It is said that a journey of a 1,000 miles starts with the first step. Well, the first step of my journey across America by bike started with a short ride today. It is a tradition when starting a ride from one coast to the the other that riders dip their rear tire in the ocean - in this case the Pacific Ocean. When done, riders dip their front tire into the other ocean - in this case hopefully the Atlantic. Below is a picture of me with my bike in the Pacific Ocean followed by me taking my first few pedal strokes. I started in Sunset Beach State Park which is a beautiful park on the ocean just south of the mouth of the Columbia River. I bicycled the coast of Oregon in the fall of 2003 and it is spectacular.
It was about nine miles from the beach to the hotel for the night. We had a group meeting to review the ride and various issues including riding habits and safety. We also introduced ourselves and stated why we are doing this. There were several who were cancer survivors and the ride was to celebrate living cancer free. One man was told a few years ago his weight was affecting his health, so he bought a bike and started riding. Since then, he has lost over 60 pounds. For many it was a bucket list, others were taking a break from work or education. For me, it is something I have wanted to do for many years and I look at it as a sabbatical. I am very blessed to have an incredibily talented staff who make it possible for me to do this.
Most interesting conversation was when I met a young landy from England. When she found out I am from Fargo, she was so excited she was jumping up and down. The movie Fargo is one of her favorites and she wanted me to talk like the movie. I said I was not very good, but I would put Kim on the phone one night as she is very good at talking 'Fargo.'
Tomorrow we ride about 70 miles to St. Helens.