We are in Omak, Washington tonight (Wednesday, May 30). This is about half way across Washington. Offical route milage so far 211.5. I have riden another 50 or 75 miles beyond that.
There was a lot of climbing yesterday and today. Tuesday was Rainy Pass, elevation 4855 feet and Washington Pass, elevation 5477 feet. Today was Loup Loup Pass, elevation 4020 feet. This is a lot of climbing for a flatlander. The Bianchi Volpe touring bicycle is heavier than my road bikes and I am using a handlebar bag that adds more weight. Translate this to slow climbing.
The grades have varied from more than 4% to 8.74% (I have a slope meter – the Garmin GPS units will measure this for you. My speed up hill has been from about 4mph to as much as 7mph. Today I had two long down hills, which were very short time wise. Coming down from Loup Loup was a 6% grade for 7 miles! Maxium speed is not impressive in the low 40s.
Grade for the curious is measured in percent – a 1 foot rise in 100 feet is 1%. Many of you are familiar with the football field – 100 yards, or 300 feet. The 8.74% grade for a football field lenght, rises 26.22 feet. Think of a three story house at the goal line.
I rode for a while with a fellow from Washington named Tim. He had a temperature function on his bike computer. It was 37 degrees F. at the peak of Washington Pass.
I have pictures on my phone. No cell service until two communities today – for three days. This has made logistics meeting Terry very difficult. You will probably read continual complaints about the lack of service with t-mobile.
Terry is taking a lot of pictures also. I will add pictures later.
I will add more later. The Nothern Cascades are beautiful. The have been called the American Alps. The route generally is following Washington highway 20.