“At least tomorrow is a short day”

Day 3: South Beach - Shafer State Park

Distance: 92 miles

We kick off the morning bright and early. Mama Bean wasn’t playing around as he shook us all awake at 6 am sharp. We walk out into the brisk morning air to find that all the gear we were too tired to store away was soaked in the morning dew (Eagle Scout Matt’s raingear). We shook it off because it’s Dawg Saturday and if we made it to the campsite early, there were hopes that we could stream the game. We quickly ate, packed up, and departed the South Beach Campground.

David is assuring that is right calf goes rash free

David is assuring that is right calf goes rash free

We catch a series of flat stretches and incredibly smooth road. Josh promised that ride would be ‘mostly flat’ and for the first time we were benefiting from this. We were cruising at a really solid pace when we met up with Tony 20 miles into the ride. John’s knees and Cesar’s back starting showing signs of injury as we started up again, so Josh elected to stay back and ride a little slower with them.

We chugged along for another 30 miles or so, eagerly looking for Tony’s car. Josh was the only person with the map so David, Matt, Kyle, and Luis were banking on Tony parking at our next turn. Of course Tony was leisurely driving along the hillsides of Aberdeen as they sped past the correct turn and biked for another mile and a half. Once they realized their error, they had to go back uphill to find the correct turn.

Forever supporting the dawgs wherever we go

Forever supporting the dawgs wherever we go

We met for a quick lunch and as we were packing up Cesar presses his tire against the rim and asks the group ‘Wait is this a flat?’ After fixing his nearly completely deflated tire, we asked how long it has been flat. When he responded with ‘since this morning’, it was very apparent why he was dragging behind and straining his back. Cesar took off for the last 40 miles leading the pack and pain free.

When we drew closer to the campsite, we decided that the first person to get their could drink the last of the Elysians from the night before as a reward. David Juergens proceeded to take off at speeds equivalent to Lance Armstrong during the doping era and whipped everyone to the campsite. Matt and Kyle remained at a steady leisurely pace because having banter at the back of the pack seemed better then drinking a beer with inflamed quads.

Hammock and chill

Hammock and chill

We pulled into the campsite at 5 pm, leaving us with plenty of time to watch the Husky game. Our dreams were quickly crushed as we realized there was no service at the campsite but then immediately rejuvenated as our beloved driver Tony pulled 6 large Domino's Pizzas out of his car. We capped the rest of the night off by setting up hammocks and digesting our pizza in luxury. We talked, laughed, and shared our optimism for how easy we ‘thought’ the next day was going to be (we are clearly not foreshadowing anything).

With sore muscles and warm hearts,

The Lads

“Don’t worry guys the coast doesn’t have hills”

Day 2: Port Angeles, WA - South Beach, WA

We started off the day with plenty of groans as we discovered just how sore our legs and back were. Mama Josh blessed us with an extra hour of sleep, which worked in no way to relieve any aches and pains. We limped around the campsite, ate some oatmeal and crunchy cowboy-coffee, packed up, and left by 10 am.

Upon starting the day we were quickly greeted by mountains. 15 miles into the ride, Josh ‘accidently’ kicked his derailleur off. Tony was given the opportunity to work on his tetris skills as he maneuvered 9 peoples camping gear, food, and clothing into his little Ford Focus to make room for Josh. We often make fun of Josh’s hippy hobbies and love for organic granola but for once his slackline was useful as we used it to strap the fallen bike frame to the hood of the car. Josh was then driven to a bike shop, which somehow took 3 hours, allowing him to conveniently miss (skip) 45 miles of treacherous hills.

Josh's busted deraileur 

Josh's busted deraileur 

Tony, assuming we would need his assistance while helping Josh, left food and water 30 miles from where he picked Josh up for us. Little to Tony’s knowledge, leaving only two gallons of water for the seven thirsty riders is nowhere near enough, leaving Matt and Kyle without water. After a quick sandwich, we decided to leave from our resting place in search of a town with water. Approximately 5 miles after our stop we came across a gas station and stopped in hopes of a desperate refill. Unfortunately for us, the gas station had no minimart or hose, crushing our hopes and dreams of hydration. Before taking off, we saw a car parked near the gas station and decided to ask the man inside where the next town was. We told him about our ride, our foundation, and our desperate need for water, and he pointed us in the right direction and gave us all the water bottles and gatorade he had in his car, reminding us of the true hospitality and benevolence of the people around us.

Just before leaving, our fearless leader Josh was finally reunited with us. We took off from the gas station and began to pick up some speed. Around 10 minutes later, John requested a bathroom break and we all began to fear for his prostate health as he broke double digit pee breaks before 2 pm. Breaks every 5 miles for John’s dysfunctional bladder became routine for us.

The final stretch of the ride was tough for all of us as fatigue began setting in. Our beloved Philanthropy Chair was dry heaving while powering up a hill, refusing to stop for a break. The only time he took a break was when he got off his bike to literally pass out on the side of the road. This shockingly may or may not have something to do with him refusing to eat all day. As we rode into the campsite David was so exhausted that he fell over trying to get off his bike in the middle of a crowd of geriatric RV owners. Falling while getting off a bike when you don’t use clip in pedals is a true feat of athleticism, congratulations David.

Beautiful view from our campsite

Beautiful view from our campsite

Owing to the fact that we started late we didn’t have much time before the sun fully set but we enjoyed the beautiful view of the ocean as we looked out over the cliff. The combination of biking 97 miles and the sound of the waves crashing onto the beach put us to sleep as soon as we hopped in our tent.

Until next time,

The Lads

“You Probably Don’t Have to Train For a 350 Mile Bike Ride”

Day 1: Seattle, WA - Port Angeles, WA

Distance: 87 miles

It’s 5 am and the alarms sounded for each of our riders as they woke up for their first day. Our very own Kyle Bransky showed up with all of his tags still attached to his helmet. He claimed he lost a bet, but we secretly assume he is doing it so he can return it after the ride to save a quick 20 bucks. We all settled in the dining room of the house to find Luis live streaming our entrance of Theta Chi. The first of many livestreams with ‘non improving’ quality. We shrug off the constant interview attempts, pack our car, prepare our bikes, and hit the road by 6:20. As the sun began to rise, we all strapped on our seven-dollar Oakley’s, fresh from the black markets of Shanghai and courtesy of ‘China’ John Sommers. We have a seamless ride to the ferry in Edmonds, WA, saying to ourselves, “Wow, those first 14 miles were easy, we can definitely all hit 89 without a sweat.” The first of many poor assumptions that day.

Warm and optimistic smiles as we ride the Ferry into Kingston

Warm and optimistic smiles as we ride the Ferry into Kingston

As soon as we reached Kingston, we were immediately greeted by a beautiful bridge crossing over from the Kitsap Peninsula to the Olympic Peninsula, where the views were breathtaking and symbolic of the true beginning of our journey. As our journey began, we were immediately greeted with long stretches of uphill. After grabbing a bite to eat for a quick rest, we were given entertainment by David Juergens as he danced for cars passing by – unfortunately nobody tipped.

Once we regained energy, Josh and Matt saw it as a good time to teach the new riders how to draft off one another. They thought to themselves that it was so easy for them and Nigel to draft during the cross country bike ride, how hard can it be when you throw 8 unexperienced riders into the mix; signing themselves up as the first victims of the day. Right as the peloton approached terminal velocity, each bike separated by a precious two inches of air, our esteemed Philanthropy Chair, Luis decided it was great opportunity to test his new brakes as the second person in the chain of eight. To Luis’s surprise, when you brake check in a peloton, it causes a domino effect throughout the whole group which results in the two experienced riders in the back, Matt and Josh, to eat gravel. Matt stated that this was his first crash in all his Cycle for Charvat career, and the pure terror of flying over your handlebars aimed in the direction of a busy highway cannot be put into words. Lucky for Matt’s sake, no cars passed while Matt’s body laid strewn out over the shoulder. “But, it’s okay Mom, I’m still safe.”

Kyle was careful not to get mustard on his helmet while we ate sandwiches for lunch

Kyle was careful not to get mustard on his helmet while we ate sandwiches for lunch

After some solid riding by the Oakley Crew, we finally find ourselves on a beautiful bike path accompanied by a lush forest. Once again, our dear Philanthropy Chair and soon to be discovered Hollywood drama actor, Luis Diaz, was reservoir dogged on the side of the path. Wincing in pain like a pre-amputation Civil war solider, our dear philanthropy chair gives a breath-taking performance sure to be Oscar- nominated this Spring. Kyle turns back and rushes to the scene ready to perform CPR. Luis shows his brutal wound of a wasp sting on his anterior earlobe. Dumbo-effect now in full swing, our philanthropy chair bravely overcomes his life-threatening injury and surges to the front the pack.

A beautiful bridge along the bike trail

A beautiful bridge along the bike trail

After nearly falling victim to a indecisive chipmunk, Kyle boasted his ungodly athleticism and catlike reflexes as he dodges it to escape certain death at the blistering speed of 7 mph. Little did Kyle know that the true threat lied within. Kyle, approaching a sharp right turn on a narrow bike path at the base of a hill, began to question his speed and general understanding of physics. Kyle quickly remembers how incredibly he handled the chipmunk debacle, and decides to go for it.  After a full send, Kyle makes the slightest of turns, realizes his unfavorable odds, as he flies into a ditch. Kyle, like a Olympic gymnast, flies over his handle bars, head first into a fence. His helmet took the brunt of the impact, rendering the Amazon return process an uphill battle. Alas, he will probably still attempt it anyway. Miraculously, Kyle arises from the ditch completely unscathed and we continue on our ride.

Now that we’ve sufficiently roasted all of our riders let’s move onto the positives. Within the first few miles we already began to have positive interactions with people around us. Being able to share the story of Kyle Charvat is definitely the most rewarding part of the bike ride. Cesar quickly established his dominance as an endurance athlete by leading the pack on all uphill sprints. On most breaks when we would complain about aches and cramps, he would fill the silence with exclamations of how much fun he was having blazing through the hills. Josh once again proved his ungodly mental strength and love for cycling as he chose to take on the ride on a heavy mountain bike. For those of you who are not familiar with the struggle of road riding on a mountain bike, its like running a marathon with cement shoes. You’re an impressive specimen Josh.

Elevating our legs after a long day of cycling - nothing has ever felt better

Elevating our legs after a long day of cycling - nothing has ever felt better

The ride was strikingly beautiful and is a constant reminder of how lucky we are to live in a state like Washington. The day started with an adrenaline filled city ride to Edmonds, with an abundance ofbreakfast sandwiches on the ferry crossing to Kingston. The meat of our ride then occurred over a gorgeous bike path under tree branches, with a view of the Straight of Juan de Fuca, and Mother Canada in the distance as we passed through Port Angeles. That bike trail was our saving grace after our less than perfect start. We ended the day crossing through golden wheat fields and mooing at cows as we passed. Both parties appreciated the attention. Nonetheless, the beauty of the PNDub has distracted us all from the pain we have. This is the hardest thing most of us have ever done, but we are pretty sure that at least one of us will finish the trek – even if it’s just our driver/trip dad Tony.

With love and saddle sores,

The Lads