RUN FROM THE HEAT
The prior year some buddies and I took a trip to Oregon to see for ourselves what it was all about. As a bike advocate Portland and other areas of Oregon are well touted for their bike everything. We started in Bend then made our way to Portland feasting on good food, riding beautiful roads and partaking in much beer. All this led to the resurgence of doing tours again. Oregon won my heart.
After a 3 year hiatus, it was time to start focusing on positive aspects of cycling that I missed. I kept the same philosophy of keeping it affordable but the advocate part of me wanted to make it open to all abilities and not just for hammerheads. This was going to be a further tour so I up the duration to 7 days. As I was looking at the calendar for dates a new friend I made in PDX, told me about the biggest bike party on Earth, the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) and as luck would have it, the set tour #1 date was set to start on said date. Over the years I've managed to connect with many different groups in SoCal, one being the party-on-our-minds Psycho-Lists from Ranch Cucamonga area. They are always ready for some craziness and I was willing to dish it out. But there was one problem brewing as the week of the tour came upon me, a major heatwave. With temps predicted around 100 and lows at only 88 I thought it would be unbearable to camp. So as I was driving up, I informed the group I was going to reroute the entire tour to the coast with temps reasonably around 75 for the high. I pulled an all nighter finding campgrounds and making reservations while piecing together a decent route.We added an extra day so we could rage at the WNBR and enjoy a pre ride day enjoying Portland.
So we met up with some of my friends at Velo Cult in NW to join up in the festivities just south of there. TO my surprise there were a bunch of families there too in bakefeits with excited kids. We gather up and headed over accumulating other partially dress comrades. When we arrive it was a sea of bareness. Over 10,000 various clothed or not, individuals coming together nullifying almost all the sexualization of nudity. The heatwave was also taking hold so being bare was somewhat satisfying in the 95 temp. Just as the ride was about to start, I decided to go full birthday suit. Off we went. Most of us got split from each other and even at the end party I never found the Psycho gang. But as I made my way onto Sandy Blvd at 2 AM, I run straight into the Psychos. Fate. I could write lots more on the WNBR but I'll spare the details. Let's say, "JUST DO IT" (Nike HQ is in PDX)
The next day, a recovery of the not recommended kind, we were treated to a tour of Portland by a local friend and as expected lots of beer to be had. Many called it an evening early to get ready for the start of what they came for, bike time.Day one started off with exiting PDX via St James Bridge then along the Columbia RIver then into the thick forested roads with much to complain about. So it went for much of the tour. I was super fortunate that Matt came along as I was able to ride almost the entire route for once. He was the best help anyone could ask for and a good mate all round. For the most part everyone pitched in and my only worries were getting the meals done. It was a grateful and friendly gang and I was thoroughly enlightened to keep doing these events.
Oregon State Parks are by far some of the most incredible facilities and bargains around. There aren't enough superlatives to communicate my pleasure. The scenery throughout was stunning, the air clean and crisp and roads to want to get lost on. Our final day was one of the tops, a country to mountain road that treated us to some dirt and river paths. But as we crested and descended from the coastal mountains the heat we avoided had made its presence know. A few miles on dirt roads and dozens more led to some positive vibes being slightly altered. We made it to the train station that would get everyone to the hotel. We hit Barnstormer for dinner and the whole gang treated me to a hellava thank you. It was my first time getting tipped and though I didn't do it for the money, it was sure nice to know all the work put in was appreciated. I can never thank this group enough for making me start seeing my life in a different venue.