Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day 6 August 21th Snoqualmie Pass

WackieDoodle Land
Riding down the Old Snoqualmie Road
We got up early, pushed up to the pass and down the old Denny Creek Road. We girded ourselves to the ride on I-90 down to North Bend. Lights, Helmets, all our clothes and reflective triangles on, I led down and hammered it out. Once at North Bend, we got on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and started following Robin’s directions to the Preston Fall City Trail. I told Robin that I wanted a clean route with no multi-hour navigation extravaganzas. But that is just what he gave us – an undecipherable labyrinth on a very bad map. I traveled 5 days without a compass and today I had to break it out. Trying the get through the development on Snoqualmie ridge is a real problem. Anyone you ask is helpful but can only do it in their car with a gps. What should have taken 15 minutes took us two hours but our reward for getting through was meeting up with Jerry Gamez in Preston and having him follow us into Issaquah.
Issaquah was our second Alzheimer’s stop At Aegis Living of Issaquah where we had a great lunch with Melissa Mather and her crew. During lunch Jerry offered to look at our bikes and this is when Mathew dropped a bombshell: If he stopped pedaling, his read wheel was making a horrible noise. It had been behaving like this since Ellensburg and he had hadn’t coasted at all during the last day and a half. We called a good friend Roger Micheal who lives up in Redmond and he agreed to meet us further up the trail with a replacement wheel. Riding on at this point the railroad grade was mostly paved and we were making good time up and around Lake Washington.
What a change. I think we saw more people in the first ½ hour on the Burke Gilman trail than we had seen in the previous 6 days combined. As we rode, we were passed left right and center. They rode fast, didn’t talk much and grimaced a lot in their passive/aggressive way. Not a lot of happy people here. Like the Police said, packed like lemmings on top of shiny metal contraptions. This is the human race in the city. In a case of government inspired social correction of it residents, there were brightly colored signs all along the trail that read; “Be Super Safe”, “Stay Right Except to Pass”, “Use Your Light at Night”, “Use Your Bell or Voice When Passing”. Thereby replacing human interaction with government inspired mandates on Signs.

Since nobody seemed to be minding these signs, in a fit urban inspired madness, I began quoting these sayings to those who were not obeying the signs. I received a lot of strange looks and thought that I might get punched. In another fit of madness, I stopped where the trail crossed the UW entrance. I had a stop sign but also had a crosswalk. There were tons of cars and with this bit of inconsistent right of way; I followed the stop sign in front of the crosswalk waiting for traffic to clear. With me following the stop sign, cars were not sure if they we supposed to stop for the crosswalk and cyclists began stopping for the stop sign. Chaos ensued.
One of the many signs to help people get along

Upper mongolia in the distance
We soon saw upper Mongolia in the distance and my sister’s house grew near. While this stop was short of our goal camping spot just past Bainbridge Island, a ferry ride and 30 more miles of road where not in the cards. She was nice enough to offer her fold out couch, salmon dinner, a shower, and our fresh clothes bag were just what we needed. We cleaned out our trailers and almost fell asleep at dinner.
Our old tire collection
Stats for the day
90 miles 30 miles short of goal
1,800ft ascent/4100ft descent
11hr 34min total time

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