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Seattle to Portland '02

"I Know Toledo"

Click on any of the images for a more detailed version.

REI Rest Stop   
 
Day Two Morning Rest Stop   
 
Day Two Morning Rest Stop   
 
Bridge Waiting Line   
 
Bridge Waiting Line   
 
Brent Thinking About Trading Dogs   
 
Three Seater   
 
Tire Changing   
 
Portland Finish   
 
Portland Finish   
 


About the Ride
The ride is generally held on the second weekend of July and it can either be ridden as a double century or broken into two days with a campout in the middle. Just over 7000 riders were registered for the 2002 ride with 3000ft of total climb. We decided to ride it in two days since we were taking turns towing a BIG dog.

Before the Ride
Brent sent in his registration in March while Lonnie and I both mailed ours in June. We didn't select a campsite until the first week of July. Estimated the camp distances by using http://maps.yahoo.com with a starting point from Seattle. Ended up selecting a place called "Toledo High School" at a distance of 110 driving miles. Lonnie mailed in our camping reservations overnight and had the return envelope sent to Gavin's place in Lynnwood, WA. I got the return envelope the day before the ride and stuffed the meal tickets in my wallet, glanced briefly at the map and stuck it in the magazine pile. Figured the map was just a subset of the official STP directions. Ended up riding some extra miles because of that.

I stayed the night at Gavin's place while Brent, Lonnie and his dad stayed at the Travelodge by the Spaceneedle. It turned out that Lori didn't want her cats chased around by Brent's dog and she didn't want anything to happen to the plants in the backyard.

Day of the Ride
Gavin and I started driving out on Interstate 5 (I5) about 5:30am to meet up at the Travelodge. We noticed about fifteen cars ahead at the time as well. Definitely a lot of traffic in the Seattle area. Lonnie met us at the lobby and we loaded up all our gear into Gavin's car. In the stadium parking lot line, Lonnie called up his dad to go ahead and wake up Brent to start riding since there was a long line of cars ahead of us.

Arrived back at the Travelodge about 7am and we spotted Brent riding up the street. Lonnie told Gavin not to honk since we wanted Brent to get a head start or we'd be waiting another half hour to get going.

Grabbed our bikes from the room and started to head out. Tried to pump up my tires with my full-sized frame pump but the pump seals dried out after 5 years. Spent a few minutes at the street corner waiting for passing cyclists to see if I could borrow a pump but didn't have much luck. Ended up riding slowly to join the STP route and found some people unloading bikes on the side of the road with a floor pump getting ready for the ride. Borrowed their awesome pump that only took like 10 pumps to get to a 100 psi.

We briefly stopped at the first rest stop looking for Brent but he was no where to be found. Stopped at the REI headquarters reststop and found Brent in the food line.

Lonnie took off to catch up with his dad while I stayed back with Brent to tow Ashley (75-lb german shephard / collie mix). Brent towed Ashley for miles 1-50 while I towed miles 50-90. At the 90-mile rest stop, Brent said to go ahead since he could tow Ashley the next 20 miles since he was taking a long rest break.

I gladly unhooked the 105-lb trailer (75-lb Ashley, 20-lb trailer, 10-lb wooden board in the trailer so it didn't sag) and headed out for Toledo with an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner in mind.

Started asking around for Toledo High School around the 105-mile mark. Everybody I stopped to ask would pull out their little ride pamphlet and see that there was no Toledo High School on the map but see that it was listed on the baggage drop off section. Around mile 128 I spotted a highway patrol car. The officer knew exactly where the high school was. "Just follow this road until it tees into I5, hang the left onto the old highway, and follow it around as it bends and drops down into Toledo, and the high school will be found at the base of the hill." Stopped at the gas station at the tee intersection for a cold drink and the cashier gave me the same directions. Eventually rolled into Toledo high school at 8pm and 138 miles where Lonnie and his dad had made their way earlier and 15 miles shorter.

Wolfed down two servings of pasta and then walked down to the corner liquor store for a well deserved beer. Just after 9pm, Lonnie received a call from Brent asking where Toledo high school was. Lonnie gave him the directions but Brent opted for the sag ride to Toledo High School.

Day Two of the Ride
Backtracked my earlier path on Toledo-Vader Road to head out to Castle Rock. Lonnie had the honors of the first Ashley tow for the day of 33 miles, I towed the next 34 miles, and Brent towed the final 14 miles. Ashley barked at passing cars for both days.

We finished the ride, scarfed down big meatless burritos at the end, and stopped at the beer garden on the way out. We hopped on the shuttle to get back to Brent's car. After driving back to the finish line, Brent noticed he didn't have the bike rack keys.

We came up with the plan that I would stop at Toledo High School on the way back to Seattle (since I had a rental car to fly out of Seattle) and that Brent and Lonnie would stop back at the last major rest stop where Brent had opened up the bag that usually held the keys.

Drove back up I5 watching for food places to eat along the way to meet just in case I found the keys. Spotted places like the Lucky Dragon and the normal fast food chains. Around exit 39 I saw the big neon McDonald's banner.

Took the Toledo exit off I5 and stopped at Toledo High School. Pointed the flashlight right at the spot where Brent locked up his sleeping bag in the morning and spotted the keys shining back. Ended up driving back down the hill where we got the beers the night before and called up Lonnie and Brent to meet back at that McDonald's at exit 39.



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