Day eight : Triumph and failure.

General warning, dictating to phone, you know the drill.

Today today starting extremely early. My warmshowers host graciously let me sleep in their house, and stored my bike in the garage overnight. I'm incredibly grateful to them, and to all the warmshowers hosts. And once again, I'm not naming names because of privacy issues. If they wish to speak up, they're more than welcome too, but I'm not going to do that to them. 

Anyway anyway, today started at 9 a.m.? I really don't know. I set my alarm for about 6:30. It took me awhile to get moving though. I did finally get on the road and rolling properly by 9 a.m. For me, that's impressive. 

The road out of Republic wasn't so bad. It was a nice flat warm up until I got to the 10 plus miles of climbing hell. I posted something on Instagram earlier stating that I think I figured out what hell is. If you believe in hell, I think that hell is 6 degree inclines, on twisty roads, with no Summit. Seriously, every time I came around a corner thinking that the big climb is over? More climbing. 


That that isn't a pretend face of Agony. That's real. Every time, seriously every time, I came around a corner thinking"this has to be it", nope it was just more climbing. 

I I think I was trying to Summit that damn thing for almost 3 hours. I was getting very saddle sore, I was stopping constantly to refill water bottles and to eat something, it was The Nightmare. 



Finally, finally, I reached the summit of Sherman pass. I'm not out of loud howl, much of the surprise of the three other cyclists who are already there. One was a couple just on the edge of finishing their New York to Maine trip, and third guy I don't know. He kind of left before I really settled down. 

Yes yes, I stalled a little long at the top, mostly because I reached it and I wanted to enjoy it. Then The Descent. The Descent of Sherman pass was amazing. I didn't pedal for almost 10 or 11 miles. And according to Strava, my top speed is 45 miles an hour. That's impressive, considering my age, reflexes, General well-being...

Unfortunately unfortunately for me, the honeymoon ended. The route takes you through Kettle Falls, and the map route immediately Shucks you off the main Highway into rural roads.  And up and up steep hills again. I really felt awful.

I I had a very long debate with myself whether to stay on the highway or not. It looks shorter, but I had to deal with traffic. I ended up following the map route. And it landed me in Colville. 

I should I should mention this to. One of my main goals for today was to make it to the bacon bike hostel. It was another five miles. I just don't have it in me. I reached Colville, and I really could not continue. 

As as it is right now, I'm sitting in a hotel room. I really can't afford to do this too often, but tonight this is what I needed. A hotel room, a shower, a little alone time, and pizza. The great lie of cycling, Pizza. 


I'm I'm also running into some fairly serious physical issues. My legs hurt, but that's to be expected. However, what I didn't account for was how much scrapes and bruises my shins and calves would take. 


The the photo doesn't do it justice, it's a hell of a lot worse than what it looks like. And I can't figure out why, because I'm not hitting anything, and most things are being deflected off of me, so I don't know. The other issue, and this is what people who know me understand, my elbow. 


I've I've had this swelling on my elbow for a long time. Yes, I've seen a doctor about it, he said he's not worried about it. Then again, this is the same Doctor Who told me he could cure my diabetes so take that at face value. But you can see in the picture? My elbow is swelling up from the riding. 

It's starting to get painful, yes. But what can I do? I thought about taping it up, or using some kind of wrap, but I think that would just make the problem worse. At least it does when I'm not cycling. So, I'm kind of just rolling with the punches here. 

Tonight tonight, all of my stuff is exploded out onto the bed. I want to repack it, again. I'm trying to find the most efficient way to do this. So far, no luck. I also want to take a look at my route again, because the last several days just destroyed me. I've already taken a zero, so I don't want to do that again. But we'll see. My next schedule stop Is a small town called Ione. But I need to find out what's there because I don't want to roll into a place that is a nothing again. 

If if you want to get an idea of what I mean? Look up Wauconda Washington. I was hoping for at least a gas station? The town is a post office. 

That, that, and I just want to sleep. I could be just as happy laying in this hotel room sleeping until Sunday. I can't afford that, but I'd be happy with it. 


I want I want to make a quick mention before I go, if you're enjoying the blog and the live tracking, please donate to pancreatic cancer Action Network. My goal is to raise $5,000 by the end of my tour, I would love to double that. So you can follow the link in the upper right hand corner of this page that says track tiger or, here's a link to directly donate.