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Cascade 1400
by Étienne Hossack

It's been a while since I've done a writeup - but also a while since many of us have had the privilege of doing an international ride. So here's a short bit about the Cascade 1400.
Also you can view my photos here:



Apparently this is the first 1400km brevet run in the U.S.A.! Who knew. I guess they've done shorter and longer, but not quite 1400. So it was an honour to be part of Susan Otcenas's Cascade adventure.

Nigel Press has ridden the event several times, and we've talked at length about it, so I knew what to expect. Originally we had planned to go down together, but unfortunately he was caught in the passport renewal fiasco of 2021 and could not come. So I drove down solo to begin the adventure on Bainbridge Island - the start-but-not-the-end of the event. Trying to avoid the chaos of parking downtown in Seattle, I parked at some rando's house, and took the train into town before riding onto the ferry with a misc. bunch of other folks. Once on Bainbridge I initially followed the "crowd" riding to the rider check-in but realized that I needed to eat, so went to partake in the nice bakeries and coffee places in town, before riding to the bike check and package pickup. Vaccine records checked, bike thoroughly examined (the fellow examining my bike had never seen Di2 synchro shift before and was quite amused/amazed), and I was basically ready to go. As were the myriads of other randos... only hotel check-in wasn't available until 3pm. It was only noon.... So there was lots of chatting and chilling until I finally gave up to go sit in front of the hotel and chat and chill some more :P

Eventually they allowed us to check-in (technically all riders were split between two different hotels), and there was a rando-rush to get into rooms and then ride back to the Cascade 1400 pre-ride meeting at the bike check. There Susan gave us a friendly lecture on the terrain, the weather (oh boy a heat wave! not like the rainy season we'd been having, nor the extreme cold of the pre-ride), the overnights, and COVID-19 safety. Thrilled, excited, and very ready for dinner, we got our control cards signed in preparation of the ride's start.

... which was an a pleasant 5am the next morning. Amazingly, the local Starbucks agreed to open at 4am for us (6 employees!) which was kindof amazing (although post-ride it turns out they normally open at 4:30... wow).

A quick signing of cards, scarfing of food, donning of reflective gear and we were off!

Hood Canal Bridge
(All Photos Étienne)

Day 1 - Bainbridge Island to Amanda Park
Friday, June 24th. 342km ~3540m

All day, I kept waiting and expecting for the hammer to be dropped, to be caught up in an early group blowing way too much energy at the start, and I was always pleasantly surprised by the steady rate at which we all rode. In general we kept completely together, with the exception of Aaron J. and myself who, as slightly bigger riders, would zip down the hills very quickly. At the first control, a gas station, some folks got their cards signed by a person outside the gas station, some went inside. I swear I was the only one in that group to actually buy something from there, and consequently, ended up having to chase the group after a marginally longer stop. The weather was very pleasant though, with a slight tailwind, and easy rolling hills, so I was able to quickly catch up (although I left Andrew A. behind in the process, as he had originally been dropped as well).

Back Roads

The rest of the day was truly gorgeous - bike paths on the Olympic Discovery Trail, the Hoh forest, beautiful temperatures on side roads, and a shrinking group that ended up with about 8 of us riding at the same pace (Ben S. would become a constant in our group and had been dropped but eventually caught up to us at a gas station). Towards the end of the day we reached some rolling hills, where myself and one of the Matt's (Matt K.) would constantly be popped off the back on the uphill, and catch back up on the downhills. This continued until point near the end of the day, where I was trying to climb my own pace on the hills and Matt R. (the shepard of our group) asked me to slow to "keep the group together", which I'm always very much for, and planned to wait at the top of the hills. Except all that came out at that time was, "I can't go any slower" 8-)

Lake Crescent

And thus ended the lack of hammering, as he, Andrea A. and Mick W. put down the hammer, ejecting the rest of us off the back of the group. So for the last 5kms into the control, myself, Ben S. and Bill W. were slowly clawing our way back, and eventually we rolled in together as a group into the Amanda Park school control(Aaron J. had long since gone ahead and arrived 17 minutes before us). A couple of the group went off to a hotel while the rest of us showered and got ready for dinner. It was a cute catered meal in a classroom kitchen, and our sleeping arrangements were on queen sized air mattresses in a gymnasium. I actually slept quite well given this, having packed well-sealing earplugs and eyemasks in my drop bags. Overall I was slightly stiff, but after some stretching the only real bother I experienced that day was a nasty hot spot in my feet (I've been struggling to get proper orthotics for about a year, and got them only days before the ride and decided that it wasn't a great "first ride" to try them on). So off to bed, and ready to collect myself for the group's agreed day 2 start time of 5am! 7:30 bedtime, not bad!

Day 2

Day 2 - Amanda Park to Packwood
Saturday, June 25th. 323km ~2423m

This was without a doubt the hardest day for me. We had a lovely start, Matt K. dropped off the back pretty quick, but I rolled with the group until a few kms in, I had a flat - a tear in the sidewall. Unbenownst to me, the group waited just up the hill from me for about 10 minutes, but I had been going off the expectation that anyone who flats is S***t-outta-luck and on their own. So I carefully cleaned the tubeless sealant out of my tire, put in a boot, cleaned off my hands, layered up on sunscreen, threw in my headphones, and went off to "chase". At least I assumed that I could do a decent chase, but unlike yesterday, today had headwinds that would ultimately make the effort futile.

Setting off I was able to pass a few friends who had rolled by while I was flat fixing, and shoot up some hills, eventually settling in to a slightly-too-fast pace on the roads to Elma. When I stopped for water a group of folks I'd ridden with yesterday but didn't finish with the faster group (+ more people: Taylor, Jay, Marie, Matt K., Bhanu L, others) rolled up, but I was still determined to make a good pace so I pressed on. Not without stopping for some Llama and sign photos though :)

At the next control, which was staffed at the Fire Station on Lincoln Creek Rd, the group again pulled in just as I was about to leave. So I decided it would be nicer to ride in a group than solo and hung around. But then antsy rando me decided that it was toooooo long, so I headed further up the road. I finished a slow hill climb, and decided that it was indeed too hot and windy to ride solo, so I pulled over to the side of the road to wait for the group. Only instead of the group rolling up, it was Fred P. from Montreal Canada. He rolled away down the hill, and I thought, "To heck with it! Let's ride with him!" So I chased him down and we rode together doing some inconsistent effort and time pulls, chatting a bit (we had met in 2019 at the start of PBP), until we reached a nice flat windy section where we were starting to hammer. Only that's where I got my second flat ?

Bhanu, who had been riding with the faster group early in the AM was now back here with this group, kindly stopped and helped me sanity check that the issue with my tire was likely the sidewall tear. If it flats again, I would definitely have to change the tire - and luckily I carry a spare! So he rolled on while I finished the fix, and then set on my merry way again.

It was no doubt a challenging day, and I definitely didn't pay as much attention to the world around as I should've. I was feeling to strong to ride in groups behind me, but not strong enough to catch the front group. Often at controls I'd roll it, be ready to go and the groups behind would catch up. As the day wore on, this happened less and less. The route was super hot and dry that day, and any shelter in the shade was sorely desired. At the second to last control in civilization, we were greeted with cookies by a rider from Portland (whose name I have forgotten) who unfortunately could not partake in the ride. There once again I saw Fred rolling off and I left the incoming riders behind to catch him. Alas he appeared spent for the day and I easily dropped him on some rolling hills, so I pushed on until right before the final staffed control of the day. It was blazing hot, only Peter Hewitt and the fast group were ahead, and just up a long hill there was a bait store on the right with an "Ice Cream" sign! Yes please. So I grabbed the last dairy ice-cream bar from the freezer, filled my bottles, and slathered sunscreen while talking to this amusing fella on the shaded porch outside the shop (he looked to be on his 4th beer of the day) about the group that had passed ahead, and Peter H. As Fred and the next riders rolled in to grab some ice, and Nyssa H (who I did not know at that point), I knew it was time to roll on.

The next stint to the control was short, and at the control I was able to stop only very briefly to drink some V8, take some ice, profusely thank the volunteers, and be on my way for the last, and soul-crushing drag on. It was headwinds up a false flat on some very open roads. On and on it dragged, including a fun section where a truck of zip-ties had seemingly evacuated its load on the road. (I already carry some in my kit, so no need to stop :D). The route deviated onto a side road which I was very happy for, as there was much more shade, despite another false flat as it followed what I think was the Tilton River towards Packwood. Here, I passed Peter, and then obtained my 3rd flat of the day. F***! Okay, so time to change the tire, get everything going, and roll out to push until the last water stop before the end. Last application of sunscreen, water, and off I went.

Around the corner, Nyssa H. caught up to me, and we were able to have a very pleasant roll through some side roads and bond over being the only folks in their 20s on many a rando ride (I've since graduated into the 30s club ;P). The last section was hard, the highway 12 shoulder was noisy and messy, but 2s company! And we rolled in just before nightfall.

Thankfully at the control there was a mechanic on-hand who sold me a spare tire, and was able to zip tie up my broken bottle cage (yes, my bottle cage holding my tools broke as well during the day at some point...) to be ready for the next day. I was also able to say hi to some of the usual fast group and confirm a 5am start again the next day. Then it was off to the hotel room, leave a note to my roomates that I'm a heavy sleeper (turns out one of them DNF'd anyway), and set the alarm for the next morning! Two climbs! Oh and I guess I should prep my spare tubes and tire again for the next day, so I can at least do a faster tube/tire swap if need be. A late sleep at 9:30 this day.

Climbing White Pass

Day 3 - Packwood to Wenatchee
Sunday, June 26th. 302km ~3305m

A very excellent day in which Étienne cannot take in enough calories.

The morning start was nice. Our group took our time with a nice steady pace up White Pass. It was cool weather and we stopped a couple times to soak in the amazing views. At the top of the pass there was an amusing mini-attack for the summit which I ignored and continued at a steady pace; however, upon reaching the summit I stopped for sunscreen and the group decided it was time to go, so I watched them vanish off down the hill while I greased up my face (hate it, but gotta do it). No worries I thought, I'll probably catch them at some point. Sure enough, a couple people missed the turnoff lower down in the descent (GPS computers didn't beep ;P), so we regrouped at the start of the side road to Clear Lake - to be fair it was during a faster part of the descent so it would've been tempting to ride the downhill all the way down.... but then you'd really have to climb back up.

Clear Lake

Clear Lake itself was sunny and nice, but the roads and area around were seriously cold. We took a brief pit stop (in the sun) and pressed on. Thankfully the section between the lake and the rejoining onto the US-12 was rolling. As we rejoined the highway, we picked up Nyssa who had dealt with a flat during the White Pass section and had joined another rider. Although once we started on the lovely flowing downhill towards Naches along the Tieton River, Aaron took to the front and we were cruising along in the mid 40s km/h. It was pretty fun :D :D

This day proved to be a lovely example of "Ride along the highway, enjoy it. Eventually realize there's a lot of cars, want to leave highway. Turn sharply off and up a very steep hill. Exhaust yourself on the rolling pitches. Want to return to the smooth fast rolling highway. Repeat". So after a brief 2nd pit stop and sunscreening, we rolled on towards Selas. The first section was actually on pretty nice bike infrastructure, and the second bit on quite side roads (if a bit steep, but great views!). Rolling into the control I did a quick gas station dash, only to discover most of the group had headed around back of the building where Matt's partner Mo had rolled up with some pre-selected snacks and fruit that folks were munching on.

So we took a nice long stop in the shade, chatting about Mo's CX palmares (HERE), and Bill's Unbound 8th in division (HERE) before setting off again into the heat. Following the canyon was very nice, and although I would get popped on the hills and have to chase on the downhills, the group was nice and never really attacked, and we had a lovely roll, albeit a bit long, towards Ellensburg. Unfortunately it was on this section my hot spots and foot issues I'd been struggling with for the past couple years really came on strong, and I was in quite a bit of pain when we made it into town.

Yakima Canyon

The group wanted to head to McDonalds, but I knew I had to get some food in me, and that McDonalds didn't have vegetarian options, so I doubled back to a gas station, saw nothing edible (but knew I'd have to come back for ice cream), and then went to Starbucks to order some food and sunscreen up. After the gatorade/ice-cream pickup I rolled to join the group in McDonalds, but really had trouble getting the calories down. We left soonafter I joined (at some point Aaron and Matt went ahead to get some other food), so we slow rolled until we joined them then picked up the pace out of town.

But the heat was getting to me, and I wasn't taking in enough calories, so I trailed off the back. Thankfully Matt and Aaron kindly slowed down and paced me back, so I took the opportunity to shovel more food in my mouth. When we reached the first false climb towards Blewett Pass I was definitely slower, but I could steady-state climb much better, and by the time we crested the hill I was beginning to feel the energy return. It was really getting warmer though in the open sun without any went up those hills (hitting the low 40sC! Knowing my energy was slowly returning and I was better off maintaining pace, I let the group go ahead on the next climb - the real meat of the day Blewett. Partway up the group hit a small store at the Mineral Springs RV park, which had ice and snacks. Some stopped, some carried on, as I arrived later, I was just in time to see the carry-on-ers and the stop-ers. I dashed in for ice and water, and then rushed back onto the road. (It was here that Nyssa's wallet was left behind, but that's another story...) Feeling my energy come back, I pushed a bit harder on the climb, knowing there was a control at the top. Eventually I started to see the carry-on-ers ahead, and like a dangling carrot, dug a bit deeper to catch them. So I didn't quite catch them by the control, but I was only a few seconds off ;)

We stayed there for quite a while, cooling off in the shade, thanking the volunteer Ian H. for his being there (and for many more hours), and chatted with Peter H. who was riding a slower steady-state all day, leaving earlier than us, but likely to arrive around the same time (Spoiler, he did so the entire rest of the ride). The rest of the group joined us and we rested as a group... well most of us rested - Nyssa tore through every belonging trying to find the lost wallet + brevet card (yeah, I heard you need those for randonnées), but no dice. Eventually Mo would go back to look - also no dice. The story concludes with another SIR rider, not associated with the ride, but out to check out the pass etc. who stopped at Mineral Springs, _happened_ to look in the garbage can, _happened_ to see the rider wallet, and phoned it in, so that Nyssa and wallet and Brevet Card were reunited. What a tale!

The descent off Blewett proved to be... quite the tale. So we started the descent, and of course Aaron took off with Bill and Matt tucked right in behind. Knowing it was just... downhill, I decided to just tuck and roll, which worked well for Nyssa and Andrea who slotted in behind me. Mick and Ben fell off the back, but eventually Mick put in an effort and reconnected with us. Soon the downhill gradient decreased, and the winds increased, so that we couldn't just rely on the descent to power us and pedalling became necessary. Now I would rotate off to the back and actually need to rest a bunch. Up ahead, Aaron is just _hammering_ away, and Bill and Matt are just hanging on, trying to pull, but doing nothing, so Aaron takes over again. It wasn't until the descent was far over, and we were off the main highway 2 in Dryden-area doing - you guessed it, short punchy climbs that we would reconnect again. Well I say "we", because I was popped on a hill. "No problem, I'll catch back up!" But the group was really giving it up every hill. So I basically played chase for a bunch of kms, including as we caught and dropped Peter again, and finally firmly reconnected in Wenatchee. Oof that was a chase... But we rolled in as a group to the highschool and gladly cleaned up before dinner. Or at least most of us did, but Matt, Aaron and Mick opted to eat a bit first, as they were staying in hotels.

The food was a mexican burrito truck that seemed like it had chicken-broth rice and no real veggie option, so for the sake of my stomach, I skipped and just ordered DoorDash :-|

As we settled in for the night, the volunteers began setting up fans to blow air into the gym - something we'd definitely be thankful for come AM. The air was getting really dry though, and Mick and myself were hacking away with coughs (I ended up being asked to take a COVID test in the AM which thankfully came up negative). Ben too was beginning to slow a bit on the climbs due to a cough, but for different reasons. We agreed once again on a 5am start.

Now Aaaron didn't show up the next day. It turns out he had been trying for Strava KOMs on the downhills :-P - which explained a lot. But also he had totally gone into a salt deficit, and ended up violently vomiting in his hotel room, and ended up checked into a hospital for 3 days... Thankfully turned out okay, but that was the end of his ride.

Leaving Wenatchee

Day 4 - Wenatchee to Mazama
Monday, June 27th. ~221km ~1966m

This was a hot day. But not an unbearable day. And a fun day!

After a beautiful early exit to Wenatchee, we began to roll alongside the Columbia River. It was a cool morning to start, and we had relatively smooth sailing on the narrow shoulder between the rumble strips and the sand around - that is until we missed pointing a road hazard out and the back few rode over some unidentified object... and I had another flat :'-D

Climbing out of Entiat

Thankfully this time it was all in a group that it happened - Ben called it out, and Matt helped as I found the pinch hole and we swapped the tube (not the fastest but not the slowest).

It was then onwards towards Chelan, with a detour up some spicey hills to Lake Chelan State Park. I was momentarily dropped, but caught at the control, and definitely on the descent after. Speaking of the descent -- wowzers, a fast hill back onto the alternate Highway 97 and then beautiful views of Lake Chelan as we went to almost water level. Chelan's town really reminded me of riding through Osoyoos in BC, and it really was exceptionally pretty. (I think fondly of it now whenever I eat Chelan apples :-D)

Lake Chelan

Out of Chelan was off the highway, which of course was up a hill, but really the route we followed for the next 40kms or so until Pateros was excellent, with some stunning dry landscapes. When we hit Pateros we had an amusing split in the group, where some of us instinctively hit the gas station for the usual fuels, some of us headed to the Mo support wagon (parked nearby), and a couple hit up the Sweet River Bakery just past Mo. The "local" crew of Mick, Ben, and Myself did a longer sunscreen and refuel at the gas station before joining the rest who were contentedly munching on real food from the Sweet River Bakery (good choice).

It was a fairly long but restful stop and about 30 minutes later at 10am we were rolling up the Methow Valley Highway into the real heat, thankfully along the Methow River for now. It was rolling, and Ben and I would get popped on the occasional hill, although with an easy catchup. He was also starting to cough a bit.. gurgly. (later he discovered that he was enjoying some fluid build-up. Always key to have an extra challenge on your first 1000km+ ride!) By the time we rolled into Twisp, where Hanks Mini Mart (actually quite a sizeable grocery store) was, it was ice-in-a-bag-down-your-neck, ice-cream and cold stuff time. We contentedly chilled on the sidewalk outside the store while downing salts, pops and the vending-machine-blended-ice-drink "F'real". Kindof a strange find, but ice cream treats in the heat are always welcome. So slather on some more sun cream, chammy cream, and all the other goodies and we were off into the REAL heat. (Garmin started registering 40s in the sun)

It was a very quick stop at our Information Control by the airport, before we headed into Winthrop towards our last control of the day. These were actually truly close controls, only 18km apart, separated by a lonely Western town :P

Not wanting to stop, we rolled through town and in the baking heat made our way North to the control around the Chewuch River crossing, and then, following the route, turned South right back into town. Nobody wants to risk running out of water on a day like that, so I kept a firm eye for hoses, taps, etc. as we neared town again, and sure enough, the baseball field had exactly the water fountain we needed. So one last stop and let's hit the last 30kms to Mazama.

Wow, emphasis on "hit", we picked up a decent pace out of Winthrop but everyone just cranked and cranked on the hills! :'-D Today I was barely able to hang on, clawing my way back at the top of hills before the descent. Even Bill struggled a bit, but without a doubt never had a gap after the crest of the hill. Ben of course was hacking a way and we did drop him just before we hit Mazama. Which was a lovely but slightly anticlimactic ending. We rolled up to the control at the Mazama Country Inn just around 2pm, which was a nice hot time, but our rooms weren't ready and the control food had yet to arrive (dinner at 5!). So Matt rode off to his room with Mo up the road at the Freestone Inn and we hung around until some rooms were ready. Bill and myself were quite a walk from the main control (we were at the lovely ranch house), so before settling in we took off into "town" (the main drag) to get supplies. Or at least I thought that's what was happening, as I went to the main store to grab a drink, chips, and a snack (salted baguette and spreading chedder, mmmmm!). Turns out Bill went to buy sandals for the walk across the gravel driveway at the control :P

We kindof lost the rest of the group at this point, as it wasn't clear who was where - within our group some ended up in the ranch house, some in the main lodge building, and some in another section. So it ended up being Bill and I sitting taking in the ranch view and eating the baguette. Really relaxing. I did some laundry, Bill took a dip in the hot tub. Not a bad end to the day!

We headed back to the control area around 4 to see what was going on, and Bill to see if it were possible to not share his room. Since I was supposed to ride with Nigel I had a room to myself, but he did not. Normally not so bad, but the beds weren't even Queen size and to be shared (: Thankfully an exchange was possible after a short convo with the extremely friendly control captain Narayan (who was probably more stoked to be there than we were!). Still some time to pass before dinner - Nyssa happily at the rest of the baguette, and I took a nap.

Dinner was delicious, plans were made for a... 5am start (one rider had even planned to leave at 10pm! but the temperatures were supposed to cool the next day, so he was convinced to leave at 3am). Ben and I decided we would roll out around 4:30 and do a much slower climb of Washington Pass, our first hill/obstacle/challenge/view of the day. And then the excited bedtime dance. Yay sleep!

Day 5 - Mazama to Arlington
Tuesday, June 28th. ~218km ~2094m

Last day. Best views! Finishline in sight. Shortest day!

At a nice early time I was up, putting on the fresh clean clothes from yesterday's wash, stuffing up my final drop bags and shedding some of the spare items I'd been carrying the whole trip (extra batteries, charging pack, full rain gear) in anticipation for Washington Pass and the day. The best breakfast all trip lead into a nice cool start for Ben and I on the road. We kept a steady conversational pace for a very long time, taking in the views, chatting about the roads and the ride, until the gradient started to kick up a bit and I settled into a slightly faster rhythm. It was a fairly long climb, but seriously beautiful. We did pass the early rider eventually, as we approached the final bends and were beginning to be truly blown away by the views.

Near Washington Pass

I couldn't resist stopping to take photos, and upon arriving at the top where the controller was parked with a van and hot supplies, discovered that there was a viewpoint I _had_ to go to. Well worth it! I then returned to the rest stop for a nice chill and chat with Ben. Eventually the rest of the group showed up, and we had a bit of chatting, eating - Nyssa and Matt went to check out the viewpoint. Mo had shown up in her van on the way to the finish, and decided to walk up to the viewpoint. Slightly bored at this point, I followed her, passed her and went to the viewpoint again, making my way even further up where Nyssa and Matt had gone. When I returned, Bill took off to the viewpoint... so we were waiting some more. Although it was lucky, as Bill then came rolling back saying, "did somebody lose their tracker?" - yup it was me. Thankfully Mo had picked it up - I guess it worked its way off my bag (ziptied) with all the rattling on the trails.

Okay finally we can begin the descent. It was cold, but not tooo cold. Well unless you are a tiny person like Andrea. But there was a nice short dig up to Rainy Pass after not too long, where we could warm up, and then begin again the long slow-not-too-steep descent into the North Cascades Park. At a certain point the road curved up, and we all stopped to de-layer as it was getting quite warm. We continued on for a _very_ short bit before encountering some rather odd construction. The traffic control folks were wanting to put our bikes in a truck, drive us accross the site, and then let us ride. In fact one rider just ahead of us had just been loaded into a truck as we arrived. Thankfully we were a big enough group that they listened to our mild complaints and let us ride through the site following a "lead car" (another truck). Once passed, we could carry on towards the Ross Lake outlook, which truly was spectacular, even if it wasn't a required stop (Susan O. the organizer had cheekily routed us to the outlook and back on the GPS route :D). On this stretch of road we also encountered a family of deer, and a tiny doe, startled, began to run and jump alongside us as we pedalled along, before finally realizing it could disappear into the forest. Magical.

After the lookout was where the wind _really_ picked up and we were getting some epic crosswinds, and soon to be headwinds on our descent. One had to carefully hold onto the bike going around corners, and really pay attention to speed and road position on the ups and downs. We crossed Diablo lake and made some slow progress on rolling windy hills towards Newhalem. At that point I wasn't sure when we would stop next, and asked the group that we refill water - except the store in Newhalem wasn't open (oops). Luckly the bathroom was, and even though their water fountain was blocked off due to some repair, we could steal water from the sink. There also, Mick discovered his front brake spring was broken, so if he were to squeeze brakes the calipers would not open again. Not the best kind of mechanical, but at least there wasn't much distance to go.

Windy Road to Newhalem

The next section to Marblemount flew by... interestingly quickly. We dodged some construction pylons into the wind, and eventually reached a one-lane-open section with alternating traffic based on a temporary light. We pulled in behind a logging truck, and as soon as the light turned green were able to draft the truck as it accellerated. Only most of the group didn't stop drafting once they got up to speed. Mick, given his brakes, backed off, and myself and Ben did so as well out of some sense of self-preservation. However, the rest of the group dissappeared off into the distance at some 60km/h. We did eventually catch them shortly before Marblemount once they slowed down, but it was quite funny.

Marblemount was another longer-than-we-should've-been-but-it's-the-last-day kindof stop. We saw Fred for a bit before he took off whil we refuelled, snacked, and sunscreened. Hopefully this would the the last stop for a while. Unfortunately the next section was brutally monotonous (although pretty in the forests), totally inconsistent in pacing (e.g. Nyssa on the front would increase our pase by 2-4km/h), and some issues for Ben and I - foot pain incroyable for me, and stomach troubles for Ben. So when we pulled into Darrington we decided to stop to give Ben a much-needed bathroom break. I hadn't really said anything but I was clearly struggling so was glad for the break.

The last section to the finish was "okay no more stops" - which was appreciated because it was a narrow road, not much shoulder and lots of traffic. We had to keep our pace down on the hills because Ben was really lagging and coughing horribly, but it wasn't too much of a hit to our speed. We actually came across Peter maybe 20 minutes from the end. "Do you need help?" we yelled, "Yes, I could use some help!" he replied. So we all turned around and stopped. He was having trouble putting his rear wheel back on with his fender/rack contraption being mounted on his quick release. Help was given (mostly Matt getting his hands dirty), and then we were off, through the town of Arlington and right to the finish!


We rolled in a minute after Fred and stumbled into the hotel to the final control to get our cards signed, stumble back out for photos, and stumble back in for beer. And some pizza which arrived eventually. An excellent finish with a great crew!

Great event, and only minor route complaints that I'd happily do again. If you survived this writeup, thanks for your time :P

Text from the route description:


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August 17, 2022