Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day Three ROAM

Left camp quite early today as it will be a long day.  Some climbing to do with a steep descent at the end.  A bit worried about the distance not wanting to do the downhill bit at the end in the dark. 

First picture of the day looking east.

Two other early risers heading east into Washington State

Entering Washington State

Today's ride should be about 240 km long with the first stop in Walla Walla for some food.  Very glad to be off I84 and looking foward to arriving at the first place to eat. 

Ended up riding with Nick in the Go One as we are about the same speed.  Actually he's a bit faster at least on the uphill bits but likes my pace.  He was riding with some Quests and Mangos but they dropped him on a climb and we rode together from there on for a while.  Just before Walla Walla we caught up with the group that passed us as they had a flat. A couple other Quests came by at this time too and we all ended up entering town together.  We rode into town and spotted some other velos parked in front of an eatery.  First rule for food, look for velomobiles in front of the place, second rule look for bikes parked, third rule ask local cyclists where is a good place to eat.  Needless to say we parked and went in.  It took a while to get inside as we stood around answering some questions.  Once inside I order eggs benedict.  They were excellent, the best food on the trip.  So if you are in Walla Walla this is a highly recommended stop, Olive MarketPlace & Cafe at  21 East Main Street.  After this stop we were back on Highway 12 with the next stop being Dayton.  There was a fair climb up before heading down to Dayton.  It got very hot on the way up but once at the top there was a steep descent where I did use the brakes to slow down a few times.  I ended up dropping the Go One on the descent but Nick caught me up before Dayton.  
The stop in Dayton

After Dayton more climbing but not as steep until after Pomeroy.  When I finally got to Pomeroy I needed a rest before the final push to the top of the pass.  Luckily the grocery store was still open.   As I pull in behind the gas station there were  already eight or ten velos parked there.  I guess I wasn't the only one needing a break.  After a rest we all headed off with only another 15 miles to go to the top.  When I got to the final clmb I was feeling quite energized so I picked up the pace a bit and just made it to the top as the sun touched the horizon as you can see from the picture.

I hopped out and ran across the highway to snap the photo just as another rider was passing.  After a brief stop at the top, checking the tires and setting up the door to the max open position to act as a bit of a brake I was off.  It was quite steep and I braked often to keep speed in check.  I am pretty sure we got to over 80 kph.  The door being held open some was quite effective in helping control speed but even better it allows lots of air in to cool this overheated rider. 

 I was almost getting chilly and then I would hit a pocket of hot air and suddenly be warm again.  Hard to believe that we rode in those temperatures.  After the steepest part of the descent Marcus in his Milan flew by and was soon almost out of sight.  His rear lights are exceptionally bright, so much so that they may be too bright.  Even looking at them from a km away when he braked  reduced my night vision a bit.  The last half of the descent was in the dark.  I lost the two riders in front of me when I could no longer distingsh them in the distance from the traffic and car lights.  Thinking I had made a wrong turn I doubled back and discovered that I hadn't.  I searched around town a bit for the others and ended up riding back on the sidewalk on a one way street in downtown.  While doing this a truck stoopped to look at the velo and I asked for directions to the campsite and some place that would be open for food.  I rode across the bridge again to the suggested restaurant and found it was just closing.  However they did give me a large lemonade for free.  I drank about half of it right away and then headed off to find the campsite.  Once on the right track I went to drink some more and realized that it had tipped over. I guess I will have to wash the inside of the velo once I get back home.   Finally arrived at the campsite ate some of  food I had onboard and when to bed.  Long day probably about 250 km with a couple of good climbs.     

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