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Jun 24, 2012

Seattle to Missoula

Clicking the week’s summary chart will bring up a detailed route map for the week including elevation gains. After the summary and overview of the week and Sheila’s op-ed piece, you’ll see the posts in order starting with the first post of the week.You can view any week of posts by clicking on the week in the sidebar.

Click to see week-1 overview summary

One week down and 8 to go! The first week was spectacular. This may well be the hardest week as it was 7 days instead of the usual 6 and featured 4 centuries and a few passes, totaling 600 miles and 26,210 feet of elevation gain. Note click images to see them enlarged.

This week’s op-ed from Sheila

Today is our day off. That means 2 nights in a motel with a real bed, and private, nearby bathroom. We’re well situated near a vegan-friendly restaurant. We plan to do laundry, catch up on email and news, and of course clean the bike. Spencer writes the daily posts but today he gets a break and hopefully a nap. My role is usually just editing and adding the photos. Today is my turn at the keyboard.

If you haven’t been reading our daily entries you can easily catch up by going to Week 1 in the top navigation bar. It will start with this post and then work it’s way down the days in reverse. Simply scroll to the bottom to read them sequentially. Or you can start with the first post and click on the link to the next post at the bottom right.

Also, in case you haven’t noticed yet, on the homepage there’s a couple of different maps. The top one displays a point by point tracking of our journey. You can click any of the red pushpin markers to view that day’s post. You can pan within the map and zoom in or out as well. The other map is a graphic image of the trip overview map with each week’s destination point marked. Under it is a link to the full itinerary day by day. The image at the top of this post comes from that document.

daily support

water filtering

water stop

This graphic from Cycle America’s handbook gives you some idea of a typical day. I thought I’d fill in some details of the rhythm and routine. We wake up between 4:30-5:30 and start packing up the gear. Breakfast is at 6:30 and we’re usually riding between 7-7:30. I was impressed to see that they actually filter all the water they provide along the route. And as you can see they provide it at well spaced intervals. The Picnic Stop always includes a wide variety of foods to meet any preference. Depending on the distance and gain for the day we get in around 4-4:30. We assess the weather report and terrain and decide if we’ll set up the tent outside or choose to camp in the school gym. Setting up camp takes an hour or so. Then we shower, find places to charge all our technology and it’s time for the evening dinner and meeting. We’re usually in bed with eye-mask and ear-plugs between 9-10 pm. And as they say “rinse, wash, repeat”…

There are a bunch of folks on the tour doing fundraising. We’ve set up a page listing who they are and what they’re raising funds for in case any of you are inspired to support their efforts. We’re not raising money ourselves.

By the way..we’ve really been enjoying seeing your comments even if we’re not responding directly. Now off to enjoy our rest day together.

Jun 16, 2012

The cyclists gather

Coast to Coast kickoff orientation

Today is our transition day. Our house sitter has arrived, the bags are packed. We thought you might find it interesting to know more about the folks we’ll be spending the summer with. From the provided material we have gleaned the following information: Number of Cross-Country Riders: 37 Number of Support Staff:  14 Youngest Rider: […]

Jun 17, 2012

Let the adventure begin

Snohomish

Today our group of 50 gathered for a breakfast of oatmeal, muffins, fresh fruit, with eggs and bacon for the carnivores. We didn’t rush to get started because it was going to be a short day, made shorter by our decision to not ride the extra 7 miles to dip our wheel in Puget Sound. […]

Jun 18, 2012

Cold rain to windy sunshine

breakfast

Before we get to today’s report, we have to mention the food. It has been terrific. One of our great concerns was whether we’d get enough vegan nutrition. So far that hasn’t been a problem. The rest of the crew had lasagne last night, but we had a delightful quinoa dish with beans and sweet […]

Jun 19, 2012

Challenging and exhilarating

hill

We are beat. It was a hard, hard day in many ways. And it was a great, easy day in many ways. Fortunately or unfortunately, the bad stuff came first. We knew it was going to be challenging, so we tried to get an early start. But when we dropped the bike from the kickstand, […]

Jun 20, 2012

Sailing into Spokane

Spokane-River

After yesterday’s grueling climb, we were hoping for an easier time of it on what is virtually our second century in a row. The trip from Grand Coulee to Spokane was much easier, but I suspect our bodies would appreciate more time to recover than we are giving them. Not surprisingly it’s taking time for […]

Jun 21, 2012

One state down

moose

Today was billed as an easier day. And it was, except for the fact that we still rode nearly 100 miles and much of it was into headwinds again. But the scenery and wildlife were gorgeous so you just had to appreciate what you had. And we DID! While the accommodations at Gonzaga were A-1, […]

Jun 22, 2012

Lions and moose and bikes in a tree, oh my!

bike-in-tree

Today we rode to Montana from Kellogg, Idaho. It was a relatively short ride, only 69 miles. But it included crossing into the Mountain Time Zone at Thompson Pass, 4,852’ high. Since we started around 1900’, we had some work to do! It all started simply enough with a return trip down the Coeur d’Alene […]

Jun 23, 2012

Made it to Missoula

bonnie

We finished our first full week of riding with our 4th century of the week. We were so worried about the weather last night that we took down our tent and instead slept in a hallway at the high school. The forecast for the day was scattered thundershowers with possible hail. We packed all our […]