During today's short (51 miles) ride, we caught a few glimpses of Mt. St. Helens in the hazy distance, but somehow it did not measure up to Mt. Hood or the breath-taking mountain-scapes of Montana. It was a bit of a novelty to ride through the town of St. Helen, but my sample of one teenage cashier in a Walgreens store suggests that the eruption is a long forgotten, dusty memory. She had "no idea" of the year of the eruption (1980)!
In spite of new tire and tube, Fred had another flat about an hour out of Portland. The tire still looks pristine, and there are no detectable anomalies in the rim that might explain his four flats. The hole in the new tube is a perfectly round, 2 mm hole. Our best guess is that it was a manufacturing defect. We replaced the bad tube with another new one we picked up yesterday at Performance Bike and it appears to be holding. Fred did ask me to switch the tubes for him, on the chance that he did something wrong when he changed the tire and tube last night. Anyway, we have our fingers crossed.
Right at the scene of the flat, there was a clean, perfectly usable sombrero, which brought back some fond memories of one of our first meals during the first stage of our trip (the Tour de Fred in 2008). We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant, and the waiter took our photo with each of us wearing a sombrero.
|2008, Tour de Fred|
|2013, MIM Tour|
We will be returning to normal mileage days for the final two: 77 miles tomorrow and 66 for the final ride into the Seattle area. It will still be hot tomorrow, so we are going to try to get going very early to miss the worst of the heat and the possibility of increased wind in the afternoon.