Reach the Beach

Beaverton/Pacific City 


2002 = 104 miles
2003 = 104 miles
2004 = 106 miles
2005 = 55 miles
2007 = 103 miles

2002 was before I started these ride posts, so I don't have a recent recall of what happened 
But anyway, 2002 was the first year, I did that one essentially by myself, and got a ride back from Pam and Dave, my neighbors.
The food was pretty good and the lunch in amity was filling and helpful.
The weather was sunny, wind was light and the ride was really great. Seemed like I got in about 4, ate dinner, and then rode home stopping for DQ blizzards on the way home, arriving home about 800

2003 was a little different. Rode with Honey, the weather was dreary, it rained, it hailed and the winds blew. I was exhausted by the time we finished the route. We had reserved a seat on the 400  bus, thinking with two of us pulling we could make that. We were wrong. We didn't arrive till after 530. So, we had to take the bus scheduled for 700, which didnt leave till 800 and stopped in Amity and Salem on the way home. We arrived home at nearly midnight. The food at the stops was poor and scarce. The lunch stop was scheduled for Grande Ronde which is actually at mile 75, in order to accommodate the riders from Beaverton, Amity and Salem. So, by the time we got there the lunch as basically gone. All that was left was bagels, which was mainly what was served at the other stops. So we were forced to eat all the food that we brought, which still was not enough. The final rest stop which was still cold and wet, just had little bags of trail mix. We were pretty hungry and our energy and emotional levels were very low by the time we reached the end.

2004 was a better experience. Although the sky was mainly grey throughout the day for the entire ride, we only encountered two short periods of rain, the last coming during the final 10 mile stretch to the finish. The winds blew in the stretch after Amity, but they were not as relentless as before, and only served to tire me a bit but we were not defeated by them. The foods at the stop were somewhat better, although Honey complained about the stops that served only apples and string cheese. Cliff bars served at only one stop. Boiled eggs at two stops. Didnt see any bagels. The first rest stop at Elks lodge was really not marked, and though we knew it should have been there, we passed it since it didnt seem like there was one. Didnt need the food but Honey wanted the restroom, so had to ride in to Newberg to a gas station. We got in about 500 this time, and felt much better than the year before. Mom and Dad were waiting for us in the home we rented from the Anchorage Motel, which was a block off the course, so we just had a little backtracking to do after completing the ride. It was very nice to get into a nice hot shower and clean warm clothes so quickly and we enjoyed visiting, eating and relaxing with them for the rest of the evening. Then able to have a breakfast and a pleasant ride home on Sunday.

2005 was a not a year for doing the century. Having done the ride from Beaverton three times, returning home a different way each time, it was time for something a little different. Schedules, weather, work, and a long list of other excuses have kept Honey and I from doing many long rides this year, and the early season century just Didnt seem appealing. Also, I remained skeptical about the organizers ability to support the rest stops. We picked up our packets from early pick up party REI, which gave us ability to make the decision in the morning whether we wanted to start from Beaverton, Salem or Amity. Turns out this week, Honey is a little fatigued by her long work hours, and Pam who is going with us, seems to have a broken toe, so, we opted to drive Amity and start from there. Ride was good, the day was cloudy but warm and only a few sprinkles at the end of the day, which were really no problem. Plus no real wind to deal with. There is plenty of food, but maybe that is because the Amity riders are in the early wave. I am careful not to take too much. We arrive at the finish line to cheers and whistles from the never tiring crowd gathered to cheer on everyone that happened to come in.  While doing the century rides, the sight of the rock and the arrival of the finish line is a thrill as well as a seemingly well deserved accomplishment. Now, this time when we arrive we feel just a bit guilty to have everyone cheer us for riding just 55 miles. But, we are here, we change, get our bus tickets for a 500 bus to Amity, eat and wait. Think we arrived at finish about 230, left on bus about 520 which gets us home just a little after 8:00.

2007 should be a better year for our riding schedule.  Despite Honeys difficult work schedules, we wanted to do some of the rides we have had to skip.  At this point our only organized has been the 62 mile Monster Cookie, but we have already signed up for the Cycle Oregon weekend, the Cycle Oregon week long ride, and the Yaquina Lighthouse ride, that we plan to do in tandem (not on a tandem) with the Vine Ride the day before.  We weren't sure how this 100 mile ride would affect us since we hadn't been able to do one for 2 years, and with work/health issues conspiring against us.  But we remained confident. As is turned out a business trip to CA for Honey made it too difficult to fit this ride in, so I braved it alone.  I happened upon my Second Cousins Wife at the start who was had come to the ride solo, so I hook up with SCW, followed by conciliatory agreements on both sides to grant permissions to ride off alone if the other started to drag.  We both were obviously confident about this ride. Changed this year was the starting spot. Moved up a few miles, to a school on Loon Drive in Beaverton, apparently to cut out the big hill at the very start of the ride, and to shorten the route by 4 miles. The spot seemed a disaster to me.  Having parked 7 blocks away, in this residential area, the neighbors were no doubt pleased that every spot in a 2 mile radius was clogged by cars with bike racks. Having already registered and picked up my packet at REI earlier in the week, I was able to throw my bag of clean clothes in the baggage truck and head out.  We hit the road at 7:50. Skies were gray and overcast all day, yet not one drop of the rain that was predicted. Temperatures bordered between "starting to get" warm and "think it may rain" cool, so the jacket was on and off a few times throughout the day, although I finished the ride out to the coast without it.  There were several comments from riders that this seemed to be a slow ride.  The primary reason for that was the route change.  They replaced some of the sections on Hwy 99, and Newberg, with a very hilly route. This route added much more climbing, with what I believed were at least two climbs that were more difficult than the climb they avoided, or the other relevant climb that comes at about mile 88. I had overheard that there was a little more than 1,000 feet of climbing in the one section after the first rest stop, and later heard that the entire ride was over 4,000 feet.  Thats pretty substantial for a century.  The other issue causing a slow pace was of course the headwinds. However, they came much earlier, in miles 37- 78, between Dayton and Grand Ronde.  With that said, it was encouraging that there was almost no winds once the terrain opened up into the flatlands of the estuary and throughout the 10 mile finishing section.  Food was pretty good. The fruit leaned a little heavy on apples which SCW seemed to really like, but I don't find helpful during rides.  Only one stop with Cliff Bars, one with boiled eggs, and one with licorice. But, there did seem to be cookies at each stop! Lunch at Amity was the typical potato bar with salad, chicken soup, and chili. Yet the chili was gone and getting back in line 10 minutes later just for chili didn't appeal to us, so potatoes and cookies had to suffice.  The Panera bread sandwiches at the Grande Ronde stop were very nice though, and unlike previous years, the food at Grande Ronde was plentiful, so we were well stoked to finish in good shape.  After Grande Ronde, there is the 9 mile section along the 4 lane highway that is by far the most unpleasant section of the ride.  The traffic is very fast and deep and the dangerous rumble strip ground into the pavement separate the 70 mile an hour cars from the bikers struggling along in the narrow shoulder in single file.  This is made even more dangerous in that there are always riders bunched dangerously close together because the faster riders cannot pass the slower riders, and this year was no exception.  This year were slowed, almost to the point of being forced to stop, by a group of 20 riders all with neon orange vest going at a leisurely pace.  About this time, I noticed one of their riders riding alongside another, with his hand extended on to the shoulder of the other rider, which seemed to be a very risky maneuver. About the time I am preparing to pull out into the traffic lane to race ahead of the group one of their members inform us their pace is due to their team riding in support of a rider with one lung, which is sort of what the "Reach the Beach" ride is all about. You have to respect that.  We really had no safety problems on this ride, and only one other moment of trepidation. That came at about mile 80.  After having traveled along several miles of narrow road, focusing on bad pavement and large trucks, I look back, and fail to spot SCW! Well OK, so I stop and wait. And wait.  5 minutes go by and she's not coming. So, with a flat tire a possibility, I reverse track and go back to find her.  After 5 miles of back tracking, still no sign of SCW.  At this point I have gone past the area I knew I had last seen her,  which meant I possibly had somehow missed her.  I waited a bit there, and then turned again to continue onward, figuring on stopping at the rest area in hopes of regrouping.  All the time as I pedaled on to the stop I thought of the possibility of riding to the finish line, seeing SC there waiting for SCW. And, then me telling him, well, I don't have a clue where she is, I just rode off and left her, she is out there somewhere...... At the rest stop, SCW was still not there, so I wait some more.  15 minutes later she arrives! Turns out her cable broke, and there happened to be a support vehicle very near that picked her up and took her back to the previous stop where the mechanic replace the cable and sent her on her way. The whole thing added a few more miles to both our totals, but it worked out OK.  We finished at 5:53, which seemed kinda late. Changed, had a quick meal and met up with GP, who had come over to see his girlfriend, and to take me home.  Left the bus tickets that Honey and I had bought, unused, but the ride with GP was much better than the bus ride would be. Was home and showered by 930, suffering from a little back and knee pain that will surely go away in a few days.

From their site:
2,200 – Record number of riders
126 – Day-of-event registrants
96 – On-course safety personnel
4,000 – Bananas
228 – Total gallons of soup served at lunch

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