After waking up and packing the SAG vehicles we headed to Darrington where we left off yesterday. Before we could start making our way closer to Port Angeles I had an interview with King5 News. They spent some time asking me questions about why the team and I are out here. The television crew had some questions for my mom since she’s the backbone of this operation. Mainly things like, “how difficult is it living with a celebrity?”, “do you ever want to take a pair of scissors to those dreads?”, “does Ian prefer Ginger or Maryann?” In addition to King5 News we were followed by a freelance photographer/writer, Karen Johanson. She followed us for most of the day and snapped photos at different points along the route.
The theme for most of the route today was narrow shoulders with a lot of rocks and gravel. There was an eleven mile stretch where the road was under construction. The team had to be on top of their game. I had my first real chair breakdown today. The bearings in the right front caster wheel gave out, and we had to change the wheel. This was something we planned for, so we had a spare wheel in the van. Luckily the team is like a well oiled Nascar crew and had the bad wheel off and the new one on within twenty minutes. Now that I think about it, that won’t cut it for Nascar.
A little further down the road I had what might have been the biggest surprise of the trip to so far. While we were off to the side of the road using the cough assist a large white truck pulled over and a face I hadn’t seen in thirteen or so years popped out from the driver’s window. My uncle Al, who lives in Florida and drives all over the country making deliveries, decided to surprise me. He had been in Nebraska, knew what I was doing, and figured he’d just head west to Washington and come visit his, (I will assume), favorite nephew. It was a wonderful surprise. I had not seen him since before my injury. This was his first chance to see Ian 2.0. He drove along the route, and we would see him a few more times throughout the day. He will be here for the remainder of the ride, so I’ll get a chance to spend some time with him.
It would appear that ten days of riding in this smokey environment has caught up with me. The frequency with which I had to stop and use the cough assist has increased over the past couple of days. Due to the increased number of stops for coughing, the problems with my chair, and the morning interviews we found ourselves behind schedule. I don’t like being behind schedule, especially when there’s really good beer waiting for us at the end of the day, so when it was time for a lunch break I told the crew they needed to be quick. There’d be plenty of time to lollygag at the brewery later. Dr. B decided to pull my sip and puff away from me so I couldn’t get back on the road until everyone had a chance to relax and enjoy lunch. Now we were even further behind schedule.
Another five miles of stressful, crappy roads followed our ridiculously long lunch break before arriving in the town of Arlington where we would pick up the Centennial trail and have some peace and quiet. We stopped to meet my mom who had some road sodas for us to take on the trail. While filling Dr. B’s panniers with the road sodas Jimmy noticed he had a broken spoke. Apparently the poor road conditions took their toll on Jimmy’s fancy bike. Because we were already behind schedule I didn’t have time for Jimmy and his mechanical problems. This isn’t Jimmy’s Ride. I rolled away with Chauncey, Dr. B., and the road sodas and told Jimmy to catch up. Luke at Arlington Velo Sports got Jimmy’s bike fixed quickly, and Jimmy caught up to us within a half hour. Oh how I missed Jimmy during those thirty minutes.
While riding on the trail, most of which was in secluded areas we were able to relax, talk, joke, listen to music, and really enjoy the last ten or so miles of the day. If trails like this existed in more places more people with various mobility issues would be outside living a better quality of life. These last ten miles reminded me of what I’m doing this for. It is sometimes hard to remember this during the daily grind of this ride. I was thankful for the reminder.
Our trusty crew member Ben met us along the trail to ride the last few miles with us. It was great to spend time with him on the bike. Our end point was along the trail today. Another surprise was awaiting me at today’s finish line. Along with my uncle Al were two good family friends, Terry & Tammy Gallagher from Port Angeles. Terry and Tammy were nearby and wanted to come see me and the team. After a little conversation and some laughs we loaded into the van and headed for what I had been waiting for all day, all week actually, some Dirty Bucket.
During IansRide 2016 we visited many many many many many breweries. My favorite was the Dirty Bucket, so I was very excited we would have a chance to visit again. When we arrived at the DB, Two of my friends, Denise and Joe who are also in chairs were there waiting for us. Denise had brought food for the entire team, and we didn’t wait long to pick out beers to go with the food. The owner Steve Acord was very generous with his time. He likes talking beer, so Jimmy and I nerded out with him. He took some of us on a tour of the brewery. The Dirty Bucket came through again. To say the DB is bitchin’ would be an understatement, The DB is hella bitchin’. I can’t wait for the next NotJimmy’sRide so we can visit again. I don’t have a route picked out yet, but I’m willing to go hundreds of miles out of my way for some DB beers.
I was swerving a little as we left the brewery, but I made it to the van and we all headed to Denise’s house where she graciously hosted all of us for the night. She has a beautiful house with an elevator, which brought me up to my third floor suite. After my crew showered and stopped smelling so bad, we all had the chance to spend time with Denise and talk about our trip. Denise and Joe will be joining us tomorrow for a portion of the ride, so I’m very excited about that.