ride The West - Day 0, Astoria Oregon

How quickly time goes by.  A little over two years ago, I came to Astoria to start my ride across America.  Anxiety and apprehension filled the air as that trip started.  Could I do it, would I make friends?  Well, as many of you know, I completed the journey, raised over $17,000 for the American Lung Association, and made many life long friendships,

Since then things have been busy.  My son Michael graduated college and started graduate school at the University of Washington School of Social Work.  Karen and I found our dream home and moved to Idlewhile atop Braddock Mountain in western Maryland.  My daughter Leah successfully transitioned to a new school and town and has made lots of friends. I was lucky to take time for a few great bike trips with many of my cross country riding mates along the Natchez Trace and Blue Ridge Parkway.  Time passed quickly.

Tomorrow I embark on 1,400 mile journey down the west coast.  Many things are the same as my cross country trek ... the starting point, the great ABB support crew (Mike & Barbara Munk, Karen Bauer, and Jim Benson), and so many of the riders.  What is different ... the comfort level, the friendships, and the confidence.  This trip will be all about the people, the camaraderie, and the sites. Thanks for following along,  Onto the show ...

Geldings (Jeff, Mark, Me, Joe)  Reunite ... Susan Joins the Fun
After a long day of flying, Jeff and Aila picked Joe and I up at the Portland airport.  Jeff and Aila flew out over a week ago for a fun week driving up the coast from San Francisco. They scouted a lot of the roads and sites we will see the first two weeks.  A few hours later we were back in Astoria.  It was so great to see and catch up with all the 2010 alumni.  There are 13 alumni plus two wives.  Many new friends to meet as well.  We have 20 folks in total riding the whole trip and another 13 joining us for one or two legs.

After a nice dinner on the wharf, we all went to bed early in anticipation of bike assembly and orientation.  That's what we did today.  My bike went together quickly without any issues.  My hard travel case keeps my bike safe and secure.  Unfortunately, Toronto Mark was not so lucky.  Something must have been dropped on his bike box in transit, as both his wheels were damaged.  He will borrow two ABB loaners until he can have a new set shipped later this week. The afternoon saw lunch with old friends and meeting new faces (Tracey from Indiana, Russ from North Carolina, and Herb from Santa Fe, and Charlene from Alexandria VA).  An informative bike safety check and orientation gave us the chance to meet all the other riders and freshen up on the rules of the road and daily routine.

Rick, Me, Barb, and John Under the Bridge

Mike Helps Us Double Check Our Bikes

The bike is all set.  The route is all set (see it here).  The accommodations are all set ... I room with Jeff and Joe most of the trip (click on their names to follow their blogs), but will share a double with Leo when the hotels can not set up a roll away (11 of the 23 days).

My family and friends are all set to follow (thanks for all the great phone calls and emails). Pig is all set and is following along with moral support.  Tomorrow we head south ... 65 miles and 3,150 feet of climbing as we follow the coast to Tillamook.. Lots of memories and pictures await.

Bridge From Washington State Into Astoria

A Great Riverfront Town

View Looking Down on Astoria (I Took This One on 2010)
Pig is One of My Biggest Supporters (Thanks Cathy)
Good Night Moon ... Good Night Astoria ... Good Night Geldings ... Good Night Leo ... Good Night Dad ... Good Night Koltz's ... Good Night Lambert's ... Good Night Pig

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