Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Why indeed?

Many people ask us why we are doing this ride. Our host, Earl Laue, was the first to ask why Mike isn't doing it. I like that attitude!


Monday night we stayed in Seaside with a Warm Showers host.
We took off Tuesday morning in a cool fog, but we were still able to see the ocean as we passed by. We stopped at the Lewis and Clark statue on the beach, as we will be following the Lewis and Clark trail for some time. We headed out of town, and immediately UP our first climb. We were rewarded later with a good downhill. The scenery is beautiful, similar to Colorado only greener. The first part of the day was on less-traveled roads. Then, we were routed onto Highway 30 for the rest of the day. It would have been a lovely ride, except for the heavy traffic and disappearing shoulder. We made it safely 58 miles to Clatskanie, where we camped in the city park, right next to a small river. After checking out the small downtown area, we dined on sandwiches, read for a while, and turned in for the night.

Today we rode from Clatskanie about 55 miles to the outskirts of Portland, on Highway 30 the whole way. Once again, we had a big climb first thing in the morning, followed by a screaming downhill into Rainier. And once again, the traffic was heavy and the shoulder was at times nonexistent. However, past Rainier the road improved, and provided a nice flat to slightly undulating ride. We saw Mt. Saint Helens from a distance, and there were enough trees along the route to provide some shady relief from the 94 degree heat. This evening we are staying with long-time friends (a former co-worker of Mike's from Martin Marietta and his wife).
Together with Marge's daughter and granddaughter, we went on a walking tour of the Nike campus. It is very impressive, beautifully landscaped, with numerous athletic facilities and fields for the employees. It is now dinner time!

 This used to be called the Lance Armstrong building.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Our Bikes

Several people have asked what kind of bikes we ride. They are nothing too fancy. I have a Raleigh Grand Sport that was given to me by a friend who was upgrading. I have reconfigured it with flat handlebars, fingertip click shifters, and of course my moon saddle, to be more of a touring bike rather than a true road bike.

Due to a back injury last fall, Lonna is now riding a Volae Team recumbent.

We are now in Portland, OR, having a send-off dinner with Marge's daughter before heading to Seaside.


Saturday, July 26, 2014


Steve here.    Lonna and I have joined us with Paula in Laramie.  Going to drive to Boise tomorrow. Monday will meet Marge and get this adventure on the road. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Another WOWWSer

Joining us for the first week of the ride will be Marge Harper, a long-time friend of Paula's from church choir. We have been going for regular rides together, with lots of HILLS and trying to get out early to beat the heat. Marge has previously trained for triathlons, but this is her first bicycling tour. I have given Marge a short tutorial on the correct way to wear a bike helmet.

Meet our driver

Lonna and Steve are now on the road, heading west.  Steve Thompson, our support driver, is a friend of Lonna's from a community band that she used to play in. Steve is a percussionist in the band. Hailing from Pardeeville, WI, he is retired from the printing business, and is an avid curler. Steve had such a great time as our support driver on the Mississippi ride that he couldn't wait to drive for us again. Go figure.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Welcome to the WOWWS 2014 blog!

In 2012 Team WOWWS, consisting of sisters Lonna Brooks and Paula Pahl on bicycles, and support vehicle driver Steve Thompson, cycled the Mississippi River Trail from Minneapolis to the Gulf of Mexico--1887 miles in 33 days. This year we are making an epic ride across the USA from Seaside, Oregon, to Bar Harbor, Maine--4004 miles in 63 days. We hope you enjoy following along with us!