August 5, 2015 7:37 pm

Come Selah Way

At breakfast in Leavenworth, I catch Sharon staring longingly at the toy train that circles the dining room. She denies it, but I think she was fantasizing about a nice train ride to our next stop.

“Come Selah way, Come Selah way, Come Selah way with me…”

I wolf down my big breakfast and head out to the trailers to get ready. I’m feeling good, real good. I’m in pain, but it’s almost exactly the same amount of pain I was in yesterday. Could it be that I’ve discovered the exactly how much pain a butt can feel? I hope so, because I don’t think I can handle any more.

The ride almost immediately begins with a gentle climb. Today will be an easier day with most of the climb concentrated in the first 30 miles. Sharon and I keep up with a pace line moving up the hill for maybe 10 miles before I let her know that I don’t think we’ll be able to keep up. “Of course we can’t! Just look at their jerseys. They’re all PAC tour veterans. Some of them have done race across America. At least one of them has won it! What were we thinking!”, Sharon exclaims.

Avid bike riders eventually start a jersey collection. The “collection” consists of jerseys from rides they have done. You usually don’t get the jersey unless you finish the ride and most respectable riders refuse to wear a ride jersey they haven’t earned. Someone once gave me a t-shirt for the Dinky Double Kaiser ride because they didn’t do that version of the ride and knew that I had done it. The jerseys we are surrounded by on this tour are for some of the toughest rides ever and I have no doubts that they have all been earned. This also seems to have an effect on my determination to complete the ride. I don’t know if I’ll feel right about wearing my Pacific Crest tour jersey after this is all over if I don’t ride the whole thing.

Sharon at top of climb


The steepest part of the climb is on Forest Road in the Wenatchee National Forest. We climbed this reasonably well and only a few riders passed us on the hill. The descent winds down with several large potholes. Sharon announces every turn. I think she was a little nervous. I don’t think this downhill is too difficult though and we even pass one rider on the way down.

TomThe rest of the ride is mostly fast downhills with only a few small climbs. Even the flat sections are fast with some nice tail winds. One descent though has some scary cross winds that Sharon wants to hammer down, for some reason. This scares me much more than the earlier winding downhill. The last section of the route follows the Yakima River. This is a scenic route leading us to a lunch stop with only 12 miles remaining.

We finish our day of riding with 88 miles and about 4000 feet of climb. Tomorrow’s ride takes us to Packwood, Wa. ?

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This post was written by Tom

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