DAY 61   JULY 27   41.4 MILES

If constellations had been named in the 20th century, I suppose we would see bicycles.                                                        Carl Sagan

Today we entered the State of Washington for the last of our 15 states.  The tour is gradually winding down with only 8 more days and 492 miles to go.  It was an easy pedal from Sandpoint to Newport.  With the shorter distance, we could depart a couple of hours later by which time the temperature had increased considerably.  Unbelievably, we had another tailwind.  We have had far more than our fair share of those, especially considering the direction we are traveling.     

Speaking of weather, we have received much less rain than our counterparts of last year's tour as well.  Of course, there have been the occasional showers and, on three of the days, we were caught out by storms which we would not have had to endure if we had arrived at our destination sooner.  Last year's tour had 16 rainy days of which at least half lasted the entire day.  However, we have not experienced one full day of rain and the forecast shows a round sparkling sun for each of the next 5 days.    

It is interesting how slowly we travel by bicycle.  In a car, you think 
nothing of a distance of 12 to 15 miles.  However, on a bicycle, it can represent an hour or more, depending on the terrain.  The distance a bike covers in a day can be driven in a car in only one hour.  Conversely, a day's drive in a car can be flown in an airliner in one hour.  

The bicycle may be slow but it still is much faster than the wagons utilized by the pioneers who originally settled the west.  Less than 200 years ago, it would have taken one year to travel from New York to California.  Furthermore, if you were not in position to depart St. Louis at the first hint of spring, you could not successfully scale the mountain passes before the winter snows set in and you would have to wait until the next year.     

In that context, our 69 day bicycle trek is not so slow after all! 

Tip:  If you have difficulty finding enough time for training, a few ways to ride are: Before or after work, during lunchtime, commuting or combine cycling with other family activities.  Schedule your ride like any other daily appointment.