Train for a Weeklong Bicycle Tour

Completing a weeklong bicycle tour can be so satisfying for both for your body and your brain! Our rides typically require riding between 60-80 miles a day for seven days straight, with up to 7,000 feet of total elevation gain. With adequate training and preparation, you can have the absolute best time in the saddle—for every day on the ride. Below are a few general tips to keep you on the right training track.

Be Consistent

Try to saddle up just about every day, even if it’s for only 20 minutes at a time. You don’t have to simulate your tour exactly (i.e. you don’t need to ride 70 miles a day for seven days straight) to train for a weeklong tour. What is important is that you try to get in the saddle every day and put some miles in and you get accustomed to sitting on a bike for a few days in a row.

Start Early, Then Buildspin-bike-1

Now is the time! 16 weeks before your ride, get in the saddle, whether is it on an indoor trainer, spin class or outside. Start small if you feel like you have had a long winter. Take 20-30 minutes a day and spin. Each week, build consistently both with mileage and intensity. If you can ride three days a week, great. If you can ride four days a week, even better.

Simulate Hills

If you have hills to ride nearby, get on them! Our rides have hills—that is the beauty of riding in the Northwest! But, we don’t all have 3,000 foot climbs out our back door. This means you’ll need to simulate hills through higher intensity training throughout your trainingIMG_0192 plan. If you have a short hill you can ride, do repeats. Or try riding into the wind to get your heart rate up. Higher intensity training mixed in with longer, slower rides is important.

Pace Yourself

In conjunction with intensity training, you’ll also need to learn how to pace yourself. The first day of a weeklong bicycle tour can be exciting and many cyclists will start off with a bang. Remember that you have six more days of riding! So, take some time to incorporate long rides at an all-day pace, preferably once a week.

Stay Fueled

Practice staying fueled up by taking in calories not just during your rides, but also before and after. It is common for riders training for a long ride to not eat enough, as they are often pursuing weight-loss goals in addition to long-ride training. Food is your friend. Really.

Stay Flexible

Cycling is a wonderful low-impact activity, but it can also create imbalances and tightness in the yoga for cyclistsmuscles and soft tissue. As most of us already know, stretching those hip flexors and quads is a great place to start! Also remember that your neck, back, even upper and lower arms can get tight while sitting on a bike for several hours at time. Taking 15 minutes or better yet, try some bicycling specific yoga poses.

Listen To Your Body

Training can be hard, especially when you are juggling work, family and other things in life. Pay attention to your body with regards to fatigue, soreness and injury. The last thing you want to happen is to have an injury or full body burn out. If you find yourself totally exhausted, take a break for a few days, then regroup and get back on it.

Have Fun!

There’s a reason we call our rides “Adult Summer Camp”—they are fun and rewarding! Make your training fun. Mix up your routes a lot, ride with friends or take those long solo rides as time for yourself. Remember—riding bikes is fun stuff.

Trout Lake Country Inn: Great Stop on the Washington Bicycle Ride!

“Tourist Club – Beer – Confectionary – Tobacco – Fishing License – Tackle”

The history of the Trout Lake Country Inn is great fun.

Trout Lake is our last night out on the Washington Bicycle Ride and a grand place it is, with GREAT views of Mt. Adams, a Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning (if anyone can wait until 9am for it to start), famous huckleberry smoothies at the gas station cafe and this crazy history! Sign up the single females on our ride!!!

In 1909, the Thode brothers and other bachelors who had settled around Trout Lake, organized the Trout Lake Bachelor’s Club at the nearby Guler Hotel. The organization, purportedly the first of its kind in the Northwest, took out several advertisements in newspapers around the Pacific Northwest looking for eligible bachelorettes. Quickly word spread from California to British Columbia and the response was almost immediate.

Within a month, hundreds of letters of interest had been sent to club members. The Klickitat County Agriculturist reported in March 1909 that the City Clerk in The Dalles had been receiving numerous “applications” from eligible bachelorettes. They even went so far as to publish a letter from a Spokane bachelorette. The Bachelor’s Club proved wildly popular and attracted a considerable tourist trade to the area. In March 1924, J.A. “Doodle” and Josephine Jermanne began leasing the hall. Meanwhile Herman Thode opened Trout Lake’s first gas station on property he owned at the corner of Guler Road and the main highway

Though advertised as the “Tourist Club”, many locals referred to the building as “Doodle’s Place”. The owners, J.A. “Doodle” and Josephine Jermanne, offered food, beverage, beer and nightly pinocle games. J.A.’s own business card advertised:

“Tourist Club – Beer-Confectionary-Tobacco- Fishing License- Tackle; PO Trout Lake, Guler Wash.'”

Other events included community dances which continued throughout the prohibition era. While alcohol could no longer be legally sold at the Club, reportedly some male customers hid their stash by stuffing bottles into the snow bank off the porch in winter or concealed bottles in nearby tree branches or bushes at other times of the year.

We’re looking forward to visiting this place on the Washington Bicycle Ride this year!

Astoria-Megler Bridge Turns 50 in August 2016

This is exciting news for us as our Oregon Bicycle Ride will start off on this very bridge!

Last link of highway connecting the US/Mexico border to the US/Canada border was completed on July 29, 1966.

LONG BEACH PENINSULA, Wash. – February 29, 2016 – The fifty-year milestone of the completion and opening of the Astoria-Megler Bridge is being commemorated this year in Washington and Oregon. Communities north and south of the bridge will celebrate the anniversary throughout 2016 with special exhibits, talks and a rededication.

“The opening of the bridge was a big deal for coastal communities at the mouth of the Columbia River,” said Betsy Millard, executive director, Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum. “Easier auto access opened up both sides of the river to more travelers and made Astoria much more accessible to local residents.”

At one time nicknamed the “Bridge to Nowhere,” the 4.1-mile long Astoria-Megler Bridge is significant as the last-to-be-completed link in the Trans American Highway – a continuous, uninterrupted motor route between the Canadian and Mexican borders.

“Though nicknamed the ‘Bridge to Nowhere,’ the Washington terminus is an area rich in history,” said Millard.

As part of the celebration, the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum will open a special 50th Anniversary Astoria/Megler Bridge exhibition on July 29. The exhibition will focus on the history of Megler and its transition from the era of steamboats and ferries to that of the modern bridge. For more information, please visit www.columbiapacificheritagemuseum.org or call 360.642.3446 .

The impressive structure links Astoria, Oregon, to Point Ellice at Megler in Pacific County, Washington, fourteen miles from the mouth of the Columbia River and eleven from the Long Beach Peninsula, an iconic Northwest coastal destination notable for seafood, outdoor beauty and historical significance.

Approximately 6,000 cars cross the two-lane (plus bike lanes) bridge daily.

Constructed of steel in a cantilever, through-truss design, the bridge opened on July 29, 1966 and was dedicated by Washington Governor Dan Evans and Oregon Governor Mark Hatfield, along with a crowd of 30,000 people, on August 27, 1966.

The longest continuous, three-truss, through-span bridge in North America, the engineering feat was designed by William Adair Bugge, with the Oregon and Washington Departments of Transportation overseeing the project.

Construction began on November 5, 1962 at a cost of $24 million. Bonds were paid off and tolls removed on Dec. 24, 1993.

The bridge earned the nickname the “The Bridge to Nowhere” as its northern terminus ended at a massive granite cliff face with only a short stretch of road heading east and little within sight heading west toward Chinook, Fort Columbia, Ilwaco, Cape Disappointment, and other points along the scenic Long Beach Peninsula.

Upon its completion, the bridge replaced the Astoria-Megler Ferry, a commercial ferry service established by Capt. Fritz Elfying in 1921 and sold to Oregon State, with operations assigned to the State Highway Department (now the Oregon Department of Transportation) in 1946. In good weather, the crossing could take half an hour. The ferry’s limited car capacity and cancelled service most always meant long waits. The nearest non-ferry crossing was at the Lewis and Clark Bridge, crossing from Rainier, Oregon, to Longview, Washington, approximately 48 miles upstream.

“The opening of the bridge marked a change of life for all of us on the Long Beach Peninsula,” recalls David Campiche, native of Seaview, Washington, and owner/operator with his wife Laurie Anderson of the historic Shelburne Inn. “It marked the end of a slower paced, in retrospect more romantic though less predictable means of crossing.

“I remember taking the ferry to The Y swimming pool in Astoria. Sometimes the ferry would stop running or get caught on a sand bar. We’d have to overnight at the John Jacob Astor Hotel, quite the adventure for us as young people.”

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