The ride today is more majestic and beautiful to-date. The ride was just 77 miles and 3,800 feet. We rode along the Columbia River and headed up the Hood River to the infamous Gorge towards Mount Hood. If you have not been to the area you should add it to your “bucket list”, including summer skiing on the Mt. Hood Glacier.
Unfortunately on the ride I was sideswiped by a car. All things considered I am in good shape other them some nasty scrape and contusions on my elbow, thigh and hip. Ironically I did more damage to the car then myself and was able to complete the ride. This serves as a stark reminder that no matter how well prepared you are and practice safe riding protocols (including wearing a bright jersey, use flashing lights on the front and back), there is little defense from an inattentive driver.
After seeing that I was ok, the driver demanded I pay $200 for the damages to her car. I shattered the passenger mirror and put a crease in the side of her car from the front wheel to the back of the car. Apparently I only fell after she past me. The group gave me high scores for not falling immediately! While we are only in the ride three days the support and comradery from the group and staff of Trek has been fantastic. Thank you.
In response to her demands of payment, our group “circled the wagon”, advised her of the law in Oregon and called the police, letting her know she did more then $200 damages to me, my clothing and the bike. She then left the scene of the accident. The police (Deputy Sheriff Joe Graziano), was great and helpful and concerned on this being a hit an run and have put a bulletin out for her and her car. Shortly afterwards I was interviewed by two TV stations (KATU Portland and KGW-TV) regarding the accident and my ride for Alzheimer’s recognizing not only the patient, but the impact on their loving caregivers.
Tonight we are staying at the Hood River Hotel. Called the windsurfing capital of the world, Hood River is just an hour from downtown Portland, located at the panoramic crossroads of the Columbia River Gorge and the Cascade Range. It’s chock-full of scenic hiking and mountain biking trails, craft breweries, wineries and farm-to-table bounty. Tomorrow we are looking at 101 miles with the largest elevation gain for the trip at 8,300 feet. Time to rest up and get ready for tomorrow.