PAC Tour Riders
August 2, 2015 8:45 pm

Time To Pay The Ferryman

Should I be nervous that a ferry is how Dante began his adventure? We awoke at the “hellish” hour of 5AM, ate breakfast, and headed to the Mukilteo ferry. After a pleasant ride across Puget Sound to Whidbey Island, I was pleased to discover our destination resembled none of the rings of hell.


This is the first day of PAC Tour’s Pacific Crest tour and Sharon and I have chosen to attempt it on tandem. The first fellow rider that spoke to us had this to say: “Great! A tandem. Guess I will not have to be the last one to the top of the hills.” Standard tandem joke though, right up there with. “She’s doing all the work.” and “Looks like you lost someone.” should you ever dare ride without your stoker. We meet more fellow riders. The greetings mostly seem to be along the lines of, “You’re doing this on a tandem? Well, good luck with that.” Sharon seems a little nervous. I’m shakin’ in my booties.

The ride began with a series of rollers that suits us really well. Although we do tend to drop back on some of the longer hills we almost always catch back up to a group of PAC Tour riders.  It’s a bit more work than I was expecting and I’m reluctant to push too hard to catch up with eleven more days of this to go. This isn’t even the most difficult day of the tour! Circles of hell, here we come!

bikesRest stops were well placed and professionally run. The PAC Tour crew really knows what they are doing. For lunch we were treated to a meal equally as good as the welcome dinner. Not sure whether I’ll be losing or gaining weight on this tour.

deception-passRiding around the Whidbey Island was quite scenic. There were some nice views of the water and we even saw some wildlife in the form of a bald eagle and some deer. Actually, only Sharon was able to see the bald eagle. I was too busy paying attention to the road. Stokers have all the luck.

Oh Dear!


As we progressed through the day, a saddle issue I was dealing with during the last few weeks of training seemed to have improved, however it remains to be seen if one of the circles of hell for me ends up being part of my own anatomy.

The ride finished with flats that were perfect for a tandem. We rolled in, I believe, towards the front, although some riders had already begun to clean their bikes when we rolled in. It was about 2PM when we arrived after completing almost 100 miles. Due to some restaurants being closed, our dinner choices were limited. Dairy Queen was even out of sauce for their “Flame Thrower” burger.


What I have come to realize after this first day is that there are no slower riders here. Everyone seemed to arrive at the hotel within a fairly short window of time. I don’t know what made me think that there would be any slower riders. Could it be the amount of gray hair some of them are sporting? Those guys are some of the faster riders. I swear one of them is going to make me cough up a lung  if  I don’t talk myself out of chasing him.  Maybe it’s that I’m accustomed to doing events where there have been slower riders but on a tour like this people just don’t sign up unless they are really prepared.

Tomorrow we cross over the top of Washington Pass, with a total climb of 8000 feet and total distance of 125.8 miles. ?

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This post was written by Tom

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