The route was backroads until I got to Shedd (there was a detour at the RR tracks and I had to ride 2 blocks in gravel – yuck), then I hit 99W and took that to 36 at Junction City. I’ve never ridden past Cheshire on 36 and it turned out to be gorgeous. I turned off at Poodle Creek Road and took that South to Hwy 126. I’ve driven that road many times on my way to diving classes at Woahink Lake in Florence, so I was looking forward to seeing how it has changed in the past five years. It was great! The rhodies were blooming and the traffic was light.
Once I got to Florence, I found the Events Center and since I had an hour and a half before the race, I found a booth at the Dunes Café and ordered some Hot Cocoa to warm up. I was cold and shaking. The hot chocolate eventually warmed me up and I ordered a “Mini” stack and a side of bacon. This place does mini like it does sand dunes – HUGE. The side of bacon was 6 thick strips. I only ate about a third of the pancake and a strip and a half of the bacon, then packed it away in my saddlebags for later.
I headed off to the Events Center, parked Bella in the back of the gravel lot (yuck), got out of my gear and into my running kit, then picked up my bib and shirt.
The route is a fun one, the Events Center sits on a hill, then you head down the hill to Bay Street, along Bay Street which is lined with Harleys for the Festival, then through some residential areas and back up a hill to the turn-around. Then you go back the way you came. There were people lining the whole route, out on their porches, sitting in their lawn chairs with their coffee and at the little bakeries and coffee shops in Old Town. I loved it and everyone was really friendly and happy. I made it out of that run and shaved 7 seconds off my Hillsboro time. As soon as I was done, I threw back my chocolate milk and ate my Power Bar, put my riding gear back on and hit the road. As I said, Old Town was filled with Harleys and only more were coming so I wanted to take advantage of the empty road up North and head up 101.
Bella’s light came on at 160 so I got gas in Yachats (ya-hawts) and rode on into Newport. The bay was clear so riding over the bridge was really neat. I stopped at the Quilter’s Cove Quilt Shop and checked out the inventory – they have a TON of patterns.
Then I wandered down to Nye Beach to check out a place Troubador and Trobairitz have recommended, The Chowder Bowl. It is a cute little place and I grabbed a seat by the window so I could see the people walking by and relax a little.I ordered a cup of chowder ($4.95 – ouch) and a plate of Fish and Chips and was kinda disappointed.
The chowder was so-so, the fish soggy and the chips – eh. The best part was the tartar sauce! Oh well, I tried it and it’ll do in a pinch – much better than Mo’s Annex (but I’ll still take the drive to Lincoln City for Mo’s if given the chance). Then I headed down to Newport’s Bay Street to pick up a birthday gift for a co-worker at Newport Bay Candle Company. I saw these great glasses – Redneck Wineglasses – that were Mason and Ball Jars on wine stems. They were perfect for Frank and Alma so I had to get them a pair. On my way back to Bella I ran into some pirates and had them pose with Bella – arrrgh!
Then it was back on the bike and on home. Hwy 20 was pretty clear, only me and two other cars the whole way home. I rolled into the garage at 2:30pm after 217 miles and was beat. The girls were in Beaverton so I crawled on the couch with Molly and napped the rest of the afternoon. Good day!