All posts for the day June 21st, 2014

Day 5
Republic WA to Chetawah WA
83 miles
Travel time 12 1/2 hrs
Saddle time 8 hrs
Climbed 7,776 Feet

Blog update sent following day when I had cell service to get pics from my camera onto cloud for this

As previously posted, yesterday I got to my destination around lunch and relaxed for the afternoon. But right before bed, I decided to ck my front tire……and it was light on air again. I decided to address this at that point because today I was going over a big pass and wouldn’t hit the only bike store until mile 55. So I took my wheel off and my tube out and put it under water to find the leak. Couldn’t find it, but did find the leak on the tube I had saved from the day before. Both Diane and I checked the tire and couldn’t find anything that could be causing these leaks. I knew if I can make it to Saturday, Roger already had the local bike store put a replacement tire on hold for me, but that was 180 miles down the road. Diane gave me a new tube and I crossed my finger it would work.
This morning I got up early at 5:15 because I had a lot of distance to cover, including at least two passes. My tire was a little light on air but I went with it anyhow. It was not very comforting thinking you are going to have a flat at any second. And since the tire was riding low, I kept looking down thinking it was flat!
I was told nothing would be open for breakfast in town so I had another home cooked gas station ham and egg sandwich. But then two miles up the road, there was a local “restaurant ” open so I went in there. I knew I had to get something good into my stomach for the big day, but I was only able to finish half of the 2 flap jacks and 2 egg special. But it gave me enough energy to climb the big Sherman pass, as you can see by the picture taken by my mysterious photographer (not John Saldi)
I decided to eat my words from the first day, and this time I took the direct route to get to the bike store, not the Adventure Cycling (AC) recommended route. It saved some mileage, but had way too many lumber trucks on those main roads
As I was getting closer to the town with the “bike store”, I started to realize that this was going to be a large sporting goods store. There is not going to be a bike service dept! I would be lucky if they even carried the correct tire. Sure enough, I get there and walk though the huge gun and hunting section, and in a corner are a bunch of “Walmart” type bikes and a bunch of tires on the wall. I proceed to ask someone if there is anyone that can help me with the tires. She calls Ben in from the back room. In walks Ben, my hero. It turns out that he use to work in a competitive bike/ski store in Idaho but relocated to this small town last year and got a job building up this stores bike dept. He had me bring my bike around back and in the warehouse he had a whole bike service dept. I didn’t realize it, but this location is listed on the AC maps. He says he services at least 50 x-country riders during the season. He put my bike on the rack and gave it a full tune up. His went over my tire and tube and came up with the theory that the leaky tube was my fault. The heavy walled tires I am now using are very firm. And when replacing a tube, it is difficult to get the whole tube in with the tire. So it requires some finesse to get the tube in without causing some harm to it. He thinks I might be rubbing the tube too hard. He professionally put in a new tube and I have more spares now. So let’s see how it goes.
My goal was to get to Sandpoint on Saturday. According to AC maps it would take two 90 mile days. When I was on the mtn this morning, a ranger recommended a shorter route. And at the store, they also recommended it. So I totally deviated from the roads that show on AC maps and went this other way, which leads me to where I am right now.
I had to climb Chetewah pass to get where I am going. At the top of this mtn is a ski resort. It was 6:30 pm and 82 miles into my day when I hit the peak. It would be a 15 mile downhill ride next, but no hotels, campgrounds or warm showers for at least 30 miles. So I quit. I was told about a ski school and summer learning center that has lodging. Well no one is here to open the place, but I made myself at home anyhow. Put up my tent, took a shower and did laundry with the hose left near the outdoor rec area, plugged in my devises into the outdoor outlets to recharge them, and discovered……there is wifi! NO cell service but an unlocked bathroom!

You will see a picture of a Habitat for Humanity store I passed. This is a good excuse to remind you that I am doing this ride for myself, but I am also raising money for Habitat. You can click on the donate button on my blog and read about how Levitt-Fuirst is building 3 homes in Yonkers for some vets. Thanks

A note about my blog. I know this is probably the first time for most of us to use WordPress. A big difference between this and Facebook is that you don’t see much details of the name of the person leaving comments. I love the comments. Keep them coming. But, for example I have 4 different Liz’s in my life and one Lizette. When I get a message from a Liz, I don’t know which girlfriend it is! Please give more description with your signatures. Thanks again!