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Magical Mystery Tour of the PNW 4th of July week 2019

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Magical Mystery Tour of the PNW 4th of July week 2019

Old 05-26-19, 11:51 AM
  #1  
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Magical Mystery Tour of the PNW 4th of July week 2019

Something awful, just terrible happened near the end of last year. My company announced a shutdown for the 4th of July week, so I am not allowed to go in to work that week. I decided to make lemonade out of this lemon and plan a bike trip.

A trip I'd done a few years ago seemed like a good starting point, the last day of that one wasn't a terribly fun route, and a gravel mountain pass lay parallel to the penultimate section, so I modified it, an improvement, I think. Day one starts at the Portland Union train station for a 4 hour trip to Seattle, then six days of riding back to Portland. Here's a map of the route:




A really good trip involves friends, so I wanted to drag some others along. I'd met @scozim and @northbend on that trip, but both were unavailable that week. Feelers were sent out, gradually replies were made. I realized that this was a holiday week, with the 4th a Thursday this year, so a few months ago I booked enough rooms and beds for 6 people, one of the riders realized there are only 10 bike hooks on the train and booked six of those as well.

Here's the lineup:

@nlerner has been spending a lot of time out west recently riding bikes in the spring, even has a ride named after him, and participated in the Last Winter Tour of the Willamette Valley. He has reciprocated the last two autumns, hosting me for FFD 2017 and 2018. So of course Neal will fly in from Boston for this ride.
@Spaghetti Legs, aka Dr. Ferrari has been a cellmate of mine for the last 2 Eroica California rides, first in the Magic Bus, then at the Palazzo degli Eroi (which he named). He will, of course administer PED's and assist in our blood doping schedule. (always bring a medical professional on a trip whenever possible). Hugh resides in Virginia, and will be flying out as well.
@SquireBlack is another recividist cellmate from the past 2 Eroica Cali's. He's a local Portland State University computer science professor that has provided wise council on the last two Eroica trips, so naturally he will return in the role of consiglieri on this trip.
Jim G., my greek brother from a different mother (no BF handle, yet, but goes by yojimg on the interwebs) will take the train from the Bay Area to Portland Thursday night along with his ride. Jim publishes the most used trail calculator on the planet, took the UBI framebuilding course one year before I did, and makes custom racks. Yeah, we gotta lotta things in common, like a difficult to pronounce and spell last name starting with the letter G.
Bob Williamson lives maybe 8 blocks from Neal in Brookline, Mass. He rode in the last 2 TdFFD's with Neal and myself. His steady tempo makes him the perfect person to draft behind, which I've done for many a mile. His collection of bikes is smaller than Neal's, but is on average significantly nicer. Bob's visiting his sister in Sacramento the week before, and will take the same train that Jim G. has booked. Jim leaves Emeryille around 10pm, the train gets to Sakatomato around midnight and arrives in PDX early afternoon the next day. As of about a year ago that route added proper bike hooks so you can roll right up instead of breaking it down into a box.

Four of us can be found in this picture. @Andy_K, the fifth (in Molteni orange) could not get out of previous commitments for this ride, but will surely partake in the send off feed and hydrate event the night before. @SquireBlack and I will host two out of town riders each on Friday, June 28th. We'll certainly have that kickoff dinner somewhere in Portlandia, local PDXers keep your eyes open for that announcement on this thread so you can join in!

Full details of the route can be found here. Note that to see all of the sections of the ride, scroll down to the lower left corner and click on "Show all on map".
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Old 05-26-19, 12:33 PM
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Does that make a full six for the tour, then? I'm gonna follow the thread so I may properly experience vicariously what I'm missing out on, haha. Let me know further in advance of the next Magical Mystery Tour (or similar), so I can get my time-off in early.

Hopefully I can at least make the pre-ride kickoff dinner!
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Old 05-26-19, 12:42 PM
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If you required some hydration in Seattle before starting your journey east (to go south..?) I am sure something could be arranged, we have one or two places serving hop based beverages in town.
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Old 05-26-19, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by johnnyace View Post
Does that make a full six for the tour, then? I'm gonna follow the thread so I may properly experience vicariously what I'm missing out on, haha. Let me know further in advance of the next Magical Mystery Tour (or similar), so I can get my time-off in early.

Hopefully I can at least make the pre-ride kickoff dinner!
Yes, six we be, we'll let you know about the Friday pre-ride dinner.

Originally Posted by ryansu View Post
If you required some hydration in Seattle before starting your journey east (to go south..?) I am sure something could be arranged, we have one or two places serving hop based beverages in town.
The grueling train ride up to Seattle Saturday morning will surely require us to top off our liquids prior to heading east, I'm confident that we can arrange something.
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Old 05-26-19, 02:21 PM
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Our harbor pilot through the suburbs of Seattle

The last time I did the ride from King Station in Seattle to Northbend it took me 2-1/2 hrs to get through the suburban jungle of Bellevue-Issaquah. The map made it look like it was straightforward, but little turns here and there were missed, there was back tracking, and the mid-afternoon traffic made it tough to get through. Knowing this I asked for @northbend's recommended route, which he provided, since he has ridden in the area for a long time. @Drillium Dude has volunteered to be our harbor pilot and lead us out to the final spring into Northbend.

Since we're arriving at King Station in Seattle around noon on a Saturday, I'm hoping several other of our well known bike riding neighbors to the north will join in for lunch and at least part of the ride east. @ryansu has already volunteered to help make sure we're fully hydrated. How about @RiddleOfSteel, @Dfrost, @droppedandlost? I know I'm missing several others, so help me call out our northern breathren. I'll post to this thread once a time and lunch place are decided on, or just show up at King Station on Saturday, June 29th at noon and look for the goofy guys with baggage laiden vintage bikes.
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Old 05-26-19, 02:29 PM
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Other ways to participate

You can be like @scozim, who doesn't have the time for this trip, but we'll be riding through his backyard in Ellensburg Monday, July 1. The last time I rode through we met up and rode up Yakima Canyon together. Maybe you can join up and ride with us as well?

For the Portland gang, we'll be riding home through the Columbia River Gorge on the 4th of July. Multnomah Falls is a not to difficult day trip riding out from Portland, ride out and join us for the parade pace victory lap. Or ride all the way out to Cascade Locks and meet us for lunch and rehydration at this place:

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Old 05-26-19, 03:03 PM
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Pix from the Past on the route

We'll bring cameras, of course, and post updates along the way. Here's some teaser pix from the past.

Visit train stations from a bygone era.


Ride across a floating bridge.


60 miles on a rails to trail conversion through mountains and forest.


2 mile long un-lit tunnel with no cars. BYOLights!


Two mountain passes.


One of many waterfalls along the way.


Eat stupendous amounts of food, yet gain no weight.



Whizzing through the Columbia River Gorge


Stand next to giant murals and take pictures.
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Old 05-26-19, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
You can be like @scozim scozim, who doesn't have the time for this trip, but we'll be riding through his backyard in Ellensburg Monday, July 1. The last time I rode through we met up and rode up Yakima Canyon together. Maybe you can join up and ride with us as well?

For the Portland gang, we'll be riding home through the Columbia River Gorge on the 4th of July. Multnomah Falls is a not to difficult day trip riding out from Portland, ride out and join us for the parade pace victory lap. Or ride all the way out to Cascade Locks and meet us for lunch and rehydration at this place:
Will be back fresh from another of my daughter's softball tournaments but should definitely be able to spare a couple of hours to ride with you all. Looking forward to it.
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Old 05-26-19, 05:48 PM
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@gugie there are options right near King Street station for suds and grub and of course all along the way, we're not Barbarians here in the emerald city. @Drillium Dude if you want to PM me the Urban escape route your thinking of I can put together some options in case the Mystery tour riders want to shake out the cobwebs after a long train ride before tucking into some grub/hydration.

Last edited by ryansu; 05-26-19 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 05-26-19, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ryansu View Post
@gugie there are options right near King Street station for suds and grub and of course all along the way, we're not Barbarians here in the emerald city. @Drillium Dude if you want to PM me the Urban escape route your thinking of I can put together some options in case the Mystery tour riders want to shake out the cobwebs after a long train ride before tucking into some grub/hydration.
I'm going to let @Drillium Dude be the Decisioner on route and stops for the first day. I know @Spaghetti Legs has some mates in Seattle-ish he'd like to hook up with, so the sooner a lunch decision is made, the sooner we can send out the RSVP's. @northbend put together this as the first day route, Drillium Dude saw and said it was verily good, but I'm ok with deviations.
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Old 05-26-19, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
I'm going to let @Drillium Dude be the Decisioner on route and stops for the first day. I know @Spaghetti Legs has some mates in Seattle-ish he'd like to hook up with, so the sooner a lunch decision is made, thIe sooner we can send out the RSVP's. @northbend put together this as the first day route, Drillium Dude saw and said it was verily good, but I'm ok with deviations.
Really depends on if you want to eat right off the train or after you've done some pedaling, if you take Northbend's route - which I would agree is a good way to go -I can think of options right near the station (mile 0), on Mercer Island (mile 5) and Issaquah (mile 17ish) off the top of my head but I can do some more thorough research. Let me know if the group is thinking of lunch right off the train or if you want to do some miles first. Probably the least complicated option is to eat near the station - you get in at noonish correct? - and you don't have to worry about any trail deviations once you get under way. Let me know and I will scope out options that can accommodate 10 ish folks and have decent bike parking.
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Old 05-27-19, 11:47 PM
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Wish I could be there...

Guess I'll have to settle for couple days at Cino this September. Fingers crossed, anyway.
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Old 05-28-19, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
Wish I could be there...

Guess I'll have to settle for couple days at Cino this September. Fingers crossed, anyway.
Thought of you, of course, but knew that the odds of you coming for even the day in the midst of your high season at the hotel were pretty slim.

I'm the other way around, trying to figure out how to get up to Montana and back without missing any work days (tapped out on vacation days for the year).
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Old 05-28-19, 06:34 PM
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I might be able to ride part of day 2, up to the pass at least. Would need departure time to meet in North Bend or Iron Horse SP.
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Old 05-28-19, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by droppedandlost View Post
I might be able to ride part of day 2, up to the pass at least. Would need departure time to meet in North Bend or Iron Horse SP.
Will do! I'm thinking I'll just post here with time and place. PM me with contact info, not sure if I still have yours after the North Trask ride. If you could do that, I'm sure you're good for a mild Iron Horse!
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Old 05-29-19, 12:54 AM
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Sorry @gugie , I read the post you tagged me and several others in, but that was Sunday afternoon and I was enjoying a bit of quasi vertigo as is the habit per once in a blue moon. I was in no state to reply to much of anything, though I did roll the thought through my head (bad analogy...lol). If I'm around town that week/weekend, I could get you guys across Lake Washington and into Bellevue. It's a short harbor pilot job, but I haven't ridden into and through Bellevue in several years--I'd have to recon it and know where a rendezvous point with east side natives would be. Could be a good bit of fun.
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Old 05-29-19, 01:49 PM
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@gugie Am I reading this right in that you will be heading out on Sat. July 6th?

I think I am free that day and will try to attend to assist with the "harbor piloting" as @RiddleOfSteel mentioned above. Even crazier, maybe I could pack up and do an overnight with you guys and head back to Seattle on Sunday.
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Old 05-29-19, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
@gugie Am I reading this right in that you will be heading out on Sat. July 6th?

I think I am free that day and will try to attend to assist with the "harbor piloting" as @RiddleOfSteel mentioned above. Even crazier, maybe I could pack up and do an overnight with you guys and head back to Seattle on Sunday.
Sounds like the Sat. before and coming back on the the 4th.
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Old 05-29-19, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
@gugie Am I reading this right in that you will be heading out on Sat. July 6th?

I think I am free that day and will try to attend to assist with the "harbor piloting" as @RiddleOfSteel mentioned above. Even crazier, maybe I could pack up and do an overnight with you guys and head back to Seattle on Sunday.
Sure, c'mon and join! But note that this would be Sat. June 29th. If you're interested, PM me so I can give you hotel info.

Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Sounds like the Sat. before and coming back on the the 4th.
@merziac is correct. We've leaving from Seattle on June 29th. Here's the full schedule:

Saturday, June 29 Leave Portland Union Station with bikes onboard at 8:00am, arrive King Station Seattle right around noon, then ride to Northbend
Sunday, June 30 Northbend to Cle Elum via Iron Horse Trail
Monday, July 1 Cle Elum to Naches (through Ellensburg)
Tuesday, July 2 Naches to Randall over White Pass
Wednesday, July 3 Randall to Trout Lake over Babyshoe Pass
Thursday, July 4 Trout Lake to Portland

Entire route posted on ridewithgps.com
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Old 05-29-19, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Sure, c'mon and join! But note that this would be Sat. June 29th. If you're interested, PM me so I can give you hotel info.


@merziac is correct. We've leaving from Seattle on June 29th. Here's the full schedule:

Saturday, June 29 Leave Portland Union Station with bikes onboard at 8:00am, arrive King Station Seattle right around noon, then ride to Northbend
Sunday, June 30 Northbend to Cle Elum via Iron Horse Trail
Monday, July 1 Cle Elum to Naches (through Ellensburg)
Tuesday, July 2 Naches to Randall over White Pass
Wednesday, July 3 Randall to Trout Lake over Babyshoe Pass
Thursday, July 4 Trout Lake to Portland

Entire route posted on ridewithgps.com
Ah, I see! I'll have to skip it in that case. I will be down in Oregon doing the Gambler 500 that weekend. Have a good ride!
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Old 05-30-19, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
the North Trask ride. If you could do that, I'm sure you're good for a mild Iron Horse!
Even with 20 miles, the steady 2-2.5% is an easy ride. I think they made a decimal point error when they made the Trask road.
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Old 06-09-19, 03:21 PM
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Before a big tour, it's wise to go over your bike and make sure it's in tip top condition. For many C&V'ers the first question is which bike to ride. After some consideration I've decided to bring Big Red:



She's the most comforrtable ride in my fleet, and has wide tires for the gravel roads we'll encounter.

First thing was to figure out why there was a hop in the rear wheel. The rim was true and round, but the tire had a big flat spot in it. I pulled it off and found the culprit: a large adhesive boot that I'd put on it last winter. Riding it that way for several hundred miles caused the casing to deform. I checked with my financial officer and found that I could afford to replace front and rear with Compass Rene Herse Babyshoe Pass 650b x 42 tires. This is appropriate, as we will be riding up and over that pass on day 5 of our tour. Once I pulled the tires off, I noticed that the rims were getting pretty worn. For a second I thought I discovered transparent aluminum. I had bought some Gran Bois rims when they were on blowout at Jan Heine's place. I checked my stash of spokes and low and behold, I had the right lengths and gauge for once. So I rebuilt the wheels, mounted the tires, and realized the bike was too dirty for those wheels.

So I stripped the bike down except for main bearings and cleaned it up. Man, that wet paint job looked a little tired, so I waxed it. Once I rubbed that out, it was nice and shiny, but the fenders looked dull. A couple of hours of steel wool, polishing compound and cloth wheel and they were nearly as shiny as new. The cranks looked shabby, so they got pulled and polished as well. Might as well replace the cabling. Brake pads look a bit worn, might as well replace those as well. Cassette looks dirty, but not worn out, so into the ultrasonic tank that went plus some elbow grease. Might as well replace the chain while at it.

Beware of the tire hop, you'll be rebuilding your bike before you know it.
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Old 06-09-19, 06:03 PM
  #23  
ryansu 
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Before a big tour, it's wise to go over your bike and make sure it's in tip top condition. For many C&V'ers the first question is which bike to ride. After some consideration I've decided to bring Big Red:



She's the most comforrtable ride in my fleet, and has wide tires for the gravel roads we'll encounter.

First thing was to figure out why there was a hop in the rear wheel. The rim was true and round, but the tire had a big flat spot in it. I pulled it off and found the culprit: a large adhesive boot that I'd put on it last winter. Riding it that way for several hundred miles caused the casing to deform. I checked with my financial officer and found that I could afford to replace front and rear with Compass Rene Herse Babyshoe Pass 650b x 42 tires. This is appropriate, as we will be riding up and over that pass on day 5 of our tour. Once I pulled the tires off, I noticed that the rims were getting pretty worn. For a second I thought I discovered transparent aluminum. I had bought some Gran Bois rims when they were on blowout at Jan Heine's place. I checked my stash of spokes and low and behold, I had the right lengths and gauge for once. So I rebuilt the wheels, mounted the tires, and realized the bike was too dirty for those wheels.

So I stripped the bike down except for main bearings and cleaned it up. Man, that wet paint job looked a little tired, so I waxed it. Once I rubbed that out, it was nice and shiny, but the fenderrs looked dull. A couple of hours of steel wool, polishing compound and cloth wheel and they were nearly as shiny as new. The cranks looked shabby, so they got pulled and polished as well. Might as well replace the cabling. Brake pads look a bit worn, might as well replace those as well. Cassette looks dirty, but not worn out, so into the ultrasonic tank that went plus some elbow grease. Might as well replace the chain while at it.

Beware of the tire hop, you'll be rebuilding your bike before you know it.
Ah beware of peeling the onion, for exactly the reasons above I am hesitant to swap out a stem on a MTB in the fleet for fear I will end up with a total rebuild on my hands.
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Old 06-11-19, 11:28 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Before a big tour, it's wise to go over your bike and make sure it's in tip top condition. For many C&V'ers the first question is which bike to ride. After some consideration I've decided to bring Big Red:
Nice choice, and that's a great pic of you. A fine summery day in Stumptown!
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Old 06-11-19, 01:09 PM
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Wait a minute there cowboy, you’re supposed to be working on my bike!
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