Had a big ride ahead of me today. 71 miles to Kamiah ID up HWY 12 along the
Clearwater River. I checked the route and
it looked a little squirrelly getting out of Lewiston, especially because there
is a nice riverside bike path that I want to intercept that was a little confusing (well, for me any way).
So off I go, on the road before 8 like I had planned (7:50 to
be exact). Everything started fine but
as expected I got a little turned around where the Snake and the Clearwater
come together and when I hit the bike path I could go left or right. I
should have gone right and of course I went
left. I was cruising along with the nice
Snake River breeze in my face, but the problem was it should have been the
Clearwater breeze. Of course I didn’t have
my navigation turned on (I know, I know) and when I did Siri immediately said “in
100 feet take a U turn.” Ugh, this is
The bike path was initially amazing, but after about 2
miles, every 30 feet the asphalt was separated by about 4 inches with grass growing
in the crack, but the problem was the “thump, thump” of my bike each time. This was extremely annoying, so I decided to
hop the guardrail and ride HWY 12. Talk
about jumping from the frying pan into the fire. HWY 12 outside Lewiston SUCKS big time. The road surface is chip seal and it feels like
I’m sitting on a jack hammer as I ride.
I’m on HWY 12 for 71 miles (actually closer to 74 thanks to my initial
left turn). There is an 6-12 inch sliver
of nice road where the chip seal did not reach so I could ride the jackhammer
or play cat and mouse with the guardrail while I ride to smooth portion, choose your poison. Fortunately, this lasted “only” about 15
miles to where HWY 12 separated from HWY 3.
The riding conditions were still not terrific in that there
is very little shoulder and a lot of trailers and fifth-wheels. As with yesterday, the scenery was very
I did have another encounter with road construction and one-way
traffic but this time there was no Kathleen to keep me from my continuous route. It was controlled by a traffic light. As I approached the light, I instinctively
moved up to the front on the right side of the line of cars. The problem was that when the light turned
green and I entered the single lane there was no shoulder on the right and
jersey barriers on the left so cars could not safely pass me. Yesterday in the pilot car with Kathleen I
had the power. Today with 12 cars behind
me on my bike I felt powerless. I cranked
up the gear and sprinted for what seemed like 3 miles but was probably 0.5 miles,
but I got through it and no middle fingers from the line of traffic behind me.
The rest of the ride was fine and we arrived in Kamiah ahead
of schedule so we decided to take a quick dip in the Clearwater River. About 1 second and some major shrinkage
later, I was back on shore ready for a towel and some lunch.
Kamiah is the home of a legendary Idaho basketball coach,
Fred Mercer. I met Fred when I worked
his camps while playing for WSU. I would
work a couple days of camp then we would float the Clearwater. We had some terrific times. Cheryl and I paid Fred and his wife Judy a
visit and we talked and laughed into the late evening. It was a lot of fun seeing them and catching up. Thanks Fred and Judy for the hospitality (and the parking spot in front of your house)!
55 miles tomorrow further down HWY 12 but not exactly sure
where we are staying. Oh well, we’ll figure
it out when we get there. Another hot
one but I’ll be up and out early.
(this is before the jump in the river and I was still smiling)
Wait, you missed Kennewick! Still time to head back... 😀ReplyDelete
Haha. I spent 12 years in the Tri-Cities. I will catch it on the way back!Delete
I'm sure glad you are stopping to take beautiful pictures. Have a great, hot, ride today.ReplyDelete
Go Chris Go!!!ReplyDelete