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    Wednesday, July 22, 2009

    Seattle to Portland

    In a strong push, Brendan, Jess, and Mel finally put pedal to the metal (or asphalt) and started biking south in earnest. Though roughly 10,000 riders made it from Seattle to Portland in 2 days last week (a total of 204 miles in one of the largest bike events in the world), we're proud of our 3.5 days of loaded biking that it took us to make the trip between the two cities.

    Our longest day was 68 miles, along with two 62-mile days. While I'd like to think we're just getting in better shape, the flatter terrain has helped enormously as we pound out the miles. Here's a Google Map showing our progress:

    View Larger Map

    Tonight Jess, Brendan and I are attempting to summit Mount Hood, before Brendan makes a final push for San Francisco and Jess and I spend a few more days in Portland. We've had incredible luck with the weather and our amazing hosts on WarmShowers.

    A few pictures from the first part of our journey:

    Host family in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island

    Heather and Ellen in Vancouver, BC

    Jess and Brendan get ready for cold water scuba diving off of Vancouver Island, BC

    Heather admires Peter Freeman's sailboat that he used to break the solo record for circumnavigating the globe

    Jess and Brendan help build my bike after I get off the airplane on a random street in Vancouver

    So far, the only major bike repairs we've needed to do came from my bike (the only bike supposedly equipped for touring). A broken chain got stuck on one of my rear spokes, pulling my rear derailer (gear shifter) between the spokes, making the bike totally useless. Luckily, it happened towards the end of our day on the San Juan Islands and I was able to walk the bike the last mile to our campsite. The next morning, I hadn't even finished writing my hitchhiking "To Seattle" sign when an SUV made a U-Turn to come pick me up and drive me 20 miles down the road to the closest bike shop--a total 40 miles out of their way! A million thanks to Tibor Szivos (below) and Half Link bike shop for helping me get back on my wheels.

    Brendan, itching for some rock climbing, campuses on Deception Pass on the San Juan Islands

    Total Miles: 541.2
    Trains that passed by our campsite (and blew their horns) between midnight and 6 am in southern Washington: 7
    Number of peanut butter jars we've finished: 3
    Number of times someone from Warm Showers has given us directions or hooked us up with a place to stay when we realize we're never going to make it to 35 miles to Olympia at 9:30 at night (thanks Saul, DelRene, and Bobbie!): countless

    Thanks for all of your support. We continue to be the highest fundraising team for World Bicycle Relief! Please consider donating by clicking here. Thanks for your support!

    Happy Trails,
    Jess, Brendan, and Mel

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