Saturday, July 7, 2018

Ready, Set, ....

The final steps of preparation are getting your bike and body to the other side of the country then restoring both to operating condition. Protected by Paul's bicycle case, my Kish arrived in Seattle in perfect condition. I found the reassembly quite a bit simpler and faster than going in the opposite direction, probably because there is only one way to compose a working bike but many choices to be made in how to fit it into a case. The hardest part was hanging out at Sarah's apartment waiting for FedEx to show up (note to self: next time have it delivered to one of the FedEx stores & pick it up!)

The morning light in Seattle emerges well before 5AM and still being on East Coast time I found it easy to get out on the road Friday morning for a "recovery ride" --- recovery from cross-country air travel that is. It was really really nice out there even though I kept thinking "don't screw up and hurt yourself two days before the big ride starts." I find it strange and a bit ironic that potential loss of the significant investment I've made into doing the transcontinental ride makes me more sensitive to risk than the more significant risk to life & limb that can result from a bike crash. Perhaps the concrete nature of what lies in the past is always more powerful than the speculation of what may lie in the future.

So why do it? Here are a few reasons:

Lake Washington Blvd Panorama:

My first kiss of I-90 which we'll come to know intimately when we cross Montana and South Dakota in the weeks ahead:

What bike friendly towns look like:

Look Ma, no hands! Heading west on the north end of the Burke Gilman trail.

The remainder of Friday was spent hobnobbing with number one daughter Sarah and number two brother David including an memorable visit to the UW Graduate Reading Room where the combination of cathedral ceilings and contiguous heavily laden bookshelves imposed a silence that was palpable within a couple of steps of the doorway. This room is part of the main UW library but the name of "reading room" definitely is more fitting than "library": surprisingly there was no rhyme or reason to the ordering of books. My mother Marian observed that when she was trying to go to sleep she would engage a series of random thoughts; reading the sequential titles on one of the shelves would have knocked her out.

Paul arrived late Friday and was hosted by David & wife Joan in Edmonds. Sarah and I rejoined them on Saturday morning and after a refreshing breakfast of berries and quiche David took us to Everett for final assembly. The PAC Tour 2018 Northern Transcontinental team assembled at Best Western Cascadia, taking over a quarter of the parking lot with everything required to reassemble shipped bikes, distribute swag and get the riders into ship-shape! Or at least get them aligned with the necessaries to make the trip on the smoother side of the spectrum.

Hey I've got the T-Shirt, so what's left?


  1. This is great Robert, thanks so much for taking this on. No pressure but there area about 10 “Creekers” following each pedal/keystroke.

  2. Good to see another NC cyclist taking on this challenge! I rode it in 2016. You will have a great experience. Crew is fantastic. Just ride your own pace and enjoy the journey.