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Friday, October 24, 2014

That’s Insane!

Four The number of people who rode every day and every mile of the 2012 tour in Puglia, Italy. Pretty much like being alone most of the time.

Thirty six The largest number of people on a supported bicycling tour in which I have participated. An OK number as Cycle America did a nice job on this supported ride.

Two thousand, two hundred The limit to the number of registrations that Cycle Oregon would accept for the 2014 Week Ride. Now that is just insane.

So of course I sat at my computer, fingers hovering over the keyboard, as the clocked ticked down to the opening of the ride's registration site.

That was on February 14. A mere 204 days later, after 55 hours on the trainer and 2,610 miles on the road with 140,535 feet of climbing, we rolled out of The Dalles, Oregon to start one fine week-long ride called The Magnificent Seven.

Was it really insane? Yes, but in an “I cannot believe how insanely well it went” sense. I’ll explain in upcoming posts about the ride. But here - one of the things I learned about Cycle Oregon (CO from now on) aside from its ability to plan and execute a ride with over 1,800 people to perfection: they provide a real service to the small communities that are visited during the tour. This includes financial support from a fund that you can read about here: Cycle Oregon Fund

This year's ride visited The Dalles, Dufur, Tygh Valley and Madras. We also visited the small town of Glenwood, Washington. One of the great things about the visits was the welcome we got. Cheerleaders, cheering crowds, decorated bikes, chocolate milk, ice cream sandwiches greeted us at various stops. Volunteers from the towns staffed the food service lines and provided other services that made each visit a real pleasure.

There were 8 days in the trip which CO designated as Day 0, Day 1, Day 2, ... , Day 7. Day 0 was when riders made their way to The Dalles to check in, set up bikes and generally get oriented. My Day 0 started in Portland as I had flown in the day before. I guess that would be Day -1 for me...

Saturday, September 6: Day -1
I had already bid adieu to my Domane as Bill had loaded it into the back of his car - he and Eileen were heading out to vacation and visit friends and relatives before and after the ride. I got the benefit of free bicycle transport. Not a bad start. I flew out of La Crosse, through Chicago and on to Portland.

Coming in to Portland, we had great views of Mt. Adams in Washington and Mt. Hood in Oregon, two of the Magnificent Seven mountains, at least one of which would be in view each day during the ride. I checked in to the Sheraton Portland Airport hotel and kicked back for the rest of the day.

Mt. Hood from my room at the Sheraton

Up next, Day 0: We arrive in The Dalles and get engaged in the CO experience.

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