Day 26 Left Deadwood and made the “detour” to the Mt Rushmore Memorial in the Black Hills, (stunningly gorgeous) on my way to Wyoming to see Larsen’s. I was amazed how many people were there on a Thursday morning, but even more amazed at how few of those visitors were wearing masks. What is the statement they are trying to make? Not sure. Check out this picture. I count 6 people with masks. There are hundreds of folks there.
After leaving I settled in for some tunes, lots of calls and even a thunder snowstorm over the pass dropping into the Sweetwater Canyon that leads into the town of Worland, Wyoming. I have a video I’ll try to post because as I recorded it Fleetwood Mac is on the radio with Stevie Nicks singing “thunder only happens when it’s raining”. How cool is that? I got to meet up with Lisa at Larsen’s. This is a main street type of shop in “small town” America that has long term ties to the community. As I came in to drop off the RIDES info, Lisa was busy wrenching some service. You can feel her connection to this community. She came down from Montana over 2 decades ago, and never left! If ever in Worland, stop in and meet her. She is easy going, warm and friendly. https://larsensbicycles.com/ We spoke about supply and she was down to 3 bikes. Big and small, the bicycle supply chain challenges of Covid 19 are hitting everyone, everywhere.
After leaving Worland I was off to Billings, Montana to spend the night.
Day 27 This was one of my favorite days. I swung by the Spoke Shop in Billings https://www.spokeshop.com/ before they opened because I had a long drive ahead of me all the way to Spokane and wanted to stop into a few shops in Missoula on my way. Missoula seems to be a hotbed for bike shops. First stop was Big Sky Bikes. www.bigskybike.com these guys were super friendly and had people waiting to get in. As a Santa Cruz brand rider, I always love walking into shops that carry them, not to mention it reminds me of home. I appreciated the time they gave me to discuss RIDES. We kept our safe distances and wore masks. The store feels like it belongs there and is beloved by the community. My next stop in Missoula was ACA. The Adventure Cycling Association https://www.adventurecycling.org/ is such a cool organization. Though they were closed to the public due to CV-19, I knocked on the door as I could see a gentleman inside. He was nice enough to crack the door open and we chatted for a bit about their initiatives. He gave me a well produced handout of the local shops, rides, and even local breweries! I thanked him, made donation and was off to see Bicycle Hangar https://www.bicycle-hangar.com/ and Hellgate Cyclery. A couple of neighborly competitors on Higgins. I did get to spend a little time in the Bicycle Hanger and watch them rent a few bikes and I bought a new waterproof shell while I was there. Joe was very open and we discussed RIDES and how it compares to the others that have been available. I highly recommend Missoula as a destination. It’s an awesome place with a total “western movie” feel, even though it’s also a big college town as well.
I finished my ten-hour drive day to Spokane.
Day 28 After a well deserved rest I got up in the morning and went for a 26 mile road ride on the wonderful Centennial trail that took me along the Spokane River, past Gonzaga University all the way out to the Spokane Valley.
Hooked up with a couple that were out for a training ride on their tri bikes. Felt great to cruise with them for a few miles and then put down the hammer and ride at high speed for a bit. A man at the hotel saw me wheel in my Pinarello and asked if he could take it for a spin. He had the same shoes, so I gladly agreed and he took her out for about an hour on the same route I had been on. He returned with a big grin and began to convince his wife that he needs to get one.
From there I dropped by https://www.wheelsportbikes.com/ in Spokane. They have 4 very different stores and look like they do a lot of volume. I left Spokane before they opened and then drove West across the Cascades to Seattle. On my way I stopped at www.singletrackcycles.com in North Bend. Awesome store. Super nice. Had a chance to talk about the Crush Covid-19 tour and RIDES. Glad I made it in. They had a good size staff on hand doing a lot of service. I want to go back there and ride some day. The mountain that stands above the town is begging for any ride to, “come up here”.
I had planned to say in Seattle, but the signage on I-5 downtown indicated there may be issues going on, so I opted to drive down toward Portland after visiting three well know Seattle shops. The most impressive was Gregg’s www.greggscycles.com. Talk about a huge place with an avid following . This place took up an entire city block, was two level and had people vying to get it. Obviously they have built a reputation and have the lines to prove it. Even then, with the current state of things, and by practicing safe distancing, the lines were long and the people seemingly happy to wait to do business with them. Juxtaposition that with a dealer in Montlake that seemed to be closing his store early. I got there at 4:30 PM and he was locking up the store and no one was in site. Well lit vibrance versus dark early exit. Quite a comparison. Maybe it was just a bad day for those guys with things going on I know nothing about, but it did stand out.
Then drove down to Vancouver, past Mts. Rainier and St Helens. You have to love the Pacific Northwest. It truly is without comparison in sheer topographical variance. From the waters of the Pugent Sound to Anacortes and the San Juan Islands with their Salmon, Orcas and Aviary complexities, to just a few miles away to the east where you can gaze at the snow covered peaks of the volcanic mountains as the sun sets and turns them aglow. This place is magnificent.
I will say I had some fantastic King Salmon prepared with a Miso glaze, along with a bed of risotto and brussels to die for while up here. So much for my vegetarian month. In-season King Salmon is hard to pass up.
Day 29 Crossed the Columbia River and dropped into 7 Corners Cycles in Portland. https://www.7-corners.com/. I loved this shop. Nestled in the neighborhood, the store front was closed but the side roll up was opened utilizing a cyclone fencing section to do business through. I really appreciated the approach so they could be sure the keep some distance and you could still engage. With my mask on I explained RIDES, we discussed the Crush Covid-19 tour and how business was doing. Like most, they are doing oodles of service while even that supply chain is drying up, similar to the bike supply itself. She was super gracious, invited me to leave my packet on the table so she could retrieve it without getting near. Smart.
I planned on then visiting The Bike Peddler in Salem, but they are closed on Sunday, so it was straight out to Bend. The drive up to Bend along the Santiam River into Sisters and having the Sisters and Mount Bachelor come into view is simply breathtaking. As I came into Bend I stopped at Sunnyside Sports. https://www.sunnysidesports.com/ This store is awesome. Totally set up with tents and community support, they wore masks and kept it real. Spent about 20 minutes there discussing the tour and RIDES of course. These guys are full service from fitting to financing and also set you up with rentals to enjoy their vast selection of rides. I asked for a referral for a mountain bike ride with my good friend Ryan who had moved to Bend just two weeks earlier and had not yet been on his bike. These trails were groomed beauties. Slight pitch and totally enjoyable couple of hour evening ride. Nice to smell the pines and the firs making me long for Tahoe. Just one more day of the Crush Covid-19 tour, glad I was able to get a ride in with Ryan and have some chow with his family at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes.
Day 30 Final Official Day of the Crush Covid-19 tour. My final stop was Zach’s Bikes in Klamath Falls. https://www.zachsbikes.com/ I love their bi line. Friendly.Expert.Stoked. What more do you need? Trek is their main line, but they come off like they are bigger and exude a commitment to making sure you enjoy riding in their backyard. A fairly new establishment, they should do well if they keep their vibe strong. I really liked them, they were friendly as advertised, and I enjoyed seeing downtown KF. I forgot about how beautiful the basin is. I’ll have to come back up soon.
Then came the drive to Tahoe to end my Crush Covid-19 tour and ride up in Tahoe for a few days.
Days 31 and 32 This marked my 16th sober ride up there, (in a row), the weather was perfect and the ending to a 4 week plus tour couldn’t have been better. Got to ride the new Armstrong Pass Connector from Oneidas off of Pioneer Trail and of course, the Flume.
Here is a panoramic picture of Lake Tahoe from the Flume trail.
We can help you with your OEM Warranty or ESP programs at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 844 927 7689, (844) WARRNTY.
I’ll follow up with some lessons from this trip as to how to do business in the times of a pandemic. Stay tuned to the blog and until then!
See you out there.