After being on the road of over 2 weeks, I finally made it to Bellingham, WA. The drive up from Portland was beautiful and I couldn't have asked for better weather. When I left Maryland on September 10th the temperature was still in the high 80s, but here in the City of Subdued Excitement (no kidding, that's really the nickname for Bellingham) early signs of fall are all around. Temperatures have been in the high 50s/low 60s with leaves starting to show some brilliant fall colors. Perfect biking weather!
Yesterday I road from Fairhaven to Bellingham, a short 15 mile ride round-trip. It was beautiful and I snapped the following picture to give a sense of the scenery. I wanted to ride out to Lummi Island, home of the Lummi Indian Nation, but preparing for a 30-day bike trip isn't easy and I spent most of the day ensconced in a booth at Woods Coffee finishing up some work. I still have my rental car and may take a quick drive out to the reservation this morning.
Today is the official start of the trip, but most of it will be spent in a meeting with our guides and other riders. This will be followed by a "fix a flat" workshop for those of us who've never changed a bike tire. Sadly, there is no AAA (Automobile Association of America) equivalent for bikes so I'll have to rely on my own mechanical know-how for basic bike repairs. My ineptitude when it comes to mechanics has me more worried about this than the ride itself! Later this evening there is an opening reception and banquet for riders and their guests. I've met a couple of the other riders, but I look forward to getting to know the ladies I will be spending the next 30 days with.
Our evening of merriment will have to be short, because we will need to be up early for our first day's 75-mile ride to Port Townsend, WA. I understand that the route is relatively flat (thank goodness), but it will probably take at least 6 hours (not including stops to rest and take photos) before I roll into our hotel for the night. Although I've done quite a bit of training in prep for the ride--weightlifting and spinning--nothing other than long rides can prepare you for so many hours in the "saddle". Bike seats designed specifically for a woman's anatomy and Chamois Butter help, but I'm hoping most of our hotels have hot tubs where I can recover after a long day of riding.
I'll try and post again later this evening, but for now I'll leave you with my favorite photo taken outside Rocket Donuts in beautiful Bellingham. I'm not much of a donut fan, but I may try one before I leave to see if, as they claim, their donuts really are "out of this world."