Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Thank You Everyone in Portland!


I was at first trepidatious to drive down to Portland and try out a new ride.  But, knowing the area, previous awesome experience with event organizers (who put on the Seattle Century), and great communication and support from my local LIVESTRONG contact, I was quickly put at ease ... and what a great ride it turned out to be!
The day started out in downtown Portland - Portland State University, to be specific - under the shade of the plaza trees.  Riders were busily downing a breakfast (The Portland Century, put on by Good Sport Promotion, is known for their spread of food) of cereal, yogurt, eggs and berries.  Our group quickly found each other ... and we were off at 7:00am!

Part of our LIVESTRONG contingent at the start - note the smiles and energy!
Our first rest stop was one that I was much anticipating - the LIVESTRONG Rest Stop!  The ride organizers continued their support of LIVESTRONG from previous years: while they provided us with a group registration discount code and a place to meet up at the finish, we drove riders to the event and also provided the volunteers for the rest stop.

It was great to roll in and be greeted by the sea of yellow - t-shirts, banners and wristbands - as well as a terrific group of volunteers (who our local LIVESTRONG volunteer Stefan managed to organize, and Scott who ran the show) with an awesome level of energy and excitement!

Rest Stop #1: the LIVESTRONG stop! Busy preparing food, handing out wristbands and ... yes ... hugs.
 After some catching up, peanut-butter sandwich refueling, and a group photo, we were back on the road!

LIVESTRONG Rest Stop Volunteers and Riders! A great bunch. 

And what a road it was!  The course went west out of Portland, through the beautiful countryside (many miles of which followed the same course as the LIVESTRONG Challenge Portland routes from years past!), and on many quiet and less-traveled roads.

The weather was perfect - cool morning, blue skies, high in the low 80's - and our group had a good time on the road, regrouping at the rest stops.

Beautiful ride through the Portland countryside. We had many roads to ourselves!

Ahhhh, the rest stops!  Similar to the Seattle Century rides of years past, the stops were well situated and well placed.  Berry farms! Pasta! Sandwiches!  All appreciated and quickly consumed.

At this time, I would like to mention my one regret: I did not take a photo of the rest stop where an Elvis impersonator served me a peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich.  Life did not get much better than that moment ... if only I could have captured it on film.

Two rest stops to the end: build-your-own sandwiches. Ahhh ...
 I would also be remiss to not talk about my main Portland contact, and LIVESTRONG volunteer extraordinaire: Stefan.  He was truly the glue of the riding and rest stop groups, offering up much of his time to be sure that everything was organized locally, and that everyone was accounted for and taken care of.  Stefan is a rare breed of person who is selfless, energetic and hard-working - without a single request in return.  Thank you so much for all of your hard work!

Of note is also Stefan's son, Paul, who rode his first century ride with us!  A quiet, determined rider, Paul (pictured behind me in the first photo of this post) impressed us all with his cool cycling prowess.

Our fearless Portland-area LIVESTRONG supporter, Stefan.  What a great guy - I don't know what we would have done without him!

All good things must come to an end ... and after a long climb into Portland, and brake-heavy descent through the zoo area (yes, staying on roads), we arrived at the finish line to enjoy our dinner feast, Hopworks beer, and reflect on the day's ride adventures.

The Finish! (You think this was about cycling?) Always a good spread put on by the ride organizers.

It was truly a great day on many levels - connecting with more LIVESTRONG supporters, both on the bike and off, continuing the supportive relationship with the ride organizers (thank you Chad!), and enjoying a beautiful, well-supported, food-rich ride with new friends.
THank you everyone for your support - direct and indirect - to make this such a success!  We hope to build on this support and energy into the next year, and continue to build awareness and support for the LIVESTRONG Foundation in the process.
Next stop: Austin LIVESTRONG Challenge in October ... join us ...!?
Team Captain, Ride for LIVESTRONG Seattle
Senior LIVESTRONG Leader

Monday, August 12, 2013

Portland Century: Less than a Week to Go!

SIX Days Until the Portland Century!

Less than a week to go!  Hopefully next weekend's ride will be far less eventful (in a more positive way) than our training ride this past weekend.  Similar to last year's pre-STP ride, we managed to suffer through a few major and minor tribulations.  Call it a rite-of-passage:
  1. Bike / trail bollard (post) collision: resulting on one team member going to the hospital for stitches, jaw injury and fractured hand (think it's my bad luck rubbing off from last November?);
  2. Bee sting: it takes just a second for one of those bugs to get lodged in your jersey and reek mayhem (I'm glad I'm not allergic).  Nothing like doing the "there's a bee in my jersey" dance while on two wheels;
  3. Flat tires: well, one flat tire with two more tubes blowing their valves (we resorted to patches at the end).  Thanks to the local Performance Bicycle store for replacing the defective inner tubes, no questions asked; and
  4. Glass / Oblivious Pedestrians / Dogs off-leash: always fun to avoid during a mostly urban ride ...
That said, we're REALLY looking forward to the Portland Century next weekend, and having a POSITIVE eventful ride with a few thousand cyclists and other fellow LIVESTRONG supporters. 

A beautiful ride!
Amazing rest stops!
Fantastic company!
A gourmet salmon dinner and host beer bar at the end!

How can you NOT come along on this ride?

Please join us!  Use our promotional / discount code and save some money (see link below)!  Meet us at the start, or at the end!  It would be great to see you there, ride along or cheer us on!

Please support my fundraising efforts and the LIVESTRONG Foundation's amazing programs here:
   - much appreciated!

Hope to see you on the road!


Team Captain, Ride for LIVESTRONG Seattle
Senior LIVESTRONG Leader