The PeaceBike Prep Ride: The Oregon Coast, August and September 1998 (Tad)
The Coastal Journey, August 26
It was great having Bozeb take me up to Astoria. We had a good time talking and laughing about past camping trips and Chris Farley movies. I decided I wanted to start at the Astoria Column so we headed through Astoria. We laughed as we realized I had no idea how to strap on one part of my pannier. I was grumbling about how difficult and unhandy it was made. He chuckled as he quickly cinched it up the correct way. I laughed too and was glad to have a younger brother to
show me how it was done.
After a hike up the column we took a few pictures and then headed off. I prayed an excited prayer of gratitude and a request for protection. I started down the hill and I could just feel the excitement. Yeeoow. The wind licked under my helmet and blew the watery tears of excitement into the corners of my eyes and down my cheeks as I sped away from the Astoria Tower. The rush of living my dream pulsed and surged through me down to my fingers as they clutched the handle grips and the brakes at the same time. I was beginning what would become the first
mission of PeaceBike, a 222-mile trek down the Oregon Coast (USA) from Astoria to Florence. This was just a practice ride to test my legs against the dream of my head. I was now officially in training for PeaceBike, a 45,000 km bicycle journey to connect people around the world.
Made it through Astoria and got to this long bridge. I crossed the highway and walked the bike until there was more than a 2-foot shoulder. As I was crossing, Bozeb honked. I realized I was on my own and it felt good. I kept thinking, “This is it! I’m doing it!”
I stopped at a KOA campground but pedaled on after the $23 price for a site. I hoped Fort Stevens State Park wasn’t full, wondering if my parents’ admonitions to call ahead would now reap their doom. And yet no despair was needed. Joy was its replacement as I picked out a special hiker-biker site for only $4.25. It felt like ordering my own cheese sandwich at a restaurant when I was little, going on my first solo trip to Grammy Muff’s.
The site was great. Right next to the YURT village. The only challenge was my stove which would stop emitting gas after a few seconds. To my delight, however, I found it remarkably similar to one of my siblings. If I gave it a squeeze around its middle it would emit a steady stream of gas.
The only challenge after that was to make sure none of the boiling water from my pesto pasta and broccoli fell on my squeezing hand. A bedtime at 9:00 made me ready to jump out at seven and greet the day. A breakfast of bananas, apple, gorp, and a bagel, and a hot shower and I am a
king on a bike.