Astoria, Oregon: The day before TransAmerica 2010 finally begins! I flew into Portland late last night and caught up with my cousin Kevin from Atlanta, who happened to be here on business and stayed for the weekend to make sure I actually start cycling tomorrow.
This morning Kevin and I had breakfast with two Portland friends with a strong Hong Kong connection, Lynn and Ralph, and their two sons. We then rented a car and drove westward for a couple hours to Astoria, the starting point for the ride. The weather is discouraging — rainy and chilly. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest, I am told.
In the afternoon I reconnected with my trusted Cannondale, got the bike set up, and attended a three hour orientation session about this epic ride. In total there are 60 people in the group, 47 who are planning to pedal all the way to the Atlantic. There’s both apprehension and excitement among the riders, and a mix of riding experiences.
A friend from Columbia b-school, YP, kindly drove down from Seattle to help send me off. Kevin, YP and I had dinner with the other ride participants. After a dinner of salmon and veggies there was a route rap briefing on tomorrow’s ride. We then piled into YP’s car and drove around the city of Astoria, including a visit to the Astoria column, which offers 360 degree views of the mouth of the Columbia river. Stunningly beautiful and stunningly cold.
It’s now 10pm and past my bedtime. Tomorrow I’ll try to post some pictures of Day 1 in the saddle.
Until then, cheers.