You made my weekend. You made my month.
This was the first brevet route that I’ve ever designed and the longest event I’ve ever organized. Early in the planning stage, Vinny Muoneke and I decided that it would be cool to ride from Seattle to Eugene via the Cascade Mountain Range and return home on the Amtrak Cascades train. As I put together the route, I started getting mixed feedback: that sounds great vs. that sounds way too hard.
Ultimately, I think we managed both – a hard and rewarding route. Any time we ride an event, we challenge ourselves, but there are rides which really challenge us to dig deeply within ourselves, to draw on both the strength of our legs and the wisdom we have accumulated in our past as riders. This, I believe, was one of those rides.
Thank yous are in order: Vinny Muoneke, my co-conspirator and fellow pre-rider; John Pearch for co-conspiracy, route-collusion, and for riding the event, Rick Blacker for marathon driving, excellent company, and shared pints in Bend; Michael Powpar for hanging out in Shaniko with supplies, braving giant, trash-eating deer, and ghosts of the old west; Michal Young for invaluable route assistance in the Eugene area, for chalk markers on the confusing bike paths just miles from the finish, and for hanging out for many hours in Westfir with hot soup, water, snacks, and encouragement; thanks to Mark Thomas, Geoff Swarts, Albert Meerscheidt, and Eric Vigoren for behind-the-scenes support; and, especially, to all of the riders who came out and gave it their best: John Kydd, John Pearch, Hugh Kimball, Bill Gobie, Ian Shopland, James Gregory Walsh, Kuan Chun Chen, Alex Piotrowski, and Burnley Willis. These guys came from Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin, Alaska, and British Columbia to make my idea into something real. Without riders, this would just be me looking at maps with friends, daydreaming.
Photos from along the way are all on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/theoelliot/sets/72157647731388676/