Seattle to Portland in fifteen minutes
On a sunny Sunday afternoon in the exact middle of July while departing from my secret hideout where I write things other than my blog, I began to notice cyclists about – real cyclists, the kind in cycling clothes with their feet soldered onto their pedals. They all had five-digit black numbers on their backs. They seemed to be traveling in my direction, so I fell in with a group of them.
Conversation revealed that they were on their last couple of miles of the annual two-day Seattle-Portland bike ride. They had ridden a hundred miles that day, and another hundred the day before. You know how I’m always telling you everybody passes me, even people on tricycles? Not these guys. Finally I’ve found the kind of cyclists I can keep up with – people who’ve ridden a hundred miles already. So of course I rode along with them, savoring the feeling of riding in the middle of a pack of actual cyclists in full costume. When does that ever happen? never.
Suddenly there was a finish line in an unexpected place in the middle of a block on Broadway. Next thing I know, people are shouting out congratulations and clapping and cheering and blowing horns all around me. We’re all being funneled into a little pathway into a park, people are leaning in over banisters and high-fiving us and then someone hangs a medal on me. It happened so fast it was all a blur. Here is a photo of the blurry woman giving me the medal.
(Do you see it hanging on a blue string in her right hand? She's got a bunch more hanging from her left hand on blue strings.)
Go ahead, you can say I’m a big fat charlatan, but know this:
Almost exactly three decades ago I rode my bike from Eugene to Seattle and all I got was my mother calling long distance from Italy to tell me I was out of my freakin mind (not her exact words).
I gotta go, I’ll tell you that story next time. And show you more photos, like of my medal and stuff.
And for those of you who don't read on the weekends, be sure and notice that I posted the final installment of the fish story. Scroll down for that.