Thursday, July 19, 2007

Wander Around Washington - 7-19-07

It was very nice staying at John's place in Spokane. This morning I had a good breakfast there. I had an interview with a reporter and photographer from the Spokesman review and then John and I rode downtown. We had coffee with David Blaine, a local single speed rider who is planning on racing the Great Divide next year. After coffee John and I went across the street to Two Wheel Transit where I chatted with Jordan Keough. I find that getting the perspective from various bike shop owners and workers gives me a feel for the kind of riding folks are doing in various places. One thing that Jordan said, that I've heard in every shop I've been in on this trip, is that he's seeing more people looking for "useful" bikes. Bikes to ride to work or to the grocery store. It's a trend I find encouraging.

John guided me out of town to the Fish Lake Trail and then he had to head off to a meeting. In every place I've been I been spending time with great people and I'm very grateful to John and his family for opening their home to me.

The Fish Lake Trail is part gravel and part paved. Just outside Cheney I followed the Cheney-Spangle Road to Hwy 195. 195 rolls south over the lovely rolling hills of the Palouse. It had rained some earlier in the day but now it's warm and I'm comfortable in a parting gift from John, a bright orange recycled bowling shirt featuring the logo of John's non-profit pedals2people.

I'd wanted to cover some of the distance to Walla Walla today and at 6:30 PM I roll into the town of Colfax. It looks like Colfax is the biggest town I'll hit between Spokane and Walla Walla. Between the kindess of folks and a couple of frugal nights sleeping by a river and in a ditch, I figure I can splurge a bit. I check out the town and decide to stay at the very nice Wheatland Inn. All motels have showers and clean sheets but the Wheatland Inn takes luxury to a new level by having free cookies and milk in the lobby from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. I don't think the folks at the Inn were quite ready for the amount of milk and cookies I can put away after a warm afternoon of riding!

Today's stats: Dst 76.88 Av 11.4 mph Mx 37.0
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