Things Are Rolling Along

I’m less than a month away from my big trek and I have some route updates for you. First I want to share this really cool sponsor brochure that my cousin Amanda Predmore made for the ride. I think it looks fantastic and want to send big thanks to Amanda and her business, Emaugo Creative. You do really great work Cuz!

Seattle On a Ferry

Okay, onto some route plans. None of this is concrete yet. I’d like to get some feedback from locals and people who have ridden in this area and then modify as needed. Barb Chamberlain at Washington Bikes was nice enough to send me some existing routes which I have used to guide most of my ride. Here are the three I used to help map the trip: Red-Bell 100RSVP, and STP. The daily maps I link are not exact turn by turn directions, I’ve tried to make it close but it’s not perfect. It’s mainly an overall idea of that day’s route.

Day One, August 13: Port Angeles to Anacortes ~17 miles with four hours of ferry travel

This day is pretty straightforward. I’ll catch the ferry in Port Angeles to Victoria BC then take the Lochside Regional Trail to Sidney BC. Once there, I’ll catch a ferry to Anacortes WA where I will spend my first night in a hotel.

Day Two, August 14: Anacortes to Arlington via Big Lake or Anacortes to Arlington via Conway ~41 miles (depending on route)

I could use some advice on this day. I’d like to end my day in Arlington but there’s a couple options to choose from. First, I need to get from Anacortes to roughly Avon, I know the Tommy Thompson Trail will work for the first 3 miles but I’d be interested in thoughts after that. I know there’s a 3 mile section on the 20 and a couple miles on the 536, hopefully these are doable in my chair. Once I get near Avon I need to decide if I want to take the eastern route or the southern route to get to Arlington. I’ve linked both routes above and I’d appreciate any on the ground knowledge of these options.

Day Three, August 15: Arlington to Woodinville ~38 miles

This should be a lovely day since much of the ride will be on the Centennial Trail. Snohomish to Woodinville looks pretty clear-cut but if any locals in the area have suggestions I’d love to hear them. Looking forward to staying the night with my good friend Ian in Woodinville, him and his wife recently had twins and I can’t wait to meet these little ones in person.

Day Four, August 16: Woodinville to Renton ~32 miles

The first part of this day should be lovely. Start for a few miles on the Snohomish River Trail and then over 10 miles on the Burke Gilman Trail. Not sure how it will be through Seattle, I’ll be talking to some friends who recently completed the STP (Seattle to Portland Bike Ride) to get the lowdown. Ending in Renton where my road crew will pick me up and deliver me to another good friend Kenny’s house in Sumner where I will spend the night. I’ll then get a ride back up to Renton, so to start where I left off the following morning.

 

Me and Johnny

These four days should get me just under 120 miles along my journey. Which should be over a third of the way. It’s possible, even likely, that I won’t be able to keep up the pace. If that’s the case, I’ll just be dropped off the following morning to wherever I stopped the previous evening. I’ll have shorter days coming up where I could catch up to my schedule. I’ll be adding the rest of the trip soon but will more or less be following the STP. All feedback and suggestions are welcome.

 

The Ride

Todd-and-I-by-water

Here’s the plan. I’m setting aside two weeks. August 13-27, 2016.  I intend to travel Washington state from north to south.  Along with a support crew, I plan to navigate through the state on multiuse paths and roadways, all the while posting about my experience on social media. The idea is to find out firsthand and share with the public how accessible our state is for nonmotorized users, specifically people in wheelchairs. I’d also like to help a worthy cause.

I live in Port Angeles, Washington, so ideally, the Port Angeles to Victoria ferry would be the best way to start, then pass through the San Juan islands to Anacortes. The north section to Seattle has not solidified, and I welcome all suggestions. South of Seattle, the STP (Seattle to Portland) is the likely route unless I get better ideas. Our state is chock full of avid cyclists. I’m hoping to tap their knowledge and support for this adventure. In addition to my support crew I will have ridealongs.  More ridealongs are welcome. I travel at a maximum of 7 mph. My wheelchair range is about 30 miles per day. I will have a spare chair with a full charge for days which need to go longer. I’m hoping to end each day’s ride with a visit to a craft brewery. I enjoy a good beer.

Where possible, I plan to use multiuse paths. There are many areas however where bike paths are not available. In these cases I will be restricted to shoulders on roads and highways which are far from ideal for wheelchair or bicycle travel. I’m hoping that my ride can bring awareness to the lack of trails and bike paths to our otherwise very accessible state.  This brings me to the beneficiary of my fundraising. I’m teaming with Washington Bikes, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, an advocacy organization for safe roads and bike paths in the state of Washington. We are accepting donations and sponsors for the ride for my expenses, with all excess going to Washington Bikes. Sponsors will be mentioned and thanked via social media, radio and this blog. There will be daily posts along the way. Many riders are forced to use their vehicles rather than ride because there is no safe route. An increase in bike paths would benefit much more than wheelchair users.

Stay tuned… The planning is stepping in to high gear.