After all the planning and preparation, the decisions and indecision, the first day of Iansride 2018 is finally here. We piled into the van, drove to Independence Point in Coeur d’ Alene, ID to get this thing started. The starting point for this year’s ride was thoughtfully chosen because of what it represents. Iansride is very much a result of my pursuit to live my life with independence. Eight years ago I was challenged by my good friend and fellow quad Todd to live an independent life to the fullest. I can confidently say I am now living my life this way. Todd and his wife Karen joined us as we began our long journey back home to Port Angeles. Todd rode the first eleven miles with us, while Karen biked the first nineteen.
Our route for today was beautiful as we followed the Centennial Trail along the Spokane River for most of the day. The river was absolutely beautiful. The water was an intense clear green. The trail winds in and out of ponderosa pines. Along the way we were treated to water falls, multiple osprey sightings, beautiful bridges, and many warm and welcoming people. I was happy to find the trail was used by a variety of people; bikers, runners, walkers, strollers, and yes we saw many chairs out there too (#getoustide).
One of the simple pleasures that come from these events is seeing people I don’t get to see often. Today around mile twenty five I met up with an old friend from my days back at UCSC, Keren. Keren and her two kids met us along the trail and gave me and my team the emotional lift needed, which is much appreciated around the twenty fifth mile. This also provided my team a moment to rest, eat something, and hydrate. Considering that Jimmy ran the first nineteen miles, and Dr. B enjoys complaining, this was much appreciated.
The ride finished as we navigated our way through Spokane to finish with a total distance of 39.6 miles (63.8 km for you metric supporters). The distance is significant, since this is the furthest I have ever gone in this chair. I have done longer days, but that required the use of my backup chair. For those of you nerds who want an update on the lithium battery, I was able to get twenty miles out of it today.
We were all very impressed with Spokane. We were able to move through the city with ease. The views were amazing, and the people very helpful. There is an overall charm the city holds with its mixture of old and modern architecture, and its ability to combine the beauty of nature with a functioning big city.
We wrapped up the day with our usual trip to a Brewery for food and BEERS. This was much needed, because Jimmy took over the complaining from Dr. B. Jimmy was the “I need a beer” equivalent to being “hangry.” We met back up with Todd and Karen, and Keren and her family at No-Li Brewhouse. The food and beers were tasty. No-Li gave my team some awesome shirts, so we can all look our best on Day Two.
Time for rest and recovery. Until tomorrow…