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Old 05-10-08, 06:05 PM   #1
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Great ride today (w/pics): NW coastline; hills; orchards; and Satan on a hill!

I rode the Skagit Spring Classic today in a very nice part of the world, starting about 60 miles north of Seattle in a town called Burlington. The ride took in a well known road along the coast called the Chuckanut Drive, headed north to the outskirts of Bellingham, and then headed west and south along Lake Samish and Lake Whatcom. Getting that far out of Seattle was terrific -- light traffic, fantastic scenery, lots of farms, orchards and country homes to look at.

There were 40, 60 and 100-mile routes -- I followed the 100-mile route but took a couple of shortcuts and made up my own 80-mile route. Hope you enjoy the pics; this is the Northwest at its best!

This is the view from Chuckanut Drive, looking out at the San Juan Islands off the coast. The SJ Islands are great biking territory, too.






Shore of Lake Whatcom.




Rest stop in a state park. It was a really well organized ride. Kind of a chilly day, so they had a campfire going at this stop.



The organizers posted a Devil to harrass us when we were headed up the steepest climb of the route. This was at about mile 60 of the route I took...I haven't downloaded my GPS data yet but this was a pretty steep climb, but not quite "hellish."




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Old 05-10-08, 06:07 PM   #2
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We crossed an inlet near the coast lined with boats, including a few that didn't make it.





Orchard in Skagit Valley...



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Old 05-10-08, 06:12 PM   #3
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Gorgeous! What a great ride. Seattle seems like extremely comfortable riding weather. It gets really hot in Sonoma County in the summer.
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Old 05-10-08, 06:23 PM   #4
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Washington State is one of the top places on my "places to retire to" list. I get to travel there from time to time on work - I have always enjoyed it. Great pics - I think I might have driven by a few of these places.
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Old 05-10-08, 06:36 PM   #5
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Washington State is one of the top places on my "places to retire to" list.
OK, pick a house.

This one? Traditional Craftsman bungalow farmhouse with horses in the backyard....




Or this one? Modern coastal, with room for your yacht...

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Old 05-10-08, 07:58 PM   #6
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Very nice BB! Was it raining up there? FlowerBlossom and I thought we were going to have rain on our 'unorganised' 50 miles ride in Olympia today, but it held off, and was actually quite nice!

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Old 05-10-08, 08:30 PM   #7
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Kasia & I did the 100 mile route. It certainly was beautiful -- especially along the coast. Somehow, we managed to mostly miss the rain -- it was raining when we go to registration, but stopped before we started biking. It rained just a little at about the 95 mile point, but that was it.

I have only one complaint: the endless miles of rough chip-seal pavement. I think my hands are still vibrating. Out of the 101 miles we rode, I suspect at least 90 were chip-seal. Except for that, we had a blast!

The route was well marked, and the rest stops were well organized -- we especially liked the stop at Donovan Park. Everyone (riders and volunteers) were very nice -- a great group to ride with.

If only we could get Skagit County to repave those rough roads...
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Old 05-10-08, 09:59 PM   #8
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Positively dreamy!

Those bright green jackets don't stand out much in all that beautiful bright greenery of nature!
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Old 05-10-08, 11:28 PM   #9
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Very nice pics and scenery. There always seems to be a devil on the hills.
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Old 05-11-08, 08:45 AM   #10
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I'm in the market for a new bike. Tell me about your experience with Davidson, I had ruled him out as his prices are a bit higher than others. Leaning toward Mike DeSalvo.
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Old 05-11-08, 09:14 AM   #11
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Nice pictures, BB. I'm sure the devil made the climb a little easier
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Old 05-11-08, 09:41 AM   #12
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I'm jealous! I rode all of those places when I lived in Bellingham in the 70's and 80's. I moved away 23 years ago but I still consider it home. They used to close Chuckanut to auto traffic one Sunday a month. Do they still do that? Once I was going for a tour in the San Juan Islands and Chuckanut was closed because they were working on repairing a slide. I rode through the barricades and had the road to myself. I had to carry my bike and my load on a narrow path on a steep hillside below where they were working. It was a little hairy, but I made it and it was worth it to have the road to myself and not have to ride around the long way.

I lived in a little shack on Lake Whatcom at the north end, next to the dam. What a place!

This looks like a great ride. When I retire I'll come up and do it! Thanks for sharing the pictures.
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Old 05-11-08, 09:57 AM   #13
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I'm in the market for a new bike. Tell me about your experience with Davidson, I had ruled him out as his prices are a bit higher than others. Leaning toward Mike DeSalvo.
My experiences with Davidson were terrific

In my thought process I decided first I wanted one of the local builders for a bike (Rodriguez or Davidson); then I started focusing on titanium, so that ruled out Rodriguez. When I checked prices I thought Davidson's titanium frame prices were competitive with what I could get elsewhere...though I picked up a price list the other day in the store and I noticed that 2008 prices have gone up a couple of hundred dollars from last summer, when I bought mine. They still don't seem to be out of line w/what other folks are charging.

I have chatted with Bill on a number of occasions (at length), but when it came time to do the fitting/spec'ing of the bike I worked with Bob Freeman, as Bill was out on the day that I had time to really spend time with them. The only thing really "special" about my bike is that it's pretty big, and though it's currently mounted w/25c tires I wanted a bike that will eventually accommodate 32c tires and fenders. The size/geometry necessitated building a custom steel fork, which led to some questions about paint..all of which Bob worked out calmly. I really think that Bob/Bill have "seen it all," and none of my questions/requests were at all unusual to them.

Lead time: ordered bike late August, it was finished in mid-November. I think if I had jumped up and down I could have pushed for it a bit faster, but as it was fall I was not in a big hurry.

In the end I was just really focused on the idea that I could get a Ti bike built locally, and that the shop where it was built could also be my LBS (they're convenient to my office, so I can stop in after work for help or parts). Since I had the bike built I've talked w/Bill about some future oddball bikes I might want some day (just dreamin'), and I've realized that if you can dream it, he's probably already built one for someone at some point in his career (Rohloff, tandems, S&S couplers, tourers, track bikes, etc. etc. ). His depth of experience and thoughtfulness about bikes is really impressive. (For that matter, I've since had a chance to talk with the folks at R&E some more as well, and they are obviously experienced, too...if I were going to get an all-out touring bike I'd considered their Adventure touring bike w/26-inch wheels).

Bottom line - very good experience; would love to own an older Davidson in lugged steel, too...

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Old 05-11-08, 10:36 AM   #14
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Looks like a perfect day for riding in a perfect setting. I LOVE RIDE PICTURES! I always take my camera, but sometime have to force myself to stop my momentum (such as it is) to take pictures.

thanks for posting.
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