Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I've got a new nickname on this trip...

Day 2. St. Helens to Welches Oregon. Well, I don't have a nickname on this trip (yet), but if I were to have one, it would be "Mr. flat tire". I got my second flat tire in as many days. Thanks to my trusty riding mates Jeff and Mark, assisted by Dave and John, I was back on the road in no time. I still am not confident fixing a flat, but given my "flat-a-day habit", I'll need to get better, and quickly.

Today was, in a word, incredible. I'm riding my bike across the country!!!!

We started in the somewhat depressing (to me anyway) town of St. Helens Oregon. It was cloudy and gray, but dry. Very little wind at all. Our group included Jeff from Connecticut (I'll call him"AAA" , as in Auto Club, due to his roadside assistance), Mark from Baltimore (whose wife Karen says he and I are like long lost brothers, given the contents of each of our blogs), Dave (a retired Ford Finance guy who lives in Ann Arbor, and whose parents live in Hamilton NY – Colgate University), and John from Ohio (John owns a pizza franchise just outside of Cleveland). John ended up riding with some other guys for portions of the day.

By the way, I forgot to mention that nobody is allowed to wear earphones and listen to music while they ride (safety reasons). I must have spent hours setting up playlists for my iPhone to listen to for this trip to no avail. C'est la vie.

Yesterday's route, which was not overly scenic, took us down a busy logging road where massive logging trucks filled with cedar trees whizzed by at 60 MPH. The only benefit was the incredible smell of fresh cedar as the trucks roared by. Today, our route paralleled the Columbia River to Portland. Portland – not so scenic. In fact, not scenic at all. We wound our way through a park system of bike paths (OK, kind of pretty) until we exited the Portland area and made our way into the countryside. Before we left Portland though, we stopped on the bridge going into Portland that spans the massive Columbia River for a picture of me, Dave, Mark, and Jeff.

Once in the countryside though, the views became tremendous (that's Mount Hood). We stopped in the town of Sandy Oregon for lunch at this cool truly "Americana" roadside burger joint called Calamity Jane's. I didn't eat a burger, but I had the greatest milk shake in recorded history (milk shake division). We stopped several times today to take pictures of breathtaking scenery.

Have I mentioned I'm riding my bike across the country!!!!!

OK, we have 3 entrants in the "how much weight will Mark lose" pool. Ira Pamnani, my old Media Director now living in California, says I'll lose more than 7.5 lbs. My Dad says under (like 3 lbs). My friend Jeff Citron says "over" and he's good at pools, so I'd think about going with him. Remember, there's still time to enter this pool (like weeks, actually).

Today, I'll ask my loyal readers to help me with another issue. I think it's time to name my bike. The obvious name, of course to those who know me, would be "The Duchess". But not only is that too easy, it conjures up phrases and images I don't think are too good. Can anyone help me here??


  1. Was the milk shake better than the Cooperstown Diner?

    As for your bike's name, how about "Bend but not Break / Brake"? I like the idea of you riding the Duchess across America.

  2. better than Cooperstown! As far as a name for my bike, I think we'll keep looking. Nice try though, I appreciate the thought.

  3. Hi Mark... enjoying your blog. Bike name? My suggestion, "Lara's Legacy" or Leg-a-Sea!


  4. No iPod? Oh my...

    I think you should take Michael Keaton's lead (from 'Night Shift')

    "Hey kid, do you like music?" and then just belt out Jumpin' Jack Flash. I know you of all people understand this reference...

  5. I think you should name your bike