Tuesday, May 29, 2012

TillaWhat?!

     Saturday we encountered a valiant foe, who truly made us earn our keep.  A simple 70 mile day with a 1600 foot climb placed  in the middle turned ugly quickly after the summit. We reached the summit and began the descent with the battle cry of TILLAMOOK! Our quest was to make in down the 25 mile stretch into town before closing of the world famous Tillamook Cheese Factory and our holy grail was their endless supple of cheese (well endless, until the staff realizes that we keep walking through the self guided tour). Unfortunately a mighty foe had other plans. The billowing winds from the west blew, and with our energy severely depleted from the climb the descent turned out to be harder than the ascent and our unrelenting foe laughed in our faces wafting up the cow dung from the valley below as if to say "you dont want to come here, it smells like shit". But we knew the winds malevalent tricks and battled on. Eventually to reach town too late for our holy grail, at least for that day. But we staked out the factory and yesterday morning we hit the free cheese line hard to replenish out depleated stock from the previous day:




Celebration upon the first view of the ocean:

Loading up before the big climb:


Before a descent



Currently we are in Florence, OR about to hit up some of the massive sand dunes here and subsequently we will be finding sand in all of our gear for the rest of the trip.



Lessons from Bike Touring with Cornell Univ.

While co-teaching Bike Touring  at Cornell University, I learned three very important things from Old Man Bill Webster that are worth passing on to you all.

1. Always wear your brain bucket.

2. When someone says "there's only one more hill" there are always more hills.

3. Mountain biking is more difficult when you aren't drunk.

Monday, May 28, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things

We are all pretty stoked. Sylvie especially because she gets to do her four favorite things almost every day, those being biking,
eating



 and sleeping.



We'll let you guess what the fourth thing is.





Ok fine, we have no self control. The fourth thing is jazzercize.


And if you haven't been clicking on our linked words, you should be, unless you don't like fun.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Swag on Swag on Swag

Its time that we shout out to our sponsors in a photo montage. Unfortunately I picked up the wrong cable so I cant upload photos right now. Another day. Another public library.

Wednesday, also known as hump day, also known as the day that Vincent forgot existed and as a result we have a whole extra day in Portland, was our casual 85 mile day.
We rode along the STP route which rocked our damp and sponsored SockGuy socks. (Thaisa, Mark, Sam and Christine, on your epic STP ride be sure to stay in the shoulder and keep your eyes on the rode after Sappoose, WA, there's a special pink surprise waiting for you.)


Sylvie, who missed her chance to get a professional bike fit in Seattle did bike fits on the go for the boys, whose butts, knees and Achilles tendons were very appreciative.

Highlights: Vincent fell asleep lying down on a side street off the Hwy 30 with his shoes between his legs and again on a bus stop bench within seconds of sitting down.
We discovered that our old friend the dog from 100 miles back had also taken a bite out of Easy-V's bag.
Sylvie made 3 promises in Seattle, the first being to eat at Apizza Scholls, in Portland. Check!



First one to get a flat tire is getting the worst cocktail in the world, courtesy of the other, fully inflated riders.

Low points: More rain. More struggles of packing panniers.Warn brake pads.

Exciting things: We are getting interviewed for a podcast in Portland.
There is a bike ride that is apparently better than Critical Mass. doing it!
We invented a game. It's a great way to use our never ending supply of Emergen-C packets. We've been hiding packets in our hosts homes. We're talking silverware drawers, washing machines, toilet paper rolls, etc. When these unsuspecting folks find their fizzy drink mixes, they have to drink 'em. So its let Icing people, only not gross and degrading.

Can I say that once more...we are sponsored. Or as Vince would say "we got swag on swag on SWAG!"

I just met you, and this is crazy.

It begins.

Easy-V, T-dawg and I met at the Seattle Amtrak at 7:20am in an attempt to catch a 7:30am train. Ha! We missed the train, got a great breakfast, picked up a helmet for Easy-V at REI, and then two water bottles. What kind of person forgets water bottles on a bike trip? Mailed the Scott helmet that was too small for Easy-V back to our homeboy Lars-Erik in Idaho and then returned to the train station at 11am to check out bags, grease our headsets and get on the train.


Highlights: 15 minutes after wondering when we were going to encounter a dog we got chased by a giant dog which knocked Easy-V off his bike twice and took a bite out of T-dawg's pannier. Vi-$'s really fast, even with 70lbs of stuff. Out-biked that one!

Low Points: Rode the train to Centralia, WA....got really wet (some of us wetter than others because some of us decided to ride 15 miles in jeans instead of rain pants/spandex).
T-dawg's iphone is a liar and it led us up the steepest hill in Castle Rock, WA and to a dead end in our attempt to find a grocery store.

Exciting Things: We got to stay at a trailer park in a new trailer with a sauna (thanks Charlie Curry)
Easy-V and T-dawg are learning to pack their panniers. Hopefully some day soon the jam will be accessible because PB and Tapatio is great and all, but no more than once in a month.

Monday, May 21, 2012

STP

The boys are here! We all met up for the first time today in Seattle to prep our bikes, get food and plan our route.
S        L A       V E

We will have photos to post soon as well as our sock modelling shots.

Tomorrow and the next day we will be following the 2011 Seattle to Portland (STP) (Sexy Tired People) bike route.

Twilight Route. That happened...

Remember that one time way back on February 19th when I said that we should take a Twilight Route to get to Los Angeles? Well a funny thing happened this weekend and I'll let you decide whether it was a happy accident, fate or a planned extension of my 2 day, 300+ mile trip to Cape Flattery, WA and back.

Here's the story:
I left Seattle at 8am on Friday (May 18th) and road to REI where I bought a bike helmet. CONGRATS SEATTLE FOR MAKING ME FEEL LIKE A HORRIBLE PERSON FOR NOT HAVING A HELMET FOR 2 DAYS. This city is definitely doing something right.
Afterwards I caught a 10:40am ferry to Bainbridge Island and biked a pleasant 80 miles (25 of which were on the Olympic Discovery Trail, which rocks), slipping into Port Angeles at around 6pm, just in time to eat dinner, pick up a local magazine with a list of Twilight hot spots, and ride up to the home of a warmshowers host. 

Turns out everyone was right, there's nothing like a warm shower after a long ride.

Now it gets exciting!

My generous hosts hooked me up with some bus routes and we decided that, in order to get to Cape Flattery and back it made the most sense to take a bus from Port Angeles to Sappho and then transfer to a bus that goes all the way out to Neah Bay, at which point I'd just have to ride 10 miles further to get to the edge of Washington, on the Makah Indian lands. 
The first part was perfect, got on the 7:05am bus to Sappho, took a nap, enjoyed the view and then alerted the driver that my stop was Sappho. Another woman spoke up and asked if there was a transfer to the Neah Bay bus. 
"Nope." Replied the bus driver, "You've gotta transfer at Forks."
That sealed the deal. I rode the bus to Forks, the home of Twilight, and then caught another bus to Neah Bay.

Once in Neah Bay I rode 10 miles out to Cape Flattery, hiked the gorgeous 1/2 mile trail out to the ocean and then rode all the way back to Clallam Bay. The story goes on and only gets crazier with a ride from 3 surfers who failed to catch waves, a few more visits to Twilight Hotspots in Port Angeles, a  bus ride to Sequim, a ride with a stone mason and then another 40 miles of biking to put me at a total of 70 miles. I finally caught the Bainbridge Ferry back to Seattle around 9pm and didn't get back into Seattle until 10pm.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hole-In-The-Wall


Crazy? Maybe. I'm getting up early to bike to the NW most point in the continental US, or at least in Washington State. I'll be taking one ferry, crossing 2 bridges and then following the 101 along the Salish Sea for miles. Hopefully I can get the go pro working properly for the ride.


Goodbye Seattle. See you in two days.

C'est Beau, non?

Bellevue
Plus Belle Vue (Puget Sound)

View of Seattle with blue skies


Canada!? Good idea.


Building the bike: Phase 2. Discovery Park, Washington
While hanging out in Discovery Park the other day my friend's boss and I got to talking about bikes and biking and the like and when I said I was riding from Seattle to LA he said "I have a friend that rode from Canada to Mexico." Crazy right? That's like super far. Yeah, well this little blip made me pretty much rethink my whole existence and I've decided, why not hop up to Canada for a day and bike from there to Seattle. Its an extra 100+ miles, a nice days ride and then I can say I biked from Canada to Mexico.




So that seems like a pretty ok idea, next problem...I'm debating whether to go from the North West most point of Washington (Hole-In-The-Wall) back to Seattle or just going straight north from about Lynden, WA.


This seems like a great opportunity to try out warmshowers.org, my gopro, bike and legs. Hopefully they'll all work the way that they are supposed to.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Beer week, blog and Bikery

Seattle, Wahhhh!   Commencing 10 days of bumming before the guys show up! Luckily its Beer Week so that's a great pass time. 

I've also got a slew of things that I need to acquire before departing, like a new 8-speed chain, a magnet for my bike computer, a spoke, contact solution, chap stick with sunblock, some gold spandex shorts and knee high socks for the adult kickball league of which I am the captain. There are somethings that its only appropriate to buy in Seattle. These are all those sorts of things.

Tomorrow is bike building day. I'm going to the Bikery in Seattle to make my Specialized Sirrus hybrid into a legit touring bike. In the mean time I've been working out really hard on children's swing sets on Fidalgo Island. Really works the calves and abs. 

Oh yeah, and the weather is ridiculously nice, or in my slightly biased (from only 3 days experience) opinion, normal for Seattle. I think everyone's been lying about the whole rain, cloud cover, gloominess that is Seattle. Its been 70-80 degrees without a cloud in the sky since I arrived.  Well Seattlites, or whatever you call yourselves, the truth is out. Seattle is awesome and the climate rocks.