Kitsap Sun Blog

Back to Calendar    Meet the Riders     Home

Day 03 (Tue 6/30/09)

Grand Coulee Dam

Yesterday                Tomorrow

Please Donate Now!!

ROUTE: Chelan to Wilbur, WA DISTANCE:  86Miles TOTAL CLIMBING:  7,060 feet

Click here for Garmin ride data 

(This is cool if you like lots of data! It may take a few seconds to load but you can hit play and time compress our ride)

DAILY REPORT:  David, John, James and Skip. Warm sunny day. Start temp was 64 deg and ended with the low 80's. Head a head wind for the majority of the day 5 - 15 mph.

Since the boys spent the evening with the Burtons last night I went over in the morning to pick them up at 7:15. Then April Burton convinced me I needed to eat at their continental breakfast to ensure I was fully fueled for the day. So with all this running around, getting James' bike all set-up we didn't hit the road until 0930. But then again we knew this was a 'short' day of only 80+ miles. An easy day to break James in on :)

A special thanks to Cambell's Resort who waived our hotel room fee to support Riding4Hope. Thanks Libby!!

 The first excitement was the climb out of Lake Chelan heading east. The boys didn't fully appreciate what a 12% grade is. They did know that a 5 mile hill was going to be long!! They both did great but were glad when it was over. 

Since we had a late start, we had a late lunch. The unfortunate thing out in the middle of Eastern Washington is that there are no trees. Consequently there was no shade when we had lunch. We pulled some of the gear out of the trailer so that we could sit inside the trailer in the shade. Both boys took a little cat nap before we were on our way again. 

The coming into the Grand Coulee Dam was pretty impressive. the view was great but what was erally cool was all the power lines coming out from the dam. Since my ungrad major was in Electrical Engineering specializing in power distribution I had a captive audience with the boys discussing line losses, lagging power factors, current flow, electro magnetic fields and conductance, etc....Truth be told after the first several minutes they said, "Dad it's time to go!" and rode off.....I'm not sure they really want to be engineers!!

We were going to stop at the dam's visitor center at the bottom; but once the boys realized they were going to have to bike two miles off their route, they both quickly agreed it wasn't going to be that interesting anyways and we should keep going. And to think they weren't interested in riding an additional 4 miles (round trip)!

The navigator for today, James (ie the biker responsible for briefing the party on they days events, safety issues, key stops, etc.) forgot to mention that once we biked in to Coulee we would have to bike out over the ridge on the other side. There were a few groans to say the least once this was brought to their attention. We had 20 miles to get to Wilbur and we had another major hill at the end of the day. This really let the wind out of John's sail and he was starting to fall behind.

So we are now 5 miles or so out of town and Skip gives me a call that we have a slight issue. Turns out the hotel we had for the evening was back in Coulee not at Wilbur like we thought. A slight mix up. Now the Coulee House Inn and Suites had offered us two rooms free of charge. What to do?? We have suffered 1/2 way up this huge hill and there was little, nope; no desire to go back into town and have to bike up this hill (mountain) again!! So it was decided we would bike into Wilbur and then Skip would drive us all back to Coulee. Ah, the advantage of having a support vehicle!! So the reason for the title above as Grand Coulee Dam.

The last eight miles were a hoot. It was slight "rollers" and more or less down hill into Wilbur. John got his second wind and took off. I told James to hang on and "suck my wheel" (bikers know what I am talking about). We were averaging the high 20's mph to low 30's mph all the way. We caught and passed John the last 1/2 mile out side of town; but John got on James wheel and followed us in. The last 100 yds John sprinted in and won the Yellow jersey for the day. I was very proud of both boys on how well they rode today. This was the farthest James has ridden this year. 

We have a speaking engagement tomorrow at Fairchild AFB @ 1300. So we will have to get up early and drive back to Wilbur were we will bike 50 miles just outside Spokane.  While on base we'll take care of a few things like hair cuts, pick up some supplies, etc before we bike into Spokane for our hotel accomidations.

Well once again it is after midnight and I see I have written too much. Oh well....until tomorrow.....ride safely!!

The Riding4Hope Team







Skip - I was really impressed with you guys today. After that huge climb out of Lake Chelan ( 5 miles / 12% grade) "You guys weren't even breathing hard. I would have had a heart attack after the first 1/2 mile!"

John - On the 2nd MAJOR hill out of the Grand Coulee Dam, John said after he got to the top "If I went around one more turn and saw this hill keep going; I was going to have to get off and walk!"

James - The famous quote of the day -- "I don't need sunscreen." At dinner John said - "Boy James you are really burnt!!"

John - We are at a pizza parlor and deciding what to order. Dad asked John what he wanted to eat.."Oh ya I am hungry; we can eat two LARGE pizzas!!" 



Skip handing out cold beverages while we were on the road. I personally was looking for a REAL cold frosty beverage to take away my pain!!





The morning picture send off from Cambell's Resort.

Thanks goodness for the trailer! We would be hard presses to carry all this!

Skip providing his positive encouragement while laying in his lounge chair while we bike up this 5 mile, 12% grade hill.


The dynamic dual climbing one of many hills today. They did very well!


Go figure; Skip likes Skippy peanut butter on his PB&J! 


Now this is the right way to replenish over 4,800 calories burnt today - two large pizzas!! 

More photos on Facebook Album

Yesterday                Tomorrow


Follow us thru:


Kitsap Sun Blog

Copyright 2009 by Riding4Hope 
All rights reserved.