Posted by: ppernick | July 25, 2007

STP part 3: Day 2 of the Ride

Leaving Toledo:  I don’t remember exactly what time I woke up Sunday morning, but I’m pretty sure we were at least headed downstairs around 7:30am – about the time Ari was getting on his bike again.  I spent the morning finishing up the last minute packing and going over my lists two or three times to make sure I had everything.

Lexington:  The first foodstop for Ari was 25 miles into the day’s 80 mile trip.  Ari returned my morning call as Simeon and I were starting up the car.  Although I was leaving the house at my intended time (10am), it wasn’t until the night before as I was looking at the STP route that I realized we may not be able to catch up to Ari.

St. Helens:  Between a couple of quick stops as I headed out and a short stop for lunch, we were passing Toledo when Ari made it to St. Helens.  He would be long gone before I even made it close to the city.  With only 30 miles left of riding, and St. Helens being the last major stop before Portland, I headed straight to the finish line.

Portland:  I was walking into Holladay Park when I discovered Ari had left me a message – expected time of riding left:  1hr 30min.  Called my coworker and then checked out the vendor tents.  Discovered the free sign making tent and Simeon was very happy to get ahold of some markers.  Hung around the fountains for a bit until I met up with L.  I really appreciated L’s offer to meet up with me.  It was nice to have some adult company while I waited for Ari.  L, Simeon and I grabbed a spot along the sidewalk just ahead of the finish line and kept a lookout. 

The last time Ari rode STP, J came down with me and we stood just ahead of the finish line for 20-40 minutes keeping watch.  Around 8:30pm Saturday night, the Seattle PD rode by with a police escort.  Once past the corner, the escort let the sirens wail a moment and sped off.  Our attention was diverted momentarily wondering if there really was an accident ahead.  Next thing we know, Ari is walking his bike back toward us from the finish line.

Didn’t have that problem this time around.  L and I reached the street a little before 3:30 (Ari’s expected time of arrival) and there was a mass of cyclists waiting to cross the finish line.  Ari saw us when he arrived around 4pm and came over to say hello.  Simeon, waving his sign, was very happy to see daddy.  Not so happy when daddy then left to finish walking across the finish line.  It was a good thing Ari wasn’t too tired to carry Simeon when we met up again – Simeon wasn’t about to let daddy out of his site again for a bit.

L and I then met J and M – two of the other riders in Ari’s group.  Hats off to M – 11 years old and he rode the entire 205 miles.  The guys dropped off their bikes and grabbed a change of clothes from their luggage.  Ari had wanted a shower, but didn’t really want the 45 minute wait.  R, S and Z (the rest of Ari’s group) came through a little later.  Ari and J went to greet them.

After some time sitting around, hanging out, and following Simeon, L had to leave.  I don’t think it was much later that the rest of the group needed to start loading up their bikes and boarding the bus back to Seattle.  Ari, Simeon and I grabbed Ari’s things, loaded up the car, and continued our trip.  We had another couple hours of driving ahead of us.

Astoria:  Arrived at the Crest Motel at 9pm.  Neither Ari or I were feeling that great, so I don’t think we even bothered to turn on the lights. The sun was the perfect clock – it was still a little light when we first unloaded the car and had disappeared from sight within the hour.  Simeon was a little restless and tried playing with us on the bed.  He quickly settled down when he realized it was bedtime.  Thankfully, he only lasted 30 minutes or so in bed with us.  Ari was able to transfer him to the crib without hassle and we were able to enjoy the space of a king size bed for the rest of the night.

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