Jun 17

Let the adventure begin

by in Week 1

Let the adventure begin

  • Everett to Skykomish
  • June 17
  •  56.3 miles
  • 1565′ climbing
  • everything but snow
  • One 14% grade
  • one flat

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. After all, that was the point of our trip from Westport two weeks ago.

SnohomishWe set out with our bike bedecked with a Gay Pride flag since it is pride week. Notice the Seattle to Boston emblazoned on the fender! By cutting off the 7 miles for the dip at the start of the day, we launched ourselves into the front of the pack. That’s not a place we’re used to being. We passed our new friend Carole from Salem (the only other vegan) on the way to Snohomish and we were in the lead.

The roads were familiar and pretty flat from Everett to Snohomish to Monroe to Sultan. That road to Sultan had one short hill that topped out at 14%! We continued zipping in to Sultan and the lunch stop. Wouldn’t you know it? One of the strong young bucks from England passed us 50′ from the lunch stop. WShulie’d lost the lead.

Lunch was plentiful, but way too early to actually eat. We packed up some sandwiches and by that time lots of people were catching us. Tim, the guy who caught us at the lunch stop, had actually ridden in the Fremont Solstice Parade with the naked bicyclists. He decided nobody in this country knew him, so why not? That’s Shuli who’s in charge of the daily lunch stop.

WeSkykomish eventually headed out under increasingly cloudy skies. Pretty soon we had rain squalls going by more and more frequently. Raingear on, raingear off. Raingear on, raingear off. During one of those stops we ran over a roofing nail. Needless to say, that flatted our back tire as quick as you can say “bang”. We followed the Skykomish river which was uncharacteristically high for this time of year.

We fixed it and headed the last 8 miles to Skykomish. Along the way we were caught by Alex, one of the UK boys. We kicked it into gear and led him into town at 19-20 mph. It was an exhilarating end to a great ride.

bagsWhen we arrived all the bags were neatly lined up under a canopy. A good thing as the sky opened up shortly thereafter. Notice how these bags look exactly alike? We thought ourselves quite clever to have made ours so easily identifiable with checkerboard tape.  Tonight we’ll sleep safe and warm inside the gym at Skykomish rather than camp outside since it’s now raining pretty hard.

Spencer blogging We’ve plugged everything in to charge, prepped this blog post, and soon will be checking email. We even were early enough for hot showers. Life is good!

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5 Responses to “Let the adventure begin”

  1. From Wendy Townsend:

    Way to go, you two!!! Thanks for writing, Ryan has his bike…a proud sixteen year old as of tomorrow! Thanks for the recommendation, but we bought at Second Ascent…you traveled past Index today, my beloved Mom’s happy retirement place after living all her life on the East Coast! What beautiful mountain peaks you passed and more to come! Sleep well!

    Posted on Jun 17, 2012 at 4:48 pm #
  2. From Dale Dell'Ario:

    Sounds like you are off to a nice start, flat tire, rain and all. From the tone of your post it sounds like you took those events in stride. We hope you have a nice day tomorrow up and over that pass!

    Posted on Jun 17, 2012 at 6:30 pm #
  3. From Gracie:

    This blog is GREAT! I love all of the photos and learning lots of facts…date, miles, elevation gain, ect. Spencer, you are such a good writer, I feel like I am on the trip. And the map is good, too, so that I can easily picture where s2 is sleeping soundly tonight. Ride on…xo

    Posted on Jun 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm #
  4. From Matt & Janet:

    Nice work guys! Sounds like you’re traveling with a large group. That’ll make it fun. Love the blogs, keep ’em coming! Let us know *all* the details – we’re planning our TransAm and want to learn from your experience. Happy trails!

    Posted on Jun 17, 2012 at 9:09 pm #
  5. From Russ:

    Great start. I’ve shared the blog with a couple of cyclist friends in the Stockton – Sacramento area. One, Rich Fowler, is well connected to the cycling community in the area, so I’m sure he’s forwarding the link along. He and his wife completed a similar trip 12 years ago. Be safe, be well.

    Posted on Jun 18, 2012 at 10:46 pm #