Blogs » Bicycle » It's official: The coast has been conquered


First: An important note of congratulations. Since Eric probably won't mention how well he rode during Conquer the Coast on Saturday, I'll do it for him. For the past two years, the fates have conspired against Eric completing the full 65-mile ride. Two years ago, he didn't make it to the Military base on time -- at which point they cart you across by truck. Last year, the full length ride was canceled on account of heavy rain.

But this year, Eric rode great! He finished 65 miles, and if I had to guess, I'd say he had a few more miles left in him.

Second: Bob Zavala, who works downstairs in the Advocate's interwebs department is one tough hombre. Don't mess with him. Bob has been shopping for a bike and generally saying how much he'd like to go out on long rides. Bob, Greg and I went for a ride the weekend before last. Since Greg had to work he couldn't go to Corpus, he suggested Bob borrow his bike for the ride. Bob rode the whole 65 miles without any training and he didn't whine once. AND he finished before some folks who were decked out in full spandex ensembles.

Both of these guys finished the ride despite waiting for me to fix a flat about 7 miles into the course ( I think I ran over some glass. People who throw glass bottles on the road suck.) It took me longer than usual, because a small crowd, including a photographer from the Caller-Times was watching. A really nice Portland Police officer finished pumping up the tire for me. What a guy! Even though I took an insanely long time fixing my tire (OK, Greg is right. He does me no service by always changing the tubes for me. But I'm better at finding and patching leaks) I did get to feel a little smug at the last rest stop. A couple of women who had pretty nice road bikes decked out with lots of gadgets, noted the chain grease on my legs and said I looked like "A real bicycle rider."

I told them I had to change my tube early in the ride. "Did you do it, or did someone do it for you?" one asked. I told her I had all the tools on my bike; I changed the tire myself (mostly). Neither one knew how to change her tire -- I told them they really ought to learn. Usually, it's easy and no one wants to be stranded at the side of the road. I'm thinking of working on a video flat tutorial for the blog. Any other maintenance suggestions?

As great as the ride was, the highlight for me was seeing DOLPHINS while riding the ferry. Real, live DOLPHINS. You can't beat that.