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Getting Excited!
Vancouver to Seattle (oops Snohomish)
So we set off on Friday with the plan of riding ½ way to Seattle Friday and finishing the trip Saturday.  Then on Sunday, we were going to watch the Canucks game at a local pub at Noon followed by the 2pm Yankees game.  Then on Monday we were going to ride the entire trip back to Canada.  We figured we’ve done the trip on our road bikes one way in one day, so we could easily do it.  Total mileage round trip would be 450 km. 
On Saturday we stopped for food at the Snohomish Bakery, a little cafe about 50 km outside of Seattle.  We had a nice warm sandwich and read the paper.  The sports section informed us that we had picked the wrong weekend.  The Yankees were in town next weekend and the Mariners were currently on a road trip.  We were going to stay with friends of ours Marlin & Christine who we met through and were torn if we should continue on just to hang out with them anyway.  But we knew they were moving in a few short days and were a bit concerned about the high mileage coming up and so we decided to turn around and head back. 
So our total mileage was:
  • Friday 55.07 miles, riding time 4 hours 36 minutes
  • Saturday 74.96 miles, riding time 6 hours 1 minute
  • Sunday 75.69 miles, riding time 5 hours 58 minutes
  • Monday 12.57 miles, riding time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • 218.29 miles = 349 kilometres, 17 hours 45 minutes
Packed up after Birch Bay camping with the nice new bikes.

Successes/Changes Needed
  • Straps that hold the mattresses together work very well
  • Not sure yet if the panniers fit the new racks well and we will have to do some adjustments
  • Dork bag (handlebar bag) gets a failing grade.  Not enough small pockets and sags quite easily.  Also makes the rest of the handle bars useless for anything else. 
  • New GPS finds restaurants and accommodations well but we should also have a paper map as a backup.  This is not even so much just to be sure you know where you’re going but also to reduce the amount of arguments regarding which way to turn. 
  • Amanda needs to have another pillow
  • Silk liners for the sleeping bags are awesome!  Very comfortable and warm.
  • Amanda needs to get her bike fitted.  On Saturday the numb feet became an issue after about 70 km to the point where we had to move my cleats and still it was very hard. 
  • Both bikes performed very well. 
  • Quite scared safety wise with regards to road smarts on a bike
  • Quickly reminded 100 km is my maximum and I shouldn’t push past it
  • Brooks saddles huge hit!  On the last day I took off my shammy shorts and was just fine.
  • Lip balm is on the list for a reason – pack it!  Super chapped lips.  Somehow I thought because rain was in the forecast that it wasn’t going to be needed; it’s the wind that chaps the lips, not the sun. 
  • Pack soft gloves for post ride – not riding gloves, comfortable gloves.
  • Riding jacket I use does not work – it simply traps my heat and makes me soaked to the bone
Friday we left after work in the early afternoon.  As a cyclist it was the first time we’ve had to wait at the border.  The lines inside were simply not moving at all.  Fortunately after about 20 minutes one of the border agents serving customers stood up and called “cyclists!”.  Andrew and I walked to him double time and were on our way.  We rode at a pretty good pace and found a Mexican restaurant in Bellingham to watch the game.  As the game wasn’t looking good we left after the 2nd period and decided to still try and make the campground we had originally set out to stay at.  We arrived at about 10pm and set up in the dark.  It was okay and we slept well.
Saturday woke up to rain but it was pretty light so no problems.  Packed up in good time and headed out in the rain.  We had a nice ride with no problems and kept a pretty good pace.  Stopped for lunch at a truck stop with great food.  Headed on our way to the aforementioned bakery and had a nice hot chocolate as I was pretty cold.  After we decided to turn around we used the GPS to figure out where we might stay and continued on pedaling.  We found a nice campground on a lake and managed to set up just before sundown.   Nice lake spot and we slept well. 
Sunday again woke up to rain and this time it was a bit heavier.  No problems with the rain though, just a bit wet is all.  Headed out on a new route that the GPS found us and went back to the truck stop we did the day before to watch the game.  Had a great lunch and spent 4 hours there watching the Canucks kick ass!  Then headed back on the bikes and road further than we should have but did find a wonderful spot to camp at the Birch Bay campground.  Set up just as the sun was setting.  We were so close to home, 20 km really but it was just too far. 
Monday border was easy as was the final distance. 
Andrew is a great riding partner and very patient.  His lack of attention sometimes and disregard for the law scare me quite a bit.  As a riding partner I need him to be more cognizant of the cars and signalling and be aware that a lot of drivers don’t like cyclists.  He said he’ll work on it.  Aside from that, I’m getting excited.  

Package pickup!
Getting Excited!