Finish Line Disappointment

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Re: Finish Line Disappointment

Postby Bluefrog » Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:21 pm

I'm with John and Carol on the number of folks getting a lift to the top of Tollgate and the free ride down. Early on in the CO mailings, the comment was made that SAG was for injury, illness or broken bikes and that SAG would only take you to the days endpoint. I'm a 1-year cancer survivor who made it up. I chatted with folks who'd had knee and hip replacements, cardiac surgeries, diabetes, and cancer treatments, all within the past year...and they made it up! The awesome Trailhead Coffee guy with the cargo bike made it up!
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Re: Finish Line Disappointment

Postby woodenidol » Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:36 pm

Its tough, I try not to pass judgement on folks who sagged. Its not my mentality, but then again, I have learned life is not always what one expects.

I will say I hardly felt like whinning the last day when I saw the "Coffee" guy. I asked him if he would do it again. He said "never again" and looked like he meant it! I think he was only referring to the coffee bike.

I have already almost completly forgotten the discomfort, so next year is already in the planning stages.

I think I will start a thread about peoples training, how they felt, and what they would do differently.

I myself would have ridden more miles of sustained climbing.
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Re: Finish Line Disappointment

Postby maxanme » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:23 pm

It's saddening to think of Cycle Oregon as a disappointment to someone. Congratulations on your accomplishment!
Last edited by maxanme on Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Finish Line Disappointment

Postby suziqt » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:10 pm

As much as I appreciate all the CO does for us riders, this was my last CO. :( I'm 54, 5'7, 120 and have been an athlete my entire life. I trained on hills for this ride and it kicked me arse! With so many long back-to-backs, I was too pooped to party and felt too rushed to stop and smell the flowers (or dump money in small towns). I didn't party one night. :cry: But, I did hear the bands each night and was pretty disappointed. Nothing good to dance to anyway. I think a kick-arse DJ would have been better. The last day was too long and not much of a party at the end. I rolled in at 4 and got the last piece of pizza. Guess CO is for young hotshots.
Thanks for 06 and 07, they were great! :mrgreen:

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Re: Finish Line Disappointment

Postby johnncarol » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:43 pm

Suziqt,

After your pre ride posts about the tat we looked for your license plate the whole ride but never found you. I wanted to see the tat and was curious about who you were.
You are 54 and 120, I am 74 and 170. My wife (stoker) is 69 and 110. We enjoyed the ride on our tandem, our 4th CO, but admit that it was indeed tough. We made it without a SAG or walking and were quite pleased with ourselves. We also didn't have much time to party and we never bothered to stay up to hear the band. For us, 8:30 was bedtime so we listened to music as we fell asleep. Partying is not why we do CO. We do it because we like the challenge, the people and seeing new country. We have done CO 04, 06, 08 but this was easily the most difficult. Four of the six days took pretty much all we had to offer. As always, we were impressed with a number of people who either looked much heavier than us or had bodies that did not look like cyclists, and were struggling up the hills. When we passed them and said Hi, they always had a cheerful reply so how could we not be impressed as they chugged along.
This was likely our last CO as we are probably going to go back to rides with Adventure Cycling that are not as difficult, but not because we didn't enjoy CO. We are just getting a bit long in the tooth for the level of difficulty. Fifty to sixty miles a day sounds good right now.

Sorry to hear you did not have a good time.

John and Carol (on the John Deere colored Co-Motion)
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Re: Finish Line Disappointment

Postby capthawk » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:46 pm

In the "good old days" (remember eating on hay bales-- no tent and chairs, etc) many hundreds of us would set up our tents Saturday night and continue the party till Sunday morning!!! Guess everyone is getting old nowdays.
It's always sunny at 35,000 ft
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Re: Finish Line Disappointment

Postby woodenidol » Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:12 pm

I found the ride was maybe struggling for a clear identity. The thing is so well run and its obvious how much care and thought is given to the ride and its participents. There is lots to do and its set up for fun, but the ride seemed too difficult for most to really enjoy the atmosphere fully.

My buddy who struggled and I both commented that days in the 50-60 mile range would have been more "fun" than the lengths we rode. Even in my youth, 50 was near the cut off for what I thought was fun. Anything more goes into the accomplishment category for me.

It was my first and Im really glad I did it, and have no real complaints. I appreciate the love that has gone into this. I know if I ride next years ride, that I will be alone, as my buddy finds it too long to have fun. I understand his point.

As a side note I saw SuziQt several times the last days. Tattoo looked great, but I didnt see you smiling at the end of either day and I felt somewhat the same.

Hard days, I knew I was done with the bike on the downhill to Elgin. I simply didnt care and would have traded the downhill to just be done.

Still, an amazing experience.
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Re: Finish Line Disappointment

Postby suziqt » Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:01 am

John and Carol,

Sorry that we did not meet. Yea, 50-60 a day sounds perfect.

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Re: Finish Line Disappointment

Postby dougnlis » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:06 am

Interesting comments. By my map this was a relatively short Cycle Oregon. Many have gone over 500 miles when there was no layover option. It was possible to ride only five days this year, sitting at the local watering holes in Waitsburg and Pendleton rather than get back on the bike for optional miles. I imagine the buses on Day 7 represented a tradeoff between saving money on local musicians and not leaving a lot of riders to founder on the long climb to Tollgate, without raising the tab for the ride. From these comments it seems like a good choice. I could hear the bands at Enterprise and Clarkston, but the two nights at Waitsburg and Pendleton the stage was so far from my tent that I skipped announcements and the main event music all together.

My training was nothing to brag about, but it got me through somewhere in the middle of the pack. Each day I was working my way back into position as lantern rouge but always ran out of road before the last rider could pass me. :wink: As with previous years, I will make decisions for future rides based on the route and what else I have going on. As to route, twice around the Wallowas (1995 and 1999) were enough and I wouldn't sign up for another go round (2003, 2008). This year I saw enough hills among wheatfields to last me a long time . . .
Steel is Real
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Re: Finish Line Disappointment

Postby bfuller24 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:31 pm

I have been thinking about all the previous posts in this thread all day. The most troubling to me is hearing my good friend Suzi will not be making this adventure again. I reported to all that I thought this CO (my fifth in a row) was tougher on me than any of the previous. My evaluation was that I rode really hard on Day 1 and then kept up the challenging pace all 5 days in a row until I opted for the cultural displays in Pendleton rather than bike. It does not seem to me it was the hardest CO ever but I think the order of the days may have something to do with the way it impacted so many. It seems to me there were alternating hard and easy days in the past and this year seems to have had 4 or 5 tough days in a row and I rode hard each day. I have said it before and will say it again...it is not the riding that makes this a special experience for me each year, it is the people. There is such a wonderful spirit that pervades the camp each evening and the line of riders each day. Everyone I ran into was infected with niceness. I met really nice people in our "Hooverville" camping areas each night. I hope Suzi QT and Danny Boy will make it back again in the future.
Brad "still training for the big one" Fuller
Stronger today than yesterday but not as strong as tomorrow.
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Re: Finish Line Disappointment

Postby spokhand » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:58 pm

Sorry that anyone would be dissapointed. The dissapointment would be not being able to ride CO, missing the great people who ride and who don't ride along the way, the personal feeling of accomplishment and enjoying a week away from the world. This is my third CO, I am 59. I do a lot of rides by myself, generally love the solitude and not having to meet anyone elses' expectations. Did that years ago. If you feel lonely in a crowd, then say hi, we're all friends here. :D
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Re: Finish Line Disappointment

Postby screenwasher » Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:24 pm

This was my first CO and I came by myself. Being a recreational/touring rider I was alone on the road a lot plodding along and generally bringing up the rear; but I was never alone in camp, at the meals, rest stops or in the beer garden. I met a lot of friendly folks during the week, except on the road when the only passing refrain was a curt 'on your left' or quite often nothing at all. It was nice to hear the occasional 'good morning' or 'how is it going?' rather than the silent whizzing by of some bikers even when there were not many around. And us slowpokes occasionally rode along side by side making good conversation. We even formed an informal 'pace line' of 2 or 3 once in a while! Except for the optional day in Pendleton when I watched the parade and took the Underground tour, I rode every day and enjoyed it a lot.
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Re: Finish Line Disappointment

Postby Red Zinger » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:08 pm

On a short final day, some group in the community usually serves lunch, which encourages people to hang around and celebrate a bit, listen to the music, have a last chat with friends, and enjoy a brief "transition" time. They don't serve lunch on a long day, so there is less of a party atmosphere.

We are among those who don't really want to scurry home as fast as possible after the ride. This year, we had a long way to go (back to the Willamette Valley), so we camped at the lovely city campground there in Elgin, where we stayed Saturday night 2 years ago. The facilities are very nice, and there's lots of green grass for tents. Several other riders stayed there too, including some friends from home, so we all went over to Sig's for dinner Saturday night and had our own party! It was fun sharing experiences of the week. I recommend the garlic shrimp next time you're there! :)

We had a wonderful night's sleep (quiet!) in the campground and awoke rested and ready for the long drive home.
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Re: Finish Line Disappointment

Postby suziqt » Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:04 pm

Love you BF, miss you already and glad you made it home safely.

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Re: Finish Line Disappointment

Postby slv0700 » Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:39 pm

Suzie.....you needed to ride more then 500 miles; you would have enjoyed
it like the other years...2006 was a ride from hell; 435 miles up hill!
and you liked that....think about it. I have 8 yrs on you....you can do, just ride more.
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