Day 1 - Everett, Washington to Wanatchee,
Beep, beep, beep. Ugh, this is way too early! I don't get
up this early for work. I do see this hour occasionally
for bike rides, but I would now have to do this every day
for the next 24 days, so I was just going to have to get
used to it. I took a quick shower, reorganized my bag, and
carried everything downstairs. I put together a little bundle
of clothing, including booties, warm gloves and a turtleneck
to send to the top of Steven's Pass. I knew it might be
cold there, and I wanted to be prepared. The infamous weatherliars
had predicted no rain, so I foolishly left my rain
pants in my gearbag, but I did carry my rain jacket instead
of just the wind shell that many of the other riders were
wearing. It was cool, so I started out in arm and leg warmers,
as I would almost every other day on the trip. Just before
starting out, I saw Terry and John. I waved and rolled out
knowing they would catch and pass me quite soon. We had
to pay close attention to the route card for the first 10
miles until we hit Route 2, our path for the next 2 and
a half days. About the time we hit Route 2, it began to
rain; steadily. A few miles later I had a flat tire. I've
had remarkably good luck with not having flats over the
past couple of years, and was quite disappointed to have
two in three days. I hoped this wasn't a sign of things
to come. Fortunately I only had one other flat for the entire
I made it through the first and second snack stops quickly.
I wanted to get up and over Steven's Pass. It was only 6%
and not terribly long, but it would give me some idea of
how I might do on the ride relative to the other riders.
I must admit I was quite intimidated by the other riders,
since I recognized many of the names from other long distance
rides. And walking around the parking lot the day before
I had seen many new and very good quality bikes, and many
finely tuned bodies. This was not a race, but I didn't want
to ride across the country alone, and I really hoped I could
stay close to folks on the climbs..
Adrenaline pushed me up the climb without too much trouble.
It was cold and wet at the top, so I changed into my warmer
clothes, and then enjoyed some hot food under the shelter,
out of the rain. Terry was waiting at the top, and took
some pictures as well as the room key I still had in my
pocket, so it could be returned to the hotel. Fortunately,
I only did this once on the whole trip, and this time had
someone heading back to return the key. We said our good-byes
and best wishes there (him for BMB, and me for PAC Tour)
and rode off downhill in opposite directions, me into the
sun of the desert beyond the Cascades, and Terry back through
the dreariness that has embraced western Washington for
most of the summer.
was a welcome sight, and when I reached the bottom, I removed
my turtleneck and booties, and was dressed for summer again.
Unfortunately during the screaming, white knuckle descent,
my cue sheet blew away, but fortunately I found a small
group still in possession of directions that I could join
for the remainder of the day..
Upon reaching the hotel in Wenatchee, I got out of my bike
shorts, showered, and then headed down to clean the bike,
get my massage, and seek out dinner. Phil offered 20 minute
massages for $10, and I told him I would be his best customer,
and to expect to see me every night. ( I only missed 2 nights
the entire trip!)
This would become a pretty regular routine. Although I
often added a trip to the drugstore to pick up some aid
for saddle sores, or headcolds, or saddle sores or stomach
aches, or saddle sores...