Author: Leon Matz
When 6:30 came this morning I opened the garage door to get on my bike to start my trip to Santa Barbara, I was surprised to see Scott Wagar, Mike Hassur and a friend (Kyle) waiting there on their bikes! Scott and his friend were planning to ride to Tokeland and decided to escort me to Yelm on their way to the beach! Mike decided to escort us to Rainier. What a wonderful surprise!
After s quick picture, we were off to meet up with Mike Smith my companion to California! Fourteen miles later we met up with Mike at the east entrance to JBLM. As we headed out as a group of five, Scott, Kyle and Mike H. were all riding real strong! Even though riding in a paceline saves energy and helps you go faster the pace was a little strong for me! I was reminding myself that with 1,400 miles to go energy needed to be saved!
It was real special having a Cyclopath escort to start our epic ride!
After saying goodbye to our friends we headed out on the quiet roads toward Centralia! The weather was nearly perfect for our first day! Started out cloudy and about 56 degrees! There was a fairly constant headwind, but it wasn't too strong! As we arrived in Centralia, the clouds started to break up showing some blue sky! Soon we arrived in Napavine, and we stopped at a Burger King for Mike to grab some lunch! Sixty six miles completed and about thirty five to Kelso. We both took off some of our clothing clothing and eagerly got back on the road!
Shortly later, we met a fellow cyclist riding on these quiet roads! Joe road with us for about 15 miles! A delightful guy. He rides these roads daily training for a cross country ride!
I kept waiting for the famous northerly breeze to help us along our way but it never arrived!
Our arrival to Kelso was delayed as I dropped my chain and had trouble getting it to work! Once we arrived in Kelso, we had some trouble finding our hotel. After finding the hotel and taking a shower, that frustration was long gone! After a quick rest and washing out our clothes, we headed out to a Mexican restaurant where I devoured my combination dinner.
We are now back in the hotel watching the first stage of the TDF thankful that our day was much better than theirs!