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And so it begins....Vancouver to San Diego, or Bust.

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And so it begins....Vancouver to San Diego, or Bust.

Old 08-29-14, 05:35 PM
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And so it begins....Vancouver to San Diego, or Bust.

Hey folks! It's been a while since I've posted, mostly due to personal reasons. And the hot Summer doldrums of lack of riding never helps. But I'm back to riding again since last week...in a rather major way.
I felt I needed to get away and do something special to offset what I had gone through these past two years. A sort of discovery and recovery tour. So I embarked on a Pacific Coast ride, starting by flying into Seattle from Phoenix. Then head north to Vancouver, then Victoria, and ride southbound to Portland, Oregon, then into California ending in San Diego. I've not been to the cities and regions along my route, so it will be exciting and fun to visit these places for the first time.

Initially, I had planned to take a C&V Cro-moly hybrid on this tour. But a 2010 Specialized Sirrus Sport fell into my lap, and it was better suited. I outfitted it with road components set aside for the hybrid build. It turned out pretty well and rides nicely.

Specializing My Specialized by WNG555, on Flickr

A bit over a week ago, I began my first leg by checking in my bike and luggage onto a United flight to Seattle-Tacoma Airport. The bike survived the baggage handlers and it was assembled at the terminal and I rode out and headed north to Capitol Hill in the midst of Seattle.

A 14.5 mile ride with a nice few miles of climbs as a finale. I read about Warmshowers.org and decided to join their organization to experience the whole bike tour support community. I found two gracious hosts, Sheila and Spencer, who put me up for a long weekend.
They are hardcore long distance tandem riders, who had completed a Pacific to Atlantic Ocean supported tour. S2Cycle

Since it was my first time in Seattle, they gave me tips on how to best see the city, where to ride, and the sights.

Fortunately, I found out Drillium Dude was back in Washington the same time I got there! We arranged a get together that weekend and Sheila and Spencer and I rode to the rendez- vous at Lake Forest Park north of Seattle. My hosts departed on their training ride while Jeff and I continued along the Burke-Gillman Trail and got onto another great trail to arrive at the Velodrome. There we discovered they were having the US National Championship Finals! We made a point to return that evening to catch the event.

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Old 08-29-14, 05:37 PM
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Meeting Jeff at Starbucks in Lake Forest Park.

Velodrome action....

The masters mens points race final was especially exciting. A racer from Phoenix, AZ did very well.
(all-black outfit). He was also the coach for a woman in the 50-54 class that set a new track record and also went on to take 1st place.

The Dude enjoying his teriyaki chicken!


Last edited by WNG; 09-02-14 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 08-29-14, 06:19 PM
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I am so jealous of you!! I would never have the nerve to do something like that. It sounds like blast though. Great pics. I hope you have a wonderful and enlightening journey.
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Old 08-29-14, 06:21 PM
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Next morning I rode back down to Seattle along the lake front with Jeff. Here, he's pointing out a former Navy air base converted to a park, and commercial campus. Magnusson Park.

A 'carhenge' like sculpture consisting of cut up seaplane rudders and elevators, at the converted naval base...

View across the lake at Magnusson..

Not exactly Mt. Ventoux, but Jeff summitted the climb before me and celebrating...

After lunch, we rolled into the University of Washington campus. Some very regal buildings. A pretty campus.

Jeff wanted to show one of his favorite shops in the area, Recycled Cycles. I got carried away looking through their parts bins! We then rolled into Gasworks Park and took in the view of Lake Union and downtown. A beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Red Bull gives the Dude his drillium wings...

We tried to take in some more recommended sights along the canal, but I needed to meet my hosts for dinner that evening. So, we turned back and headed east so I could find my way back to Capitol Hill.


Last edited by WNG; 08-29-14 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 08-29-14, 06:29 PM
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Outstanding thread guys.

Nice to see you guys around and I'll be watching this journey.

FWIW I did this journey on a Kawasaki Z900 in 1977. It was part of a 6 month motorcycle trip the year after I graduated from high school.
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Old 08-29-14, 06:36 PM
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Off to a roaring start, it seems...

Great pics, and look forward to meeting you in Vancouver this Monday!

Fingers crossed for cooperative weather.
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Old 08-29-14, 06:37 PM
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Hey WNG, I'm down here in SW Wa on US 101. If you plan crossing the Columbia here on the coast (Astoria-Megler Bridge), keep us posted and I'll look you up as you roll through. It appears you're following I-5?
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Old 08-29-14, 06:41 PM
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Awesome stuff. Good luck and have fun! We'll make sure to keep the desert warm till ya get back.
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Old 08-29-14, 07:53 PM
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Here we are on the Montlake Bridge over the canal cut that connects Lake Union and the surrounding bays to Lake Washington. The amount of maritime traffic, along with kayakers, was astonishing.
The bridge is a lovely old thing with great architectural elements.

With a map in hand, I followed a bike route to Madison St, which looked easy enough on paper.
Of course, the day's ride ends with around 1/2 mile of climbs, peaking at 16% grade. :-P
Respect to tourers and their fully laden rigs!! I have about 50 lbs of stuff over my rear wheel and it is a truck!

I made it back just in time. My hosts just returned from their Sunday ride. Another tough one! We set off on foot to their favorite Thai restaurant, the food was excellent! The neighborhood was immediately familiar, reminiscent of the cities I've live in and miss. Mt Royal, and the Latin Quarter off Rue St. Denis in Montreal, Somerville, and Harvard Sq. in Boston, and a more later Brooklyn Heights. The 'Hill' is a very pleasant Seattle location. It has that charm, and energy.

Sheila and Spencer...team S2cycle, on top of their roof garden taking in the sunset.

Monday, Jeff invited me to stay with him, and go riding and try to meet up with as many forumites as possible. He would whip me into shape at Camp Drillium Dude.
Sheila pointed out to me that the late Bruce Lee was buried in her neighborhood. That came as a surprise, and I made it as part of my trip for Monday. I felt the need to pay my respects to the legendary master, since he studied Wing Chun under the great Yip Man. At 19, I tried to learn Wing Chun in NYC. But lacked the discipline to see it through. It was too hard seeing your friends going off clubbing with the girls, while you spent your Summer evenings being slapped around by sweaty guys! :-P
The other reason was an ironic one....my ex-wife is obsessed with Bruce Lee. Collected Bruce Lee figurines and posters which she insisted on putting up all over the place! Fate would have me visit his final resting place before her. The late Brandon Lee was laid to rest beside Bruce Lee....may father and son be sparring together eternally.

I joined up with Jeff after finding my way out of the Lakeview Cemetery.
And the riding excitement really ramped up the next day....more to come, and Jeff has the nine lives of a cat!

Last edited by WNG; 09-08-14 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 08-29-14, 08:03 PM
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Oh, yeah, you're doing it right.

I have unfinished business.

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Old 08-29-14, 08:25 PM
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Awesome Will! Sounds like a great adventure. May the breeze be at your back!
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Old 08-29-14, 08:47 PM
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That is so very cool. Safe travels!
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Old 08-29-14, 09:10 PM
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Here's to rooting for you from the other northern coast! @WNG you go man!
Dreaming about riding in NH's summertime!

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Old 08-29-14, 09:10 PM
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Damn, subscribed! I too would never have the guts to attempt something such as this!
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Old 08-29-14, 09:13 PM
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Great trip. Keep feeding the poor schmucks like me who cannot get away to do something like this.

Bet you got some looks assembling your bike at the airport. LOL.
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Old 08-29-14, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CV-6 View Post
Great trip. Keep feeding the poor schmucks like me who cannot get away to do something like this.

Bet you got some looks assembling your bike at the airport. LOL.
What, in Seattle? Probably an everyday occurrence!

Are you going coastal, or inland? In any case, wave as you go by.
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Old 08-29-14, 10:04 PM
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@WNG - if you get through Portland you've GOT to let us know. We'd meet at Velo Cult & say Hi. @jyl lives here as do others in the area. We'd love to see you and get to meet you face to face. Seriously.

I'm not sure what your circumstances are or what happened as I'm new to the boards, but this seems like a physically & mentally healthy way to "re-set" and recharge. You get a new perspective, along with quiet times to think and to also change scenery. Best of both worlds. Ride safely and have a FANTASTIC time.
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Old 08-30-14, 12:19 AM
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This is really cool. I look forward to following your voyage. If I ever took a kick to the nuts like you did I hope I would have the courage to undertake a similar journey. Good luck out there!
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Old 08-30-14, 12:46 AM
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Really great pics of Seattle, it's like you're the tourist information bureau or something! And I sincerely hope your ex-wife isn't the same Japanese GF I had back in my Seattle days, also obsessed with Bruce Lee. (Yes, I took her to visit the grave, too.) Brandon was still above ground back in those days, but no one knew he existed.

So it goes.

Keep the shots coming, WNG.
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Old 08-30-14, 11:30 AM
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You're off to a good start, WNG. Keep those posts coming so we can travel vicariously through you. Hope you enjoy the Rodeo this weekend with Scozim.
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Old 08-30-14, 11:41 AM
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WHOO HOO! Great stuff WNG. I'm going to follow this trip with great interest. The route is very similar to a trip I took in 1972, with a buddy. Though I stopped in southern Oregon. Even stopped off in Victoria, which I loved. But the best part were the coasts of both Washington and Oregon. If you're planning on riding down highway 101, you've got some magnificent scenery in your near future. Great adventure. May your soul get a good cleansing and re-boot from this. I can't wait to see more.

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Old 08-30-14, 11:45 AM
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All I can say is, "One day", and I'm sending some jealousy your way! I love the pictorial and will keep up with your voyage. Have a safe and funtastic trip...

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Old 08-30-14, 12:51 PM
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you ever get out of Metro Seattle? 101, across the Columbia, to pass thru Astoria?

rather than the STP route, inland ...

hundreds on the Coast route every summer ..

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Old 08-30-14, 12:57 PM
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Happy Trails, WNG!
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Old 08-30-14, 05:57 PM
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Will. If you get the chance, when out on the coast, I would love to see not only the scenery of course, but a couple of shots of your set up. You know, the obligatory gear shot, with your stuff laid out as you re-pack your panniers for the day. It's a classic motif , like in the books on camping and touring, and I'd love to see what gear you took to compare with how it was done forty years ago.

Ride safe and watch out for those logging trucks on those narrow two lane roads.

This is really great. I nominate this thread of the summer. And it's just getting started!
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