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pedal plenty

notes on a north american cycle trip in 2008

Archive for May, 2008

This summer …

… atop Alpowa summit, the discerning Scottish cyclist is wearing:

  • uncomfortable padded inserts in her shorts
  • a ridiculous sun tan
  • a banana
  • bad helmet hair
  • Rudy Project sunglasses
  • and, hot, Hot, HOT, for this summer. The WS-DOT reflective vest

gill.jpg

    Posted by me on May 31st, 2008

    Day 10 stats

    Dayton, Wa. to Clarkston, Wa.
    Distance
    : 67 miles
    Cumulative miles: 595 miles
    Wild things: a gopher
    American flags: millions (it’s Memorial Day which is like Armistice Day but without the rain)
    Tumbleweed sightings: 2 tumbling weeds

    Posted by me on May 31st, 2008

    Haggis left me

    for another bigger, redder friend.
    haggisfriend2.jpghaggisfriend.jpg

    Posted by me on May 31st, 2008

    A short day ..

    … aye right!

    Just 40 miles today, I wrote to Le Chef in the morning.  Well, it was pouring with rain.  So I hung out til 10 then hit the road.

    Strange how this back road is so busy.  People seem to be rushing to meet their makers.  Please don’t take me with you.  Your maker isn’t mine.

    Here is agricultural land.  Lots of vineyards, grain stores, corn and potatoes.  And the fields are so big, the size of Scotland (not actually but almost).

    And here I am in Nowhere, Wa.   Well, Dayton actually.  A very small town with two redeeming features; the Skye Book and Brew, a book store with a microbrewery in it.  Now there’s a good idea and the Manila Bay Cafe where Melody and Barbara took good care of me ensuring I had plenty of beer (from Skye Book and Brew obviously) and the tastiest SE Asian food.  Thank you ladies.

    fields.jpg

    Posted by me on May 30th, 2008

    Evil or Battlestar?

    The home of:

    a) evil coffee empire

    b) Kara Thrace

    starbuck.jpg

    Posted by me on May 30th, 2008

    Danger Will Robinson!

    breweryahead.jpg

    Posted by me on May 30th, 2008

    Day 9 stats

    Kennewick, Wa. to Dayton, Wa.
    Distance
    : 62 miles
    Cumulative miles: 528 miles
    Dead things: a snake (always best to meet dead snakes)
    Pie: 0 but ice cream. Yes!
    Margueritas: 0 but 2 glasses of Honey Weissbier
    Squeaky bike bits: lots especially that left pedal.
    Squeaky human bits: knees

    Posted by me on May 30th, 2008

    Go on ….

    … make my day!

    A restless night punctuated by folks arriving late at the teepees making as much noise as humanly possible and also being woken up by snoring. Oh … that was me.

    So the sun is up, it looks like it’ll be a hot day so I head off at 7am along a long, quiet, straight and lonely road. I think this is what youse American’s call the range. There are cows and orchards and corn. And if I look over my shoulder I can see Mount Hood. I plan to breakfast in Prosser (31 miles down the road). My Prosser leaflet promises great tasty goodies but none of them transpire. How can the coffee shop not have bagels and sandwiches on Saturday? Don’t people eat at the weekend? I eat a cookie, drink a latte and forge on in the heat.

    It’s hot. I hate this. I hate having to wear sun cream. I hate that it’s hot. I hate having to drink water all the time. I don’t like this. I want to stop. Stop this whole nonsense. I sit in the shade and feel sorry for myself while SMS -ing with Mo and Clare for the results of Eurovision.

    And then, suddenly, in that cycling way, it all gets so much, much better. Just outside Benton City I meet Penny and Jim from Richland who are also out on their bikes. They are training for the Seattle to Portland Bike Classic [STP] a 2-day ride of over 200 miles! They take me under their wing and guide me to The Tri-Cities area on the back roads and bike paths. I visit their house, meet the cat, get given deliciously cool water and then we chuck Haggis in the truck and we go to their local bike shop for a quick check up and purchase of some snazzy puncture resistant tubes. Then back to their house to get my luggage and Jim cycles with me to the bike path along the river. My day is MADE. I am much cheered and my earlier low is forgotton. Penny & Jim. A big thank you!

    My lodgings for the evening are peculiarly close to the Ice Harbor Brewing Company. Strange that!? I of course, have to rehydrate on Weissbier as it is well known that beer has a superior electrolyte balance over water. Fraulein Direktor told me this so it must be true. Direktors are paid to know such uselessful stuff.

    Posted by me on May 29th, 2008

    Day 8 stats

    Toppenish (Yakima Nation) Wa. to Kennewick
    Distance
    : 72 miles
    Cumulative miles: 466 miles (more than 10%) Dead things: a bat, a horse, a cat
    Live things: a gopher, two prairie dogs, Penny & Jim’s cat, many baseball teams
    Pie: 0 ( have now replaced pie quest with beer quest especially quest for refreshing, rehydrating Weissebier)
    Margueritas: see above

    Posted by me on May 29th, 2008

    Perfect …

    … except for the rain, and seeing a crashed Harley, being threatened by lightning and another dull breakfast and no pie.

    But sulk over coz apart from that I went downhill for 44 miles, then along a river valley for another 18 miles all with a tailwind. And to top the day I get to stay in a teepee for just $20 (due to charming accent exploitation) in the Yakima Nation. Poor Big Agnes is in a sulk.

    Oh, other things. I descended through an amazing, winding canyon. The canyon sides were quite unstable and occasionally there was a huge boulder in the road. And then the canyon opened into a huge wide valley full of orchards (apples, pears, nectarines, peaches, cherries yum) and vineyards (even better!).

    teepee.jpg

    Posted by me on May 28th, 2008