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What I did on my birthday…

So long overdue, although two weeks later, it still sounds exciting and just plain crazy. What I did was:

1. Woke up at 3:45AM

2. Got on my bike and met three fellow MS riders at 4:30AM at the local gas station.

3. Rode 75 miles on I-90E to Cle Elum in pitch darkness, on grooved pavements, and with near-frozen fingers.

4. Stopped at a gas station in Cle Elum around sunrise to warm up a little bit. My hands were so cold that I could barely brake or use the clutch, and I have no idea how I managed to manuever to a stop.

5. After a 15 minute break, took off and went east along 970 and then north along 97 towards Leavenworth (about 50 miles) just in time to see the first sunrays hit the mountains.

6. Stopped at a grocery store in Leavenworth for some more rest and recharging. We’d been making good time and it was only about 7:15AM thus far. Leavenworth is incredible without all the tourists. :)

7. Left Leavenworth after a slightly longer break than before, and headed west toward Gold Bar along the southern half of the Cascade Loop for a brilliant ride that lasted about 70 more miles. Lots and lots of twisties, no traffic, balmy weather… it couldn’t get any better than that. About the only annoying thing was the bug splatters all over my visor, in particular one that landed strategically on my left eyeball. And seeing as I’ve rarely if ever ridden in a group, I didn’t want to stop and clean my helmet, so I kept on going.

8. We were supposed to just go back to Redmond without any stops, but at Gold Bar, the traffic slowed to a crawl and I took the opportunity to run into a gas station and wipe the visor clean.

9. From hereon it was smooth sailing until we got to 522 around Bothell where peak hour traffic was gathering in force. But wait, we were on motorcyles, so we jumped lanes through traffic going 30mph to the car pool lane where we sped up to 70mph.

10. And so 522, 405 and 520 back to Redmond

11. Rolled in to work at 10:15AM and went upstairs with a shit-eating grin to see people getting their first cup of coffee while still buzzing with my own adrenalin rush. :D

So all in all, three mountain passes, 250 miles, and still got in to work on time. Not a bad way to start a birthday. ;D More than anythng else, it restored my confidence in riding long distance again.