Tonasket Wa to Republic WA
5 hr travel time
4 hr saddle time
I had a choice for today. Go over two passes in a 80 mile haul, or just do one mtn and try to rejuvenate my thighs. With the extra miles I put on the first three days, I figured just climb one hill today
My morning didn’t start too well. I went thru my morning bike ck and my front tire felt a little soft. I pumped some air into it and rode 4 blocks to grab a homemade breakfast at the Mobil station. As I was walking out a couple greeted me and we started talking cycling. They were in town to do a day ride, and the husband had done a xcountry ride a few years ago. He said it was the best experience of his life. While talking with them, I touched my wheel again and it felt soft. They mentioned they had a strong foot pump if I wanted to pump more air into the tire. I took them up on their offer and as I pumped I could hear a hissing sound. Not good! So I replaced another tube. This time I carefully checked the tire for foreign objects, but found nothing. So I went on my way The next 40 miles I kept looking down at tire, waiting for it to lose air. So far so good.
A couple of other stories:
My check in yesterday at the Apple Inn Motel took about an hour! Chris, the 65 yr old man behind the desk, loved to talk. It started with a conversation about running marathons. He had a bunch of pictures of Boston and Marine Core Marathons on the walls. That led into a story about his knees, including him going into his office to show me his X-rays. Then, a women walked in asking if she could hang a poster for the local rodeo, and he spent 20 mins hitting on her. A phone call came in, which allowed her to escape,but he spent 20 mins on the phone talking to Mary who wanted to rent a room the following week. I saw how this was progressing so while Chris was finding out everything he could about Mary, I used his “lobby” for my stretch down. He finally got back to me and after 20 min instructions on how to use the TV, and why he switched cable companies, I finally got to my room for a shower. This was the first shower on my trip that I decided to wear my flip flops in!
I’ve been warned about asking people directions because drivers have no sense how to translate road conditions to cyclists. Today, when I was 5 miles from my destination, I rode up on a 14 yr old boy on his bike. I asked whether it was up or down hill to town. He said mostly up hill. I grunted and pushed on. It turned out to be 5 miles down hill the whole way. I can understand the kid not comprehending mileage, but basic topography???
If you read the comments people have been leaving on my blog, you will see comments from people I have met on this journey. I was happy to get an update from Loren Bach and Dave Martus. They are a couple riding in a funky tandem bike Crosscountryviewpoint.blogspot.com. When I passed them two days ago, they were really struggling up the big mtn. They updated me that they are hitching a ride thru the MTns, and will continue biking across the country on the other side of these speed bumps. Smart people! I’ll probably see them again.
I’ve been in contact with a high school friend, Roger Alexander. He lives near Sandpoint Idaho. He is going to meet me on Saturday, assuming I get there. He has already spoken to the local bike store, Greasy Fingers about a replacement tire for me. It also turns out there is a big bike race Saturday with a beer fest after it. Now I have motivation to get thru these MTns and ride 160 miles these next two days
FYI, blueberries are supposed to be a great energy source
Having salmon tonight at Diane and Boyd Hewitt’s home. Amazing view of what is ahead for me tomorrow. Sherman Pass! Diane just updated me on the house with the yellow signs. Short story…….old man druggy lived there. 10 years ago he killed someone that broke in to steal drugs. He went to jail. 5 yrs ago place got busted for drugs so govt came to take the house. A lawyer from somewhere else showed up and moved in to save the seizure. She lost, but now she is running for local office.