Archive for Washington

[VIDEO] The Cyclists’ Average Day

A brief video showing an average day in the life of the Cycle of America 2010 cyclists.  It charts their journey from Ellensberg to Moses Lake on August 3rd, and features punctures, pit stops and the daily halfway-point meet-up with Rob and Donal.

Watch the video

Getting Ready for the Launch on Day One.

On the Road – Spokane to Wallace.

The 6th of August, Spokane, Washington, to Wallace, Idaho.

Eoins Blog – Day 6: Spokane to Wallace

Day 6: Spokane, Washington to Wallace, Idaho – 6th August

So the COA Team were up early today as a long day of 130kms cycling lay ahead. We began by taking the busy I-90 out of Spokane which was treacherous in parts. It was then that Will suggested we jump on a parallel road to the I-90 which “looks like it runs all the way to Wallace”. Needless to say after a few minutes of following this parallel road, we were off course by a few miles and sought out the I-90 again. By the time we rejoined the Interstate, the rush-hour traffic had thinned a lot and we had no problems getting up a great pace to arrive at the Washington/Idaho State Line after about 90 minutes. Some passing bikers were kind enough to shoot a picture for us. We kept up this blistering pace to arrive into the town of Couer D’Alene for our mid-morning snack. We had covered over 50 kilometres in a couple of hours so our sambos and Powerade were well deserved.

Just after Couer D’Alene, there was a long uphill drag for about ten kilometres before we reached the shady cover of the Couer D’Alene National Forest. On the other side of the climb, Will punctured on the downhill. Mark was scene walking away with a chisel in hand but the two incidents remain unconnected.

After a brief re-stock from the support team, we pushed on through small towns like Cataldo, Kingston, Pinhurst, Smelterville, Osburn and Kellogg – where Rob and Donal enjoyed a cable car ride to the top of the ski hill. There is no snow up there at this time of year though. Actually we keep seeing road signs like “Bridge liable to ice” and “Beware slippery when cold” – you can only laugh when we roll by in 90F heat!

We eventually made it to the small town of Wallace by 330pm – a distance of 138kms covered. We had secured accommodation in the Stardust Motel thanks to the generosity of the owner Rick Shaffer, but there was a mix up in the jerseys when we arrived which meant we had no such reservation. Luckily Rick is the owner of the best two hotels in Wallace so he kindly offered us accommodation in the Wallace Inn instead. We immediately enjoyed a dip in the swimming pool and headed for dinner O’Rourkes – the hotel’s restaurant.

Wallace is a quaint little town nestled just off the Interstate with less than a thousand people living there. The town is known as the Silver Capital of the World due to its mining exploits, and everything about the town shouts 19th Century. There’s no Starbucks, no 7-11s, and it has a real hometown feel to the place. Unfortunately for 5 twentysomethings on a Friday night, this meant there was not a lot to do about town at night. But we were glad to hit the beds early and get prepped for another long ride tomorrow.

Eoins’ Blog – Day 5: Rest Day in Spokane

Rest day – Spokane – 5th August
Having covered over 300 miles on the bikes in our first four days of cycling, our first rest day in the city of Spokane on 5th August was well deserved! Enjoying the luxurious surrounds of The Davenport Hotel in Spokane, we took the opportunity to lie-in and rest the legs for a couple of hours.

To loosen out, the cyclists hit the local park for a bit of hurling – we each brought hurleys from Ireland to spread the gospel. It was a scorcher of a day  in Spokane so we were only out hitting the ball for a hour or so, but plenty of locals enquired as to what game we were playing and how the game worked.

Meanwhile back at base the support team were busy trying to look ahead and drum up publicity in the towns we will pass through in the coming weeks.

When the cyclists returned from our puck around, Mark and Eoin jumped straight into the pool for a swim, while Will aka the Bionic Man, went out on the bike for a half hour spin to make sure his knee injury is kept stretched. Rob and Donal also took a break from the laptops and telephones to take in some sightseeing.

To round off our rest day the Team hit the Spokane nightlife – purely to spread the message of the cycle of course. Good spots for future reference are the Blue Spark and the Marquee, while Irv’s (unbeknownst to the COA Team) is the place to be if you’re not so interested in talking to people of the opposite sex! We live and learn.

Williams Blog – Day 4: Moses Lake to Spokane

Date 4th Aug
Mosses Lake to Spokane
Distance 180km

I had the physio appointment this morning, Randy the physio said I had a very tight T-band. After showing me a few stretches, massaging the knee and taping it up I was ready to hit the road. Randy kindly gave me the physio half price after I told him what I was doing.

Due to me having physio we didn’t get on the road until around 9.30 which was not wise! My knee was feeling much better and we knew we had to go at a good pace due to our late start. Myself and Mark went on ahead of Eoin. The temp today was close to 95 degrees and there was a headwind the whole way! We found it really hard as we were cycling in the hottest part of the day, we were getting cooked alive!! 30 miles into the day Eoin hit a rock on the hard shoulder and fell pretty hard on his hip and knee. Hopefully Eoin will be ok to join us for the 1st leg of the Rockies tomorrow!

Myself and Mark tore into the rest of the journey and we stopped off at a town called Sprague where we topped up our food and water in the local Conoco garage. After getting talking to Joe in the shop and telling him what we were doing he told us we could take whatever we needed free of charge. Joe’s brother has cancer and we wish him all the best.

We were really feeling the aches and pains! Sore bums, sore knees and the heat in general were really taking its toll on us, well me anyway! Today is our longest day of the cycle ( I think!) so it was important we just kept going. There were a lot of rolling hills and the wind was stopping us from enjoying the down hill! And this is when Mark started playing his mind games with me! Im there clinging to the bike looking like I’m ready to fall off it when he turns to me and says “ Kerwin I actually feel grand, I’m not tired at all” We will see who is feeling grand in the morning when the random drug testers call round to our hotel room in the morning to test him! Im guessing the list of substances in his system will be a cross between Floyde Landos and Dwaine Chambers!

Anyway on we went, hanging onto the bike with whatever little energy we had left!! It was easly the most tired I have ever been and this includes my magnificent victory over a certain COA member Mark Leonard in our recent Triathlon in Athlone!

We eventually arrived in Spokane at 8.30! And we got a great view of the Rockies and what lies ahead over the next week or so!

On the Road – Moses Lake to Spokane.

The 4th of August, travelling from Moses Lake, Washington, to Spokane, Washington.

Williams Blog – Day 3: Ellensburg to Moses Lake

Date 3rd Aug
Ellensberg to Moses Lake
Distance 135km

We were out on the road at 9 o’clock, it seems the earlier we get up the later we leave. We were up before 7 but some how only managed to leave at 9 o’clock. We really felt the heat today it was up over 90 degrees. The heat was really slowing us down! Our water/powerade was actually warm after about an hour on the road and the bum pain really started to kick in!
The scenery along the route was amazing!

I booked a physio appointment (for my knee) in Moses Lake for 3 o’clock expecting to make it without too much hassle! Little did we know there was some animal climbs waiting for us along the way! The heat and the climbs really drained us of all our energy! At 1 point I had to put Mark on my handle bar, his bike on my back and carry him up the hills, Contindor esque! Due to the climbs we had to re-schedule my physio for the following morning at 8 bells. Dr Steadman was waiting for me!

We arrived in Moses Lake at approx 5 o’clock with Eoin hour behind. With the heat and climbs we were relieved to make it at all!!

Eoin in Gregg’s Cycles

Eoin introduces us to William and Mark’s bicycles, which are hanging from the ceiling in Gregg’s Cycles of Green Lake, Seattle.

(Pardon my chronology – this video was taken last week but due to time constraints is only being posted now)

Eoin introduces the bikes

Williams Blog – Day 2: Snoqualmie to Ellensburg

Date 2nd Aug

Snoqualmie Valley to Ellensbarg

Distance 130km

Well the day started well, we were up at 6.30 in the morning and out on the road for 7.30. Due to the spray from the waterfall and the fog it looked very cool out and like it was raining. Myself and Leonard still went out in the bare minimum expecting it to heat up later on in the day. Eoin wrapped up like he was going skiing in Vermont!

Eoin got the 1st puncture of the cycle at around 9 o’clock, after changing this we were back on the road. Myself and Lenny went ahead of Eoin and I got a puncture, due to our sheer stupidity neither myself or Lenny had packed any spare tubes so we had to wait for Eoin to catch up. Turns out Eoin didn’t have any spare tubes either and I was stranded!

We were approx 5 km from the next town Easton and around 80km from Ellensberg. Our support team had gone back to Seattle to pick up a few more supplies so they were 2 hours away. After much debating it was agreed the 2 lads would go on ahead to Ellensberg and I would put the bike on my back and run the rest of the way…. Nah not really! I would walk to Easton ( next town). Approx ½ mile from Easton I was stopped by the local Sheriff who happened to be from Ellensberg. He kindly offered me a lift to Ellensberg but I declined his offer and he told me where the nearest service station was. I managed to get a puncture repair kit off a generous stranger!

After helping me repair the puncture I was back on the road! I was having a lot of trouble with my left knee and having great trouble bending it so cycling was very difficult. Eoin and Lenny stopped off for food in the town Cle Ulum. I managed to pass them and they didn’t catch up with me until I had my 2nd puncture! I again repaired this with the puncture kit and we made our way to Ellensberg. We arrived at approx 6 so it was a very long day and my knee was very sore! I jumped into an ice bath for 5 mins and headed on down to the pool! The rest of the team went out to the pub for a few beers to ease the pain of the legs and bum! I rested in the hotel with ice on my knee!