08/21/2004

Day 83 - 8/21
Forest Grove, OR to Portland, OR
58 (5001)

This is it.

I slept in a bit and packed up my stuff, heading over to Maggie’s Buns for some breakfast. I was on the road by 9, with 6 hours to go only 26 miles to the finish line in Portland. I couldn’t believe that I’d fall just 30 miles short of 5000 miles and decided that I wouldn’t. Through my childhood I had spent my summers pedaling all around the back farm roads of Washington County. It seemed like a nice way to relive some old memories and push myself over that 5G threshold.

So I roamed the roads, amazed by how much of the farmland has now been taken over by McMansion developments. My goal was to keep my speed up while I road so those 30 miles would accumulate more quickly. Unfortunately, I found myself into the West Hills more quickly than I expected. Before I knew it I was up on Skyline, the ridge of the hills. I enjoyed the views from the ridge, working my way to the Pittock Mansion and getting my first view of Portland. It was amazing to look down on my city with the peak of Mt. Hood rising above the overcast sky. I snapped some pictures then rode down the windy, wealthy roads to NW Portland.

With about an hour and a half and still 8 miles short of the goal, I rode north along the Willamette 4 miles then turned around right back into town. Portland is a very a bike friendly town, with nice bike lanes. Some cyclists congratulated me only accomplishment.

Once in downtown, I stopped at my favorite vintage clothing store, Magpie. I went in to get some nice clothes to change into for my party, but then I stumbled upon the shorts. The shorts were skin tight black and white bikers shorts. The shorts seduced me, and I decided that I’d ride into my party dressed like a fool.

At the shop I also found a groovy New York Memories t-shirt, which seemed appropriate, and a suave black biking cap. I was a sight.

I stopped at Waterfront park for about 20 minutes, enjoying the city and reflecting my trip. It was an amazing feeling to be right there in the middle of Portland with 5,000 miles under my belt.

And then the big finale. I rode across the Hawthorne Bridge just a few blocks to the Lucky Lab where all my friends and family were waiting to cheer my on. I thanked and hugged everyone then escaped to my grandma Audrey’s motorhome for a quick shower and a more appropriate outfit.

The party was wonderful. Thank you to everyone who came out to help celebrate and who has supported me through this venture. I also thank you for your contributions to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. It’s a wonderful organization and your aid brings us this much closer to a cure.