Kicking it into gear!

Well folks, today was the perfect storm of events.  I am 98% recovered from the Spokane Plague, I don’t have to fly out-of-town tomorrow, and the weather was perfect!  Given a day like this, there is only one thing that can happen: A long bike ride


As regular readers know, I have been selected to ride in the RAMROD.  160 miles of serious hill climbs in 15 hours. This means I need to start logging tougher and longer rides.  I decided to choose one today that combined scenery, hills and distance.  So I took the ferry to Kingston

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and rode to Sequim (pronounced Squim (the E is silent)) and back.

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One of the sure signs that the day will be a nice one in Seattle, is that you can see the mountains early on.  So, while I was waiting for the lady to open to the ferry ticket office (She had a long story about over sleeping yet not, yet still late for work, I am not sure how I get people to tell me these things) I snapped this picture of Mt. Baker.

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I also had he sun hitting the Olympics early on.  It was going to be a great day!

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I made it on the first ferry and had my bike tied up and ready to go.

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If you are curious how to work the ferries and bikes, I spelled it out a while ago on this post.   One thing I will tell you is that you never have to worry about signs like this!

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We bikes are the very first ones on and off the boat.  I passed (no exaggeration) over a mile of cars waiting their turn.  Much easier for us!

I was on the road at 7:30 after the boat landed.  The only down side was that at that time of day, even though I could see the sun, its output equaled that of a DMV worker on a Saturday at closing time.  Meaning it was cold!  I had forgotten the stocking cap, and my noggin was freezing!  Within the hour it got better, but for a while there, my teeth were chattering!

On the way out, crossing the Hood Canal Bridge image

 

I looked over the edge and saw two harbor seals.  They stared at me as I got the camera ready and as soon as I pushed the button, I got this.

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I KNOW they were laughing at me! In fact, nature, though in abundance today, was being a pain.  I saw 2 bald eagles, but couldn’t get a decent shot.  A kingfisher, who took off after food instead of posing and becoming famous (Ungrateful sot) a bunch of garter snakes that kept slithering off the road and something big climbing a tree I could only hear. Humph!

However, even though I did get a picture, I saw something I had never seen in the 40+ years I have lived here.  a porpoise! I was coming back over the bridge and saw an arching shape out of the water with a fin.  I waited a second and saw it again. Good thing he did or I woulda though I imagined it.  No way I could get a picture, but it looked just like this one.

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This is one of the biggest reasons I love cycling.  If you pay attention, you see SO much more than you do in a car, and you can pull over anywhere to admire it! It was a great nature day!

I love this route for the hills, but also for the quick snippets of Puget Sound scenery you see after the bridge.

Here is low tide at Discovery Bay

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And A quick shot of Sequim Bay

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For the most part, this route goes along SR 104 and 1o1. Not the busiest roads ever, but still there is some fast-moving traffic.  Luckily it has huge shoulders and never once did the cars bother me.

Every now and then, though, I can hop off on to Old Gardiner RD.  For a couple of miles each time, there is no traffic and peace and quiet. Plus you just never know what you will run into. This is the happiest mail box I have ever seen and one HUGE volunteer fire department.

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About 10 miles out of Sequim though, I have found the Olympic Discovery  Trail.   Talking to another cyclist, this trail goes on all the way to La Push out on the Pacific Coast AND it goes to the Elwha river which recently had 2 dams removed.  Both places I want to go!  Sometime or other, I am going to have to do a multi day trip on this path.  Check out the bike trestle over Johnson Creek on this trail.

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Speaking of places to go, judging by the number of cars parked, here, someday, I am going to have to get a burger at Fat Smitty’s

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I better get more miles in though, so I don’t become known as Fat Tony. (Seriously a mafia name there….)

All in a great ride today  I was fighting a headwind on the way out, but it meant a tail wind most of the way back. The last three miles to the boat of course had another head wind AND rolling hills. The legs took the longer ride well, and even though I stopped for a decent ham cheese and bacon sandwich for lunch (with an ice amerciano for some needed caffeine) it still only took 8 hours for the 95 miles.

I need to be faster than this later, but for today it was perfect!

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2 Responses to Kicking it into gear!

  1. sarburch says:

    What a perfect day for a ride, eh? I still have yet to explore the Olympic Peninsula by bicycle, and so your ride has added some flames under that fire. 🙂

    I love your photos! It can be tricky to capture the mountains around here on camera. But it looks as though the peaks cooperated perfectly for you.

    • It was gorgeous out there on the water and the bike. I agree I very much need to see more of the Peninsula. Years ago I planned a complete loop, Just hasn’t panned out.

      A little old lady on the ferry asked “What mountain is that?” and I told her Rainier. Then I pointed north and said “And that one is Baker”

      “Young man, I am from Victoria, I am well acquainted with Baker.” Then she tottered off…. made me giggle.

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