Bicycling 4,174 Miles Across the United States

Archive for June 25, 2012

June 25th – Sandpoint, ID

First rest day of the tour.  This morning I met a father and daughter from Cincinnati who are riding coast to coast over three months.

My statistics for 7 days of biking:

  • Total Miles Ridden – 477
  • Total Feet Ascended – 25,807
  • Longest Miles Ridden/Day – 92.4
  • Largest Feet Climbed/Day – 6,578
  • Days Without Rain – 1

Highlights:

  • Riding every mile regardless of the climb or the weather
  • Beautiful scenery every day
  • Great biking companions in our Classic Adventures group
  • Huckleberry ice cream at Trinities in Sandpoint, ID
  • Having lots of rain gear
  • The thrill of 20+ mile downhills
  • Meeting so many passionate and adventure cyclists on the road making the journey coast-to-coast
  • Not being tired at the end of any day
  • Having a beer and ice cream at the end of each day without guilt
  • Having my wife, Nancy, so supportive and excited to hear about every day’s experience

Low Points:

  • Rain
  • Rain
  • Rain
  • Missing friends and family
  • Most importantly, missing my wife Nancy

June 24th Photos

Rain for most of today limited my photos.  When the sun came out just before arriving in Sandpoint, ID, the scenery was stunning – Enjoy.

Mile 80 – Dufort Road approaching Sandpoint, ID

Mile 81 – A local mosquito.

Mile 86 – Bike path over Lake Pend Oreille into Sandpoint, ID

Sandpoint Beach on Lake Pend Oreille

Sandpoint Harbor with beach and snow covered mountains in the background.

Downtown Sandpoint, ID


June 24th – Ione, WA to Sandpoint, ID (Wet, Wet, Wet)

Dufort Road 15 miles from Sandpoint, ID when sun finally came out today.

June 24th Statistics: Ione, WA to Sandpoint, ID:  Distance – 92.4 miles; Average speed – 13.0 mph; Beginning elevation – 2,110 feet; Ending elevation – 2,161 feet; Total ascent – 2,432 feet; Total descent – 2,454 feet.

Felt like the premise from “Groundhog Day” – the third day that we had breakfast at 7 am so we could leave early hoping to beat the weather forecast which was worse than yesterday, i.e. greater chance of rain, thunderstorms, and hail.  We also had the challenge of facing the longest mileage so far, 90+ miles.

Well, the odds didn’t play out in our favor today – 10 miles into the ride, the sprinkles turned into a cold torrential downpour (51 degree) for the next 36 miles (about 3 hours of riding).  The deluge took my mind off the thunder.  However, my waterproof hood, waterproof jacket, waterproof gloves, waterproof pants, waterproof booties, and finally, waterproof socks almost delivered perfect protection (my left foot was soaked).  Surprisingly, other than a wet left foot and occasional rain rolling into my eyes, I wasn’t too uncomfortable (it must be the Marine in me).  After 46 miles and 4 hours, the rain stopped, it warmed up to 57 degrees but it remained overcast.  Finally, at mile 70 the sun came out, the temperature increased to the high 60s for the rest of the day – perfect way to enter Sandpoint.

Only when I arrived in Sandpoint did I find out that only three of us rode the entire weather challenged 90 miles.  The rest of the my biking companions taxied in the van during the downpour and began riding again at Usk, WA, (mile 50).  At mile 56 I left the beautiful state of Washington and entered the beautiful state of Idaho by crossing the Pend Oreille river from Newport, WA to Oldtown, ID.  The ride into Sandpoint was stunning.

While I wasn’t able to look up much during the first 46 miles, the scenery was again beautiful.  We paralleled the Pend Oreille river for the entire 90 mile ride today on rolling country roads.  If not for the weather during the ride, it was an exceptionally beautiful route.  I did see a moose who stared at me with interest (some local residents looked at me the same way as I passed them dry on their porches).

Sandpoint is our first rest stop.  Time to do my laundry.


June 23rd Photos – (Not many due to rain)

Mile 1: Downtown Colville

Mile 21 – Crystal Falls

Mile 43 – Center City Ione

Porter’s Plaza Motel – Lodging Day 7 (my room much better than exterior suggests)

The Porter’s Plaza Motel has everything as you can see from the photo.

Cabin Grill outside Ione served us breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Tour Group, left to right, Dale Hart, John & Susan Schlabach, Doug Wolff, Robert Moskowitz, Nate Hart, and Diane Hart. Jim Schnitzmeyer and Steve Prichard missing.


June 23rd – Colville to Ione, WA

Mile 5 – Susan and John, our most widely travelled riders (e.g. South Africa, New Zealand) with Colville behind them.

June 23rd Statistics – Colville to Ione:  Distance – 42.9 miles; Average speed – 11.8 mph; Beginning elevation – 1,915 feet; Ending elevation – 2,110 feet; Total ascent – 2,995 feet; Total descent – 2,460 feet.

Today was planned as a short day (40 miles) due to lack of lodging unless we rode 80 miles – glad we choose the short day.  We left early this morning again hoping to beat the weather forecast which was worse than yesterday, i.e. greater chance of rain, thunderstorms, and hail.  The entire ride today was on Route 20, climbing nearly 3,000 feet over 30 miles with a steep 7 mile downhill into Ione.  Unfortunately, we didn’t beat the weather – cold (low 50s) with light rain that started early and continued off and on for the entire ride with constant thunder in the distance.  Fortunately, my cold weather and rain gear kept me reasonably warm (actually, not cold)  and dry (actually, just moist).

Regardless of the weather, the scenery was stunning when I was able to look up without water running in my eyes.  One of our group had to give up at the top of the downhill due to cold and a concern about the steep downhill on the wet road.  Two others riding companions took a wrong turn and rode an extra 20 miles.  I made it the entire way, although the downhill did challenge my braking and turning skills as it took numerous sharp turns.  At the bottom of the downhill, Jim and I stopped at the Cabin Grill 3 miles outside of Ione to get something warm to drink, get out of the rain, and await the van to arrive with our luggage (they were still supporting the riders on the rode).

Little did we know that the Cabin Grill was the only restaurant for 30 miles and that we would be having dinner and breakfast their as well.  The town of Ione was two blocks long with a grocery, church, gas station, and our lodging (see today’s photos).  Tomorrow, while flat will be the longest ride of the trip so far, nearly 90 miles into Sandpoint, ID.  We will also have our first day off to rest and do laundry – can’t wait.