My “Reach the Beach” century recap.

Saturday was the 2007 edition of “Reach the Beach“.
Sunday was my day of recovery, and shopping with Honey.
Monday is time to think back on the ride and make notes.

  • I chose the century route which started at Scholls Heights in Beaverton, and finished at Pacific City. The change to this new starting spot was ostensibly to reduce the route from 104 to 100, and to cut out a big climb at the start of the ride.
  • Parking at the school was non-existent. I needed to park in the residential neighborhood 7 blocks away. The area residents must have loved having their streets clogged by cars with bike racks all day long.
  • The changed route at the start substituted some busy highway with quiet forested roads, which was good. It also added much more climbing than in years past and more most everyone expected and seemed to slow peoples times.
  • The course didn’t feel as full of riders as in years past. Perhaps the threat of rains held out the late comers?
  • There are always a few bad riders on these rides. We came upon three slower riders riding abreast, taking the entire lane of a busy two lane road, which forced another line of riders lead by a tandem to veer into the oncoming lane to pass, just as a SUV approached and overtook them from behind, actually driving onto the opposite shoulder to pass what was now 4 riders abreast. That is wrong on so many levels.
  • The food was really pretty good, and better than years past. Except for their over reliance on apples as the fruit of choice and the fact that all the lunch lines were out of chili when it was our time to go through, the fuel support was ok.
  • At various times there were little Cliff Bars, bananas which are always popular, boiled eggs, which Honey hates but I think are useful, I saw one tub of licorice, which is like instant carbs, and always cookies. Any ride is a good ride if they have cookies.
  • Panera Bread” did a great job in volunteering to provide the breads and carbs for the riders. They had bread available at nearly all stops, and the sandwiches at Grand Ronde were perfect. Many thanks to “Panera Bread” and hope they can return again.
  • Why do they state that the course closes at 5:00 on rides of a 100 miles or more? There were still riders coming in when we left town at 7:00.
  • Moving up the spot of the last rest stop was good. That stop is most useful for those riders who are struggling and need one more rest, but the previous location, which is off the road during a downhill section, is too often passed by unseen by riders. This one was much more visible. Think riders enjoyed the guy with the bullhorn dispensing information and encouragement, although because of the cooler temps, he wasn’t getting any takers for his super soaker water gun.
  • There was a spot on the ride that required riders to stop and cross over a very fast and busy Highway 99 between Dayton and Amity, and it shocked me that the organizers provided no support or warnings at this point at all. Many thanks to the driver who stopped on the highway which allowed a large group of bikers to cross. We all gave the driver encouraging waves of thanks in the spirit of mutual livability.
  • The route is fairly well marked, and with a large number of riders usually not hard to follow, but in spots the signage was not always obvious, and easy to miss if you were not careful.
  • The finishing stage is nice and all, but charging a rider who has just ridden 100 miles $4.00 for a cup of bear just seems criminal.
  • Finished with 103 miles, a few sore spots and…..a plastic lei.

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