The Machine

The Reach the Beach Ride is an annual event in Oregon sponsored by The American Lung Association in May of each year. This year (2004) it started in Beaverton, Newberg, Amity, or Grand Rhonde and ended in Pacific City on the Oregon Coast. The rider can elect which starting point based on how many miles is to be ridden. My friend Jeff and his cycling buddies leave from Beaverton, which is 100 miles, we elected to start in Amity which is 55 miles.

Jac 2007

By we I mean my two sons, Jacquari, age 13, (age 17 in picture) and Teddy (age 12), and I (age 63). I have ridden long distances before. This was a first for them. I was on a Bike Friday Sat R Day (see below) and they rode their bike of choice, a BMX style bike. They had walkie talkies (I had a cell phone) to use if we got separated. I had their water and food along with mine since I had a trunk bag on my bike. My wife acted as sag wagon for us.

And so we took off from Amity. After five miles Teddy tired and wanted to be picked up. I stopped and called my wife. She was not far away and came to pick Teddy and his bike up. But where was Jac? I tried the walkie talkie, but he had outdistanced their range. So I took off after him. My wife and Teddy went to Grand Rhonde Confederated Tribes Rodeo area where lunch was to be served. The ride to Sheridan was 5 miles from where we were. My fold up recumbent wiggled badly as I sped over 20 mph coming down the hill into Sheridan. I stopped at the rest stop there for snack and water, but Jac didn’t. I pressed on to the rodeo area, 12 miles more where the lunch was to be served. My wife was there but Jac wasn’t.

Jac had arrived there, wasn’t hungry, drank water, left his backpack with his stuff in the car and took off.

The rest as they say is history. My wife, Teddy, and I went to the Spirit Mountain Casino and played slots for a while (Teddy was in daycare) and rested. Then we drove to highway 101 outside of Pacific City and Ted and I rode our bikes the last five miles into the city. My wife parked the car by the Tillamook library Thrift Shop and Teddy and I finished the ride.

We had already heard the rumors of the kid on the BMX who wouldn’t quit. They (college kids) called him The Machine. He had soloed the last 25.9 miles without stopping, without food or water. He later told me he could catch the fast bikes going up the hills but not down the hills. He told me he knew what the “wall” was (where you have so little energy left you can’t even eat something to regain it), he had hit it big time, but he kept going. When he got to the food tents in Pacific City at Cape Kiwanda, he dropped his bike and staggered to the food. The Cliff Bars people who had also heard about The Machine brought him a whole box of Cliff Bars.

What you may not know is that Jacquari has been diagnosed ADD. He had never completed a task in his life without getting distracted and putting it off. He had convinced his teacher, Jodie Foster (not that Jodie Foster, another) at DaVinci Middle School in Portland, that he could turn in his paper on procrastination a day late. He was notorious for saying “Sure” when asked to do something like take out the trash, only to find the trash still awaiting his attention. He had the t-shirt:”I really don’t get this ADD thing, Oh there goes a squirrel.”

So I said to Jac, well this changes everything. Now we know you can do something if the goal is clear and you’re focused on it.” He laughed but agreed. I also said we need to get you a road bike with gears.

Later we would get such a bike. We road it in the spring century ride sponsored by the Portland Wheelman Touring Club. I showed him how to repair flat tires or change inner tubes, six times on that ride. He and I rode from Hillsborough where we left the MAX light rail station. We rode 7 miles up and 24 miles down to Pacific City. But, when we moved to Corvallis, he forgot he had left his bike downtown in a bike rack near CSC. It got stolen.

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