Alright, so a few weeks later I finally have my head screwed on straight about the whole experience. Here we go:
- It rocked. It rocked a lot.
- I do not like riding in the rain when it is more than something we would call "spitting" in Portland.
- Organized large trip pros:
- Cool people to hang with
- Mechanics who know a lot more than I do about what's going on with my bike
- Van support
- Someone else is cooking
- Less gear to haul on the bike
- Organized large trip cons:
- Zero mile days are not a real option
- Being in the back of the pack is a mentally challenging place to be versus going your own pace (see Day 2)
- Less control over stops and routing
- Some rules I'd prefer to ignore
- Menu was selected by other people who don't eat at all the way I do
More and more, I feel like this ride made a difference if only from the standpoint of the money raised. Figure the average per rider was about $2500. We had a 125(ish) riders, so that means climate change opposition was funded an additional $300,000 minus expenses. How about we say a quarter million dollars going towards the cause? Not bad.
I'm also happy to have taken on a pretty big challenge at my *cough cough* advanced age. Not that I feel old by any stretch, but having recently turned 40, it feels good to have pulled off a physical task that most wouldn't take on in their 20s or 30s. I think there's a big future in bike adventures for me, and I'm looking forward to some of the future challenges.
So... Climate Ridin'? Thumbs up.