DAY 68 AUGUST 3 MILES
Bicycles may change but cycling is timeless.
Another day, another perfect day for cycling. We certainly have had far more than our fair share of those. The first half of our route took us over very lightly traveled highway with wide bike lanes. Pockets of snow fit conveniently into mountain hollows. It is amazing that they have survived even on the sunny side. The second half of the ride followed the Centennial Trail, a nearly level, 12 feet wide, bikeway with no motorized vehicles permitted. There were wild blackberry bushes along the way and we stopped to pick some of their fruit. It could not have been any better, unless their branches would not have scratched my legs.
One of the inventions which makes long distance cycling pleasurable is the derailleur. It is a variable-ratio gear changing mechanism to allow constant pedaling speed when transitioning from level to hilly terrain. No, it was not invented by Pierre de Railleur but it simply is a french word for the changing of gears. As recent as 1939, Tour de France riders would be forced to stop at the bottom of a tall hill to manually move their chain from one gear to another. Over time, however, the derailleur has progressed to the point where now it takes only the flick of a finger against a small lever to change one of 3 gears in front or one of 10 cassette gears in the rear for a total combination of 30 different ratios. We absolutely could not have done this ride without the derailleur.
This is the last night together for our group. Sherry will fly to meet me in Seattle tomorrow. Other parents and friends will meet their loved ones and we will proceed in divergent directions. There is a hotel nearby but I have chosen to camp tonight with my new friends. Our campsite is a beautiful, green, level, soccer field so tonight's sleeping bag experience should resemble a soft bed. Good luck with that!
Tomorrow is our last ride and it will be strange not to look forward to another pass or another day's ride.
Tip: Do you know what they call a cyclist who does not wear a helmet? An organ donor. David Perry