Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day 3 August 18th Lind

Lind Town Park

Disaster Strikes
After a horrible night sleep next to the active rail line and crossing signal we were happy to get on the road. The trail here is actively used and in great shape. We had about 25 miles to Warden and made great time. It was looking like our problems were behind us. We left town only to ride a mile and then get rerouted und
er an abandon bridge. It would have been better to just leave town on the highway for a mile to join the trail and avoid the bushwhack. The trail was fast and flat as we transitioned from dry land wheat farming to irrigated crops of the Columbia irrigation district. We started playing how far is it. On a long flat trail structures in the distance can appear deceptively close and we were busy passing many gates along this section.

Great riding here

Abandon bridge West of Lind

Abandon silo along the rail bed

Once in Warden we stopped for food and breakfast. As we rode in town on the pavement I heard a syncroness sound coming from my back wheel and decided to check on it on our way out. A nice lady thanked Mathew for what he was doing and told him that her mother had Alzheimer’s and was in a home in Moses Lake. We had a great breakfast and were off. The sound was ominous. If you have spent time around bikes you can tell sounds and feels that are serious and this was one of them. I quickly determined that it was not the brakes, cranks, or drivetrain but seemed to come from one part of the wheel and I suspended a broken or otherwise problematic spoke. We needed to get to Othello where there might be a bike store.

Active line between Warden and Othello

Lots of corn once in the Columbia Basin Irragation District

The rail line from Warden to Othello is still active so we used the route that 26inchslicks used that uses irrigation canal roads and other roads using the gazetteer. As we rolled into Othello on pavement the sound was now noticeably worse and had to be fixed before we set off into the wilderness between Othello and Ellensburg. We stopped to ask if there was a bike store and were pointed in the direction of Wal-Mart. I began to take apart my tire and what was an invisible hairline crack in my rim now presented itself as a crack almost the entire circumference of the wheel. We were out of commission as the bike was now unridable. The ruggedness of the trail had destroyed my old wheel with no fix in site.

Mathew looked dejected but my racing experience had prepared me for this eventuality and I was about to implement the RVG Betsy option but I needed help. First we went to Wal-Mart and after helping a young kid and his mom pick out a bike; I purchased the largest kid bike they had for $95. When the cashier offered replacement insurance I seriously considered it. We tuned it up on the spot, transferred any parts I could (tires, pedals, bottle cage) and went looking for help. Our first stop was the Othello Fire Department and after explaining our predicament they graciously agreed to help. First, they filled our bladders with ice water and agreed to hold my bike. Next, my father in-law Bob had offered us any help and I was about to ask for a big favor to which he agreed. He arrived from Moses Lake to take my broken bike to Ellensburg to have it fixed. Without his help we probably could not have finished the project.

Betsy is hooked up and the Turner is read to go to Ellensburg for repairs

And we were off except I was riding Betsy which was super heavy, too small, and didn’t quite work right. It turned out that the rail line has been refurbished all the way to Royal Slope so we were once again on farm road paralleling the trail. Given the day’s problems, we were well short of our goal of the Columbia River and we stopped to camp on some remote public land halfway between Othello and the Columbia.

Riding into the sunset along Crab Creek

Stats for the day
63 miles 10-20miles short of goal
1,000ft ascent/1600ft descent
13hr 11min total time
More Pictures can be found here

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