We made it! As of 5:30 this evening, we have officially biked from the Atlantic to the Pacific!
Okay, today’s ride was the worst. We decided not to take Al’s route to Astoria so that we could see Haystack Rock and make it from Portland to the coast in one day. Well. That was a huge mistake. I’m sure the ride Al had set for us would have been lovely and not so stressful, so we’ll just try to imagine that’s what we did.
But we had made it so far that we could push on up hills along the very edge of the narrow highway with a constant flow of cars. And the sight of the Pacific through the trees as we came over that last hill was truly a wonderful one!
We ran across the beach in all our biking clothes and jumped in immediately upon arrival, then pedaled into town for a celebratory meal of pizza – we each got an entire one, and I think we impressed the waiter with our appetite. It was a half-dozen-Clif-bar kind of day, so we totally devoured our pizza. I have a little left over for tomorrow, but Aidan’s is long gone.
We’ve been thinking back on some of the many memories from this trip, and we came up with a collection of fun numbers from our ride.
- Total miles: 3,609
- Total elevation gain: 128,902 ft
- Pedal rotations: 1,836,000
- Total cost of camping: $23
- Water consumed: 98 gallons each
- Clif bars consumed: 100-250 each
- Staying with random connections along the way
- Biking to Devils Tower at night and early morning riding
- Seeing interesting landscapes and wildlife
- Camping in random places and Aidan setting up the tent in 46 seconds
- Learning bike repair skills on the road and stopping at bike shops across the country
- Consistently meeting kind and generous people
- Swimming and Nap Breaks™
- Al’s route
- Getting competitive with other touring bikers
Top 5 segments of the trip:
- Fort Thompson to Pierre (South Dakota)
- Welland to Lake Erie, Ontario
- Pomeroy to Dayton, WA
- Cody to Yellowstone, WY
- Stevenson to Portland, OR
Advice for our pre-touring selves
- The hardest hills aren’t the Rockies (or anything you’ve heard of).
- Keep up with daily bike maintenance
- Paper maps are the way to go
- Buy a Trek 520 and it will be virtually indestructible.
- Buy a Brooks B-17 and comfort will only increase.
We’re camping on the beach now, with Haystack Rock in sight and an amazing view of the ocean.
Tomorrow morning, we’ll head off in different directions – Aidan back to Portland on a bus, and me south on the 101 on my bike. Aidan will be flying home this weekend, spending less than 2 weeks in VT, then will head to Kroka for the next 4 months on their Ecuador semester program! I’ll be biking toward Santa Barbara where I’ll get to spend some time at my aunt and uncle’s house. We’re ending the blog now, and would like to thank all of you readers and commenters for all your encouragement and enthusiasm for our trip from afar.
It’s been one heck of a ride.