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Uphill and Against the Wind - TransAm E-W
By Dave T

North Coast Tour 1983: Portland to San Francisco

In 1983 I was 17 years old and a Jr in High School, demands on my time were ever increasing. Growing to about 6'7" tall, basketball and athletics was taking most of my spare time. I wasn't sure where cycling was going to fall into my summer plans with baseball and Varsity Basketball camp during the summer.

I found an ad for a fully loaded group tour on the Oregon, and California coast to San Francisco. This trip fell perfectly in-between all my athletic obligations and the beginning of the school year. I convinced my parents to let me go on the trip, which, was easier than I thought it would be. The trip would be a 2 week tour starting in Portland Oregon and terminating in San Francisco.

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The Rendezvous in Portland, Oregon August 1983

Thats me, tall guy without a helmet

The flight to Portland was my first experience on a commercial airline. I had all my gear carefully packed in a bike box from the shop and had it setup for easy re-assembly in portland. Once landing in Portland it took me a little time to figure out where to get my stuff, since it was my first experience flying, and it was a little confusing for a 17 year old. Found all my stuff and headed out the door, bike box and all. I opened the box right outside the terminal and re-assembled my bike, loaded it up with my bags and hit the road for the randezvou. It was funny, all these people watching me assemble my bike outside the terminal. I don't do bike shops for assembly......

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The Gang.........

ahhh, those old Bell helmets look so silly, don't they?

The trip was un-believable, the weather was fantastic, with no ocean fog layer the whole trip. This was my first and last experience being part of a group tour. Nothing was wrong with this group, everyone was very friendly and we had a great time, but I was the youngest and was essentially treated that way. Not being exposed to much cooking outside mom and Little Ceasars, the nightly meals were horrible (I thought). Who ever heard of such a deal, eating only vegetarian??? I was horrified to find that the nightly meals didn't include some form of red meat, or junk food. I didn't really complain about it I got even! We all took turns planning, buying the food and preparing the meals. So when our (me, Andy, Brian) turn came around we bought hamburger, twinkees, and cokes, all to the dis-like of everyone else.

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Astoria, at the Maritime Museum

I knew this was the Western Terminus of the Trans America Trail and I did a lot of thinking while here.

All the other members of the group seemed to be overloaded with crap, what are these people carrying? I used my experience around Lake Huron to pack pretty much the same way, with slight modification. I used only rear packs and had plenty of room for the group gear, being assigned a big stupid pot.

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Mom... look, GYPSIES!

In the above picture, thats my bike on the end with the Pepsi can next to it. That is my Takara 970 with my hand made wheels. My motto, travel lite, move fast..... At this grocery store I overheard a little kid say "look mom, Gypsies!", the mom quickly grabbed the little kid and quickly ran off. Yeah, the big bad biker gang is going to get you, ha ha ha ha, I laughed.

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North Coast Tour, 1983

Thats me, second from the left

I stopped in a bike shop along the coast, just to see what is what compared to the shop at home. I saw a brand new, aluminum Cannondale bike and the they let me test ride it. This Cannondale bike was unbelievable, the ride, the feel, the response. This was one of the first Cannondale bikes with the small down tube, and the start of the Alum craze. I had to have one, as riding seemed so much better on this Aluminum bike.

The Oregon, Cal Coast is a phenomenal trip, the scenery is spectacular. I really enjoy riding on the coast, you get to meet so many other cyclist. The coast route is so biker friendly it's amazing.

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During this trip I did plenty on thinking about the Trans America Trail. By the time I reached San Francisco I decided to make the Trans Am within the next 5 years. But, I'll need that new bike first............

As I think back on this trip, it really served as my "test run" for the Trans Am. Having been on 2, Two weeks tours with this one having many mt climbs I felt I could ride the Trans Am without a problem. I did not have any mechanical problems, flats or any broken spokes on any trip up to this date. I do carry all the tools to repair my own bike under any circumstance. I read many journals here where people are not prepared to make even the simplest repairs in the event of a problem. ~~


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