Although I wrote down pages of personal observations after each day’s ride, I’m at a loss for what to write about the entire Ride Around Washington. The word “Wow” comes to mind. After resting, showering and doing laundry Saturday, I feel great. If reality wasn’t a factor, I could have easily gotten back on the bike this morning, continuing on through Oregon and California.
Including intentional side trips, I covered 486 miles and am, theoretically at least, within reach of logging 1k miles for the month. The week went something like this:
|1||90.4||Oroville||Okanogan||Side trip to Osoyoos, BC, to officially “dip the wheel” into Canada.|
|2||92.0||Okonagan||Chelan||Loup Loup pass (4,020′); Side trips in town for a pint of ice cream, mail post cards to friends.|
|3||67.37||Chelan||Leavenworth||Did battle with headwinds most of the day. So… tired…|
|4||95.34||Leavenworth||Yakima||Blewett Pass (4,120′) plus Yakima Canyon. Delicious tailwind for the 14 miles into lunch, where I averaged 28 mph.|
|5||74.35||Yakima||Bickleton||Humming tunes of the 70s, 80s and 90s|
|6||67.35||Bickleton||Maryhill||Side trip to the Oregon side of the border. Dave Flood of ARES (rightly) thought I was nuts for doing this.|
The best things about the ride:
- ARES crew — Bob, Gene, Fran, Dave, Holly, Nadine and Bill seemed to be just around the corner everywhere.
- Fantastic route – Yakima Canyon was especially gorgeous. The stars in Bickleton were amazing. There were three mountain passes (Loup Loup, Old Blewett and Kennowac).
- Except for one spot near Yakima, the route was marked well-enough I didn’t need the map. They provided altitude profiles that helped me pace myself by anticipating where the ‘harder’ parts would be.
- Marshall Brown’s sweeping of glassy areas near Yakima.
- My (futile) attempts to haul a tumble weed in for “Decorate Your Helmet Day.” After the third one fell off, I gave up.
Detractions were few, but of note:
- Lack of toilets enroute. This was especially egregious in areas where there were no trees.
- Some miscoordination, e.g. showers being unavailable until 4pm in Chelan. It gave me an excuse to go into town.