The rallying cry is “For The Glory!”
The PIneapple Express joined its fellow racers at the Plaza on Saturday. We pedaled out into our second 3-day, epic adventure, which would test our strength, patience and bravery.
The most difficult stretch of the course was the dunes at the beginning of the first day. After the transition area at the Manila parking lot, we had to pedal up a series of soft dunes. I got a chance to test out our new hand crank, which worked really well to get us moving forward when we got stuck.
After several hours of pedaling on the dunes, we reached the beach, and the tide was coming in, so the waves washed over us and slowed our progress down to a creep. At 5:20, realizing we would not reach Halvorson park by the cut-off time of 6:32, we got out and started to push toward Deadman’s Drop. We lost our Ace, but did far better on the sand than we did last year.
That night, we wrapped ourselves up in a tent and passed out on a friend’s lawn.
The second day was a short ride over to a boat ramp, where we entered the water and immediately realized that our new design was very unstable. I was terrified we would tip over the whole time, but tried to hold it together and not to wiggle around too much. We did not make it up the exit ramp using the hand crank, possibly because Bob’s side had fallen off on the ride up to Arcata, or possibly because we need to move the metal attachments for the pontoons back more, to get them out of the way of the front wheel when we are going uphill.
Leaving the boat ramp, we loaded up and rode over to Eureka Natural Foods for a delicious lunch. After lunch, we followed the Fun Guys out to the Hickshari Trail. There are substantial homeless encampments for a few miles, and we noticed that they have expanded a lot, since we were out there last year. At one point, a little girl in her socks wandered down to the bike path to cheer us on.
Day three was an adventure in off-road sandy gravel. The new trail out to the Eel river crossing is very uneven and broke the Fun Guy’s axle. We enjoyed using our hand-crank again, to get up the little hills.
At the finish in Ferndale, smiles broke out again. “For The Glory!”