On morning two Dee took this picture of me just before I began my first big climbing day. You may be able to see that I'm wearing a Mount Ventoux bike jersey. Last fall ten of us from Bellingham rode that famous Tour de France climb. Four of us rode 50 miles and had 6500 feet of elevation gain on the day we rode. I'm wearing the jersey for inspiration, knowing that if I did that, I'm capable of this climb. Oh, and that's my beloved sag wagon and portable motel parked behind me.
Newhalem is at about 600 feet elevation, and the top of Washington Pass is 5,477. I knew it would be a slog. David Fayram rode the first 6 miles with me to the Diablo junction, and then I was on my own. There are advantages to riding alone. I can ride at my own pace and take breaks when I want to. That's one of the great things about having the sag wagon. Dee leapfrogs with me, waiting a while before taking off, then passing me and waiting ahead. I took a break every hour or two, having some food and resting for a while.
This is the sign I anticipated all day:
Then came the thrilling down-hill ride (the part Dee doesn't like to hear about). There were a few times in the first few miles that I topped 40 mph. The ride from the summit to Mazama required very little pedaling. Then it was an easy, fairly level 13-mile ride from Mazama to Winthrop, where I finished the 75-mile day--appropriately--at Trails End Bookstore.
It's a great little store, and after a chat with Chris and Moe, we strolled down the street where I treated myself to a well-deserved strawberry shake. Then we drove to Pam and Phil Ager's house to spend the next two nights and my first rest day. We've been friends for nearly 30 years, and Pam was once our children's book buyer at Village Books. After a great dinner and lots of conversation I headed off to bed at 11:30--much later than last night, and surprisingly much less exhausted.