Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Day 3 - Sedro Woolley to Coulee Dam

Ride Stats:
Distance: 103 Miles
Climbing: 7018ft
Ride Time:  7:04

Another great day on the tour.  Still had a fair amount of climbing today.  Headed up through Loup Loup Pass, then had a fast decent with moderate curves.  Passing by Omak lake there were thousands of large bugs on the road.  Not sure what they were, but they appeared to be a cross between a cricket and a locust.  My guess was some form of locust.  The live ones were crawling on top of the ones smashed by cars.  Not sure if they were crying or eating.

We then generally followed the Columbia River all the way to Coulee Dam.  About  17 miles from the finish we had one more long 8% climb.  Our hotel is just across the street from the dam - very impressive.

As we moved down the eastern side of the Northern Cascades, the scenery changed from lush forests to much more open and arid.  Looks a lot like Arizona, but with a few pine trees on the hills from time to time. The wind shifted a lot - in and out of headwinds & tailwinds as we moved around and over hills.

Physically I felt good today with good energy levels.  Had a great sleep last night, which is always a challenge in hotels.  Normally on high mileage tours day 3 is a struggle for me.  Today was different.  Hopefully that will continue.  I got a sports message from Barb, the tour's message therapist.  That should help with the recovery from today.  We have a few easy days coming up to give us a little more time to recover before hitting the serious high mileage days.

Most guys that ask me about the ride have two questions: 1) How do you train for something like this?; then 2) Won't your butt hurt?   So for all of you wondering about the million dollar question - yes my butt hurts.  Saddle sores are always a battle on multi-day high mileage tours.  I generally follow the guidelines provided by the tour operators, which helps keep the discomfort for me to a relatively low level.  Between toughening up through training, using 91% isopropyl rubbing alcohol, and rotating between two different seats, it is completely manageable.

Pictures from today:
Omak Lake

Columbia River

Coulee Dam

Leaving the Cascades

Looks like Arizona

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