Labor Day weekend plans…

It’s been a while since I last updated, and for a good reason. I’m back though just in time before being out for the next three days. A lot has happened over the last month or so and I’ll update about it when I get back from my Labor Day vacation. I have good and bad feelings about the next three days.

The good: I’m thrilled to finally be making the roadtrip I’ve wanted to, which is to ride to the Palouse in Eastern Washington. It has many incredible rides, listed in Destination Highways, WA (this link actually has links to video clips of the rides). All the pictures I’ve seen of this area remind me of the Shire. :) The best part though would be riding the Old Spiral Highway in Idaho. Here’s a great pic/description of it. You have to click on it and tell me you do not completely envy me. :) I’ll be leaving early tomorrow morning and riding toward Clarkston/Lewiston (named after Lewis and Clark, of course), and staying the night at the Guest House Inn in Lewiston. The next day I’ll be doing all the good rides in the area and riding back toward Walla Walla where I’ll spend another night at the Capri Motel, maybe even take time to do some wine tasting, like once recommended to me. Monday morning I’ll ride on home. Depending on how I’m feeling I might either just take the direct route home, or go past Yakima or St. Helen’s.

The bad: My bike’s been in the shop for two whole weeks now, waiting for the cam chain tensioners to be shipped. Adrian did my 15000 mile service as well, while it was there. I could only just pick it up today at lunch. While two weeks doesn’t sound like a lot, I feel like I’m riding like an effing n00b now. It’s as if my body has forgotten how to react to things. I forced (yes, forced!) myself to take the long way home past Lake Sammamish just so I could get a longer ride in, but that didn’t seem to help any. I just couldn’t get my mind off of how uncomfortable I was, how tight my gear seemed to be, how tall the bike seemed, and how hot I was in the 80 degrees heat. It’s insane! To add to this, he fixed my bike so well that it seems a lot more uhhh… powerful now? Which sounds idiotic, I know, but I guess it really didn’t run very well for the past few months that I’ve had it. Earlier this evening, I was this close to just cancelling the reservations and calling off the trip. But the stubborn part of me stopped me from doing so and I’m going to go through with it. I’m just hoping that after the first hundred miles or so, I’ll be okay.

Secondly, I got a shock when I actually looked at a map and realized that I’ve never ridden this far before. It’s practically 300 miles from where I live, clear across the state. It means 6 hours of riding, which probably won’t seem like much to most riders, but is a bit daunting to me. I’ve ridden that long and longer before, but it usually included the return journey. Fortunately, when I started writing down directions and breaking up the 300 miles into smaller intervals with breaks planned in, it doesn’t seem all that bad. Oh, and it’ll probably be about a hundred degrees in that part of the state. I’ve dealt with that kind of heat before though, and I have an evaporation vest this time too to make it easier.

In any case, I’ll know how it’ll turn out as I do it. I have the same queasy feelings in my stomach that I have before every major ride, wondering why the heck I’m doing this, and pushing back thoughts of unmentionable worst case scenarios. I know I’ll be fine once I hit the road and am on my way.

Hope y’all have a wonderful Labor day weekend too! Too bad I’ll miss Bumbershoot this year, but hopefully it will be well worth it.


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