Saturday, 30 June 2012

Eatonville to Castle Rock. Day 2

Seth's friend Dan had caught up with us at our hotel and was going to ride with us for the day. That was cool, I liked the idea of people joining in with our ride as we rolled on our epic journey. His bike was an old Univega and if I'm being honest, it didn't look that impressive. It wasn't modern by any means, had no fancy gimmicks or groupsets and was kitted out with racks which were loaded with Ortlieb bags, the sign of a serious touring cyclist, which, I found out is exactly what Dan is. Physically he is a slight man, but I've found physique to be a very misleading measure of a cyclist. Dan is a veteran of touring and is capable of two week long, winter tours that average 175 miles daily and he regulary rides double centuries. There is no denying that is some impressive and powerful figures. Dan is a mileage beast, when it comes to clocking miles he is a gnarly as a Wolverine.
Seth and Dan had formulated a route that was going to take us over the active volcano of Mount St. Helens. With Dan leading the way we were firing through what Seth called, 'strong miles' until we stopped at a grocey store and Dan advised us to get as much food/ fuel as possible. I could sence that this was going to be a serious section of riding.
Sandy's Hasselbald camera made its first appearences to get some, 'shoots' of the weird shacks and building but apart from that it was constant pedalling until we reached Randle were we bumped into a group of touring motorcyclist and their mascot which was a transvestite teddy bear. They informed us of the closed road ahead due to the bridge being washed away and 3 foot of fresh snow and although Seth's adventurous nature wanted us to forge on the Ranger advised us that is was an impossible passage.
So we had not option but to head back on ourselves. Sandy claimed the first puncture of the journey and as the slow ascents continued the laughs started to subdue. Eventually Dan had to leave us and head home. We waved him off and we went our seperate ways. 
We arrived in Castle Rock as darkness was falling after 120 huge miles and got a hotel. This was by far the longest and most gruelling ride I'd ever done. Seth was grinning at that, he just takes everything positively in his stride but even he knew the day had been a tough ride. Sandy's eyes were red and bulging and we all had foot long subways and beers as a feabile reward for such a ride.

As I drank the beer I was reflecting on what had personally been a landmark ride and was stoked to have done it was a few motivating, epic friends.

1 comment: