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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 1 - Champagne Under The Arch

Day 1 was a real "cruncher". Nearly crawled the final 5 miles.

Some close sailing friends joined me at the Peace Arch in Blaine, Washington, along with Phil, photographer from the Bellingham Herald. At precisely 10 am, the bubbly was cracked and all sipped...watching over our shoulders for "trouble". Toasts were given, photos were taken, and some nice words were exchanged. The rain let up for our little celebration, and the rest of the day was typical Northwest...changing to sunshine interspersed with overcast. Temperature around 60 F.

Lots of road construction is going on in Blaine. The entire Border Crossing is being rebuilt and at the moment is a mess for drivers. Had to walk an extra mile or so to get around it all; but, finally moved down Portal Way & out of town along the serene water-filled last contact with the salty Pacific Ocean. Next salty is KW (Key West).

Staying on Portal Way, also known as Old 99, I pushed SAM all the way to Ferndale. Old 99, I used to ride with Mother & Dad back in the '40s when they took us to Canada, was like trodding on an old friend. Old 99 has NO paved berm (a berm is the prepared edge of the road of current road design to incorporate a bicycle lane).

So, SAM & ME stayed on the concrete pavement. Not too frequently used anymore, Old 99 traffic was very considerate, giving us - generally - a wide birth. Only got yelled at (& the "finger") by one car. An improvement from my previous three (3) walks from Bellingham-Blaine-Bellingham in the days when this old guy was testing his mettle & old bones to find out where the collapse point was.

Drank only 1 quart of water during the 14 miles to Ferndale. Bad move. Drank three more quarts the final 12 miles to my Belligham office, where I left SAM for the night. It is essential that I have at least 1 gallon of water on board for a days walk.

Leaving Ferndale, I turned on SAMs electric motor. WOW, what a difference not to have to PUSH. But even steering SAM is not easy. She has no steerable front wheel & must be tilted off the pavement to turn, even slightly. At 160 # or so, SAM is a chore to "tilt". Would be nice to extend the handlebars to give more tilt leverage. In addition, SAMs front/drive wheel has a slight camber to the left. To keep her straight, must apply pressure all the time. That misalignment, I will correct tomorrow before leaving the office.

While waiting for my ride home, cranked up the office computers and completed processing the two (2) orders I received by cell phone during today's walk. Tomorrow, will load down ALL work phone numbers into my cell. Next order coming in, I can then not only receive/take the order; but, can phone my various factories/suppliers on the spot and have product moving to clients within 10 minutes or so.

Actually, the system works very well and my clients/factories are very cooperative by sticking with me instead of finding other suppliers, etc. Helps immensely to know your colleagues...and after 30 years of business, it is difficult to shut it down. So, Spectrum Ascona, Inc. walks with me. Thanks all for sticking by me (now, didn't a famous car maker say something like that recently???).

Ahhhh, my own bed for one more night. Nite all.


drock said...

I think I saw you taking a water break on NW AV yesterday afternoon as I drove by on my bike. I'm curious what your plans for shoes are. Surely you're going to go through a few pairs.

lwjoseph said...

Hi Bruce, Saw you in Ferndale yesterday, I passed by you before I recognized you! Good to read your blog, and see all is on track for you journey. Hope to see you again before your departure, please call if you need anything. I think about you everyday and really appreciate your kindness. LJoseph, Trilbys

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