Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 67

Made it to Bellingham, WA. today! That's right, made it clear across the country. It was a day of so many feelings. First of all felt crazy to be arriving at the end of phase 1 so to speak. I'm only calling them phases cause it's one long journey that I'm breaking down into parts. Granted, getting to Colorado and hitting the Rockies was awesome. But the last 15 miles of the ride today was the prettiest of the trip.

Coming across the country we heard something about every state. The only state not mentioned was WA. The past two weeks have by far been the toughest. The past 5 days going through the northern part of WA. have been challenging. The Cascades are no joke. Multiple 100 mile days with tons of climbing. We just had 7 days of riding from Missoula to Bellingham. 660 miles to knock out in 7 days to catch the ferry.

Thought that was going to be cut short with the cuts and bruises to my knee and achilles. Fortunately on the road you can't lay around watch TV and feel bad for yourself. Having to get back on my bike and hit the pavement was probably the best thing that could have been. That wound worked itself out. Have a little limp still, but feeling much better and should be running and gunning soon. Thanks for all the prayers and positive thoughts.

This computer I'm using doesn't allow you to uppercase the s. Everytime I've tried to start a sentence with an s it's says, NO...try again...switch it up!

The blog has been pretty sun shiny so far. The road has not been all it's cracked up to be. I can literally say first hand that biking across the country is not easy. It's been 67 days since the morning of May, 9th that I left NYC. That was a 47 degree morning that turned into an 80 something mile day. My life has been changed forever from that morning. Never did I imagine I would be sitting in somebodies house in Bellingham that we met in Warm springs, MT.

We are staying at this girl Inga's house that we met at the sulphur hot springs last Friday night. she lives here with her boyfriend. Lee was trying to get in touch with her the past few days. I was like, yo she lives with her boyfriend. He wasn't in Montana with her. My thoughts were, her boyfriends going to be like..."What, you met three dudes and they are going to stay with us." Never thought we would hear from her. Whola, today we heard from her and she was still cool with it. We have a great place to stay here in Bellingham and are able to kick it with some locals. Her boyfriend Kyle did say that to himself I found out. Once he met us he felt more comfortable with the deal.

Back to the road. It's hard enough navigating with an Iphone, gps and some maps. Mad props to the pioneers of our country. Well besides slaughtering, raping and pillaging all the native americans. Couldn't imagine trying to get across this country on horseback with a family. Trying to get over mountain passes, rivers and dealing with all the wild critters in between.

Last night we camped in the prettiest campground I've ever camped at. It was on Diablo lake here in WA. An opalesque lake that you have to see to believe. The water is so pretty. Tried to get in last night to wash my dirty body and it was too cold. Didn't feel like shivering just before I got into my tent. No warm showers at that campground. Also no services. We past a sign yesterday that said no services for the next 76 miles. That's always fun while biking through mountains. That was after already biking 40 something miles.

Of course it was the day where we all ran into bike troubles. First I broke my chain. Yup, biking up hill and my chain snapped. Just like every other problem thus far with my bike. There was the distinct battle cry calling out that I ignored. It happened with my first blow out of the tire. I heard a strange rubbing noise and didn't stop to check it out. Yesterday I felt something before the chain broke. It felt like I was skipping a beet while pedaling. Think one of the links was stiff and finally gave out. I'm glad I didn't fall or jolt forward when it happened.

This was the most major problem thus far. Sure the two blow outs were bad. The broken spoke wasn't good. But we were in the middle of nothing for many miles. The thought of having to take a ride to the nearest bike shop wasn't appealing.

Had all the means to get going again. Luke was behind me and had his chain break tool handy so I didn't have to dig for mine. Brian who I met back in Rockport told me that is one of the two tools he always carries. So I bought one in Kansas. S works again because I'm back to my iPhone. Which I hope to get the new one tomorrow. Anyways, so we took the bad link off and used a master link and was rolling again.

The battle cry came a calling again. Something wasn't right. After biking about ten miles I stopped to inspect this time. Of course I didn't put it in the derailed correctly. So it was time to undo it and string it properly. Then Luke broke a spoke and knocked his rim out if true. Then Lee got a flat to top it off.

We were just over 70 miles when we called it. Glad we ended up where we did. The trees were covered in moss like fur. So was the ground. They were also super tall, maybe 70-100'. Chipmunks and ferns with a creek that flowed right to the river. Shear perfection!

Today couldn't have been an easier 93 mile day. We were so excited to have reached our goal. A little bit of climbing then basically all downhill. So many crazy feelings going on inside. This would be my last day of riding with Luke&Lee on this journey. The past two weeks have been the most challenging but also the most fun. Really feel Luke I made two life long friends. Their a little bit younger than myself, but I can hang with those guys all day. We've had nothing but fun days and a lot of laughs.

Really learned a lit about riding in a group. Rich and I rarely road together. We maybe road for about 7 days together if that. Riding in a group of three was ideal. We could all take turns in any position of the pack. After a couple of hours and days you learn somebodies style of riding. You have to be very alert. Your on the guys wheel in front of you and you have a guy riding your wheel right behind. The guy in front has to avoid obstacles while maintaining pace. Then that has to works it's way to the back cause they can't see. It can become very fluid like a well oiled machine. Super grateful to have met these guys and have had the privilege to hang and ride with them for over a 1000 miles of my journey.

So today was a real fun day of riding. We made it to the town of Burlington and took the 11 north to Bellingham. Same beautiful forest but now with the Puget sound bordering it. These folks up here got it right. This is living! That last 15 miles of road just may be the most picturesque of this journey. A two lane hilly and windy coastal road up to Bellingham.

It was a little sad to have gotten this far already. I'm not upset about any part of the trip thus far. But it kind of feels like it went by so fast. Tomorrow I'll be taking a there day cruise to Alaska. That scares me a bit. Don't know anybody up there or even where I'm going to stay. But that hasn't stopped me yet and I'm not going to stop now.

The road is a bit harsh though. Not knowing where your going to sleep or what your going to be able to find to eat. Having no phone service. No showers. Dealing with the elements. Whether it's the blaring sun or you wake up in Montana and it's freezing. Assholes that drive by and harass you. Going and going even when you don't want to. There's plenty more to add to the list. Like my throbbing knees and heat rash. But I will say writing this blog and hearing from you guys and your support has been truly motivating. So thanks for the text, comments and phone calls. If you want a postcard text me your address, 917-701-9860. Thanks for following along, I'm off to Alaska.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Jersey St,Bellingham,United States


  1. Those last few miles can define bittersweet. Congrats on your cross country accomplishment. You will never forget this ride. BB

  2. Ryan - Let me know if you want any contacts in Alaska! My brother has some friends in Juneau!

    Miss you! Talk soon.

    A postcard, yes, please! Will text address.

  3. Congrats Ryan. That was an accomplishment you can take some pride in. Well done.