Saturday, May 12, 2012

Betsy Goes Back to Her Birthplace

A couple of weeks ago Bike Friday posted on Facebook about this ride in Eugene called People for People. It didn't have a fundraising minimum. I thought it would be a good opportunity to take Betsy in the suitcase on the train back to her birthplace. I could visit Kyle (oldest son) and stay with him.

I practiced packing Betsy in the case to where I could do it in 30 minutes. On the morning of the train ride, I rode over to the train station pulling the case as a trailer (the trailer attachment borrowed from my friend Carol). At the station I packed up Betsy and even managed to get the lid closed on the first try!

As I went to board the Coast Starlight train, the conductor said, "Now, that case is too big and I could tell you you can't take it on the train. But, I'll let you on. Next time put it in two smaller bags." I told him it was a bike. He said I would have to get off in Centralia or Tacoma (of course, Centralia doesn't work either as it is not a luggage stop for the Coast Starlight). Anyway, he was gracious enough to let me on. Well, there was plenty of space in the luggage area of the car I was in. Even when I got off in Eugene from a very full train, there was still room.

I put Betsy back together and rode to Kyle's apartment. He had met me at the station and walked back. We went to a Subway I haven't eaten at for dinner.

Check-in for the ride started at 7:00am Saturday morning at Armitage Park about 6 miles from Kyle's apartment. I left just shortly after 6:30. I made my way to the park. It was sunny, but a little chilly (kind of ALOT chilly). I got my rider number (42), put it on my jersey (under my jacket), stowed the "goodie bag" on my trunk bag, and hit the road. I was doing the 100km route.

In the sun, it was pretty comfortable. In the shade?...not so much. I had my Keen Arroyo sandals on. My feet were a little numb. I just kept reminding myself it was supposed to get to 85 degrees. I was glad I had my jacket and knee warmers.

The ride went out into the countryside on quiet, low traffic roads (except for the packs of motorcycles). We went through a few towns that started with "M"--Marcola, Mabel, Mohawk Valley. I even went across a covered bridge. I made pretty good time.

Over the 100km route there were four rest stops. They had the usual trail mix, bananas, oranges, etc. They also had a variety of gourmet peanutbutters. Since I LOVE peanutbutter, I sampled all the flavors as I came to each rest stop. My favorite was cinnamon raisin peanutbutter. I thought my favorite would have been the chocolate coconut peanutbutter (it didn't really taste chocolaty or coconutty).

As I was riding along, I passed a gentleman. I asked him if he was having fun. He said he really wasn't. He was tired. The last big hill (it was a doozy) had taken it out of him. I asked him if he was drinking enough (it was getting warm by then--I was down to shorts and jersey). He thought he should probably drink more. I offered him a gel which he gratefully accepted. I told him it was too nice of a day to not be having fun.

I also met another Bike Friday rider, a guy named Allen. He was pretty fast. Below is a photo of his BF.

With about 7 miles to go, the route turned back south and I had a nice tailwind the whole way back to the park. I arrived at the finish at 12:30.

At the finish was a lunch of chili, cornbread and salad. The best part was the chocolate milk! After eating I rode back to Kyle's.

Later, Kyle and I rode on one of the riverside trails to the mall where we had dinner at Red Robin (Kyle treated me to dinner for Mothers' Day). In the end, I rode 82 miles today!

As for tomorrow's train ride back, if they say I can't take the case on the train, I'm just going to play dumb and tell them they let me bring it on to come to Eugene. My fingers are crossed.

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