Monday, January 23, 2017

Port Angeles (2017-01-14,15)

A two-day ride in the dead of Winter. While it wasn't exactly my best idea, it panned out well enough.

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More after the break…

Day 1

Part 1: To Ferry

I started at about 05:00 like usual, then headed out to the ferry terminal to Bainbridge Island.

Part 2: To Port Angeles

It was very cold on the other side of Puget Sound. I had to eat indoors in order to not get chilled, even with the hill climbs between Winslow and Poulsbo.

I left Poulsbo via Big Valley, SR-3, and SR-104 to SR-19, then headed north on the latter. I stopped at the general store in Beaver Valley in hopes to use the porta-potty, but the shop looked like it had shut down. I then headed along Larson Lake Road.

And then along Eaglemount Road.

After the descent on SR-20 to Discovery Bay, I stopped at Fat Smitty's for some food and hot coffee. After seeing the condition of my water bottles, the son of the owners was kind enough to wash them. Such kindness definitely gets me coming back to a place time and time again.

I left Discovery Bay along the Olympic Discovery Trail route, which I took all the way to just before Sequim Bay State Park.

I got onto the highway at Sequim Bay State Park due to the poor design of the trail there. Apparently, they were working on fixing the trail there, and the trail was detoured along a route beside a highway, which I ignored as I was already on the highway. I then passed through Sequim, where the pond in Carrie Blake Park was completely frozen over. I've never seen such a thing in person before!

Next, I continued heading east along the Olympic Discovery Trail, crossing over the Dungeness River and through Carlsborg.

I saw a few older folks cycling along the trail, which passes by a retirement home. There was a also a detour where some sewer work was being done.

Remembering the bad route from last time, I got onto the old highway a bit after Carlsborg. When I saw the trail along the bad route and its covering of snow, I knew I'd made the right decision.

From there, I took the old highway to US 101, which I then took all the way to Port Angeles.

There weren't any good places to eat at near the motel at which I was staying, so I had to go down into town for food.

While the food was good, I had trouble digesting it since I'd beaten my system down pretty hard over the day. Thankfully, I slept well enough.

Day 2

Part 1: Return via Kingston

The next morning, I waited until 07:00 or so for light in the sky. I was mainly worried about being able to see icy patches on the road, as my dynamo lighting takes care of general visibility to drivers. Since the trail was covered in snow, I had to take the hard, repeated climbs out of town, with snow flanking the highway.

By the time I'd gotten to Carlsborg, I was craving a hearty breakfast with pancakes, and there was thankfully a good diner nearby.

Then, I continued along US 101, which went from a four-lane divided highway, to a super-two, to a regular two-lane highway when I got to the familiar section east of Sequim. From there to Discovery Bay, it was all familiar stuff.

I stopped at Fat Smitty's again, this time for a milkshake and some coffee.

And then I headed up SR-104's multi-mile continuous climb, which wasn't so terrible.

Even though my legs couldn't push so hard, I had a pretty easy time as long as I spun in a low gear up all the long hills. This eventually got me to Port Gamble.

From there, it was pretty easy to Kingston. I ended up taking the Barber Cutoff rather than the last big hill to the ferry terminal.

Part 2: Return Home

I made sure that the climb out of Edmonds wouldn't be too difficult by winching my way slowly up the long, gradual grade.

I did end up missing my turn and was forced along a fairly hilly route all the way to Mountlake Terrace, where I got onto the Interurban Trail. It was a pretty easy ride home from there.

I got home at about 19:00.

I learned that my bike's middle and big rings (36 and 48) were a bit tall for the large wheel diameter (714mm), so I put in an order for 34- and 46-tooth rings at my local shop. Should provide more sensible gearing.

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