False starts and good fortune

DSC08186This morning we had it all figured out. But as we’ve learned so often on this trip, when you’ve got it all figured out the world usually has other plans! This was our plan: quiet morning to recover from the energy spent in Andrew’s bike emergency yesterday, followed by food shopping at the amazing co-op in Moscow, lunch in a park and an afternoon departure heading north.

We got as far as heading out of town and then, while pedaling through a busy intersection, Friedel performed a comedy of errors by using her loose pant leg as a hook that ripped her metal water bottle out of its cage, throwing it backwards and wedging the bottle between the frame of the bike and the wheel. This had the predictable effect of stopping the bike in its tracks and bending a few spokes beyond recognition.

After we dragged the bike to the curb, pulled out the bottle and assessed the damage it was time for Plan B, which was head back into town and go to the bike shop, marvelling at how it was even possible to get a bottle wedged in that tiny spot. We should have taken a picture of it but you’ll just have to look at the shot of the bottle and imagine instead!

Still, there’s a bright side to everything and this incident had two bright spots. We were able to meet the cheerful, helpful and knowlegable mechanics at the Paradise Creek Bike Shop, who set us right again and gave us some great tips on the surrounding roads,  and we had the time this afternoon to check out the website of a family we met a few days ago in Walla-Walla.

Dipping the tires in the PacificNow, we’ve mentioned a lot of touring sites on our blog, but take our word for it that you won’t regret reading Shut Up and Pedal – the story of how Dan, Alison, Sonia and Gus rode across America last summer. After meeting them in person, we can truly say they are every bit as wonderful as their journal suggests.

Their Rules for Returning to Civilized Society made us really laugh, because we were just making some up of our own the other day, while shovelling food into our mouths with our hands…. Oh, the things we don’t normally mention on this blog! Here are their rules:

1. No spitting.
2. Daily bathing is highly recommended.
3. Wear underwear. Preferably clean.
4. No eating food off the ground.
5. No made-up songs that contain profanity.
6. No bacon double cheeseburgers with ice cream sundaes.
7. No sleeping in your sleeping bag on top of the bed.
8. Use “inside voices” when inside.
9. No belching the words on road signs.
10. No shouting “A tour bus is coming” when your mother is peeing by the side of the road.
11. No peeing by the side of the road.
12. And please, no yelling “Fire in the hole” just before loudly farting.


  1. Frank
    5th June 2009 at 11:42 am #

    Friedel you done a great job on the bottle you should keep that for when you open your B+B and put that and your bikes on display in a huge glass case.

    it is getting cold here about 5 in the morning but will get to 23 and no cougars anywhere so am off for ride shortly .

    keep up the good work and keep smiling hugs for the road Frank Australia, ps i got my first flat on the Surly last week more to come i hope yeah.xx

  2. James Hustler
    5th June 2009 at 8:31 am #

    Hi there guys,
    It’s late on Friday afternoon after a long hectic week chained to a desk (I can tell you’re just dead jealous already) and this last little bit of the post has really cheered me up.

    Needless to say I’ve just stopped laughing outloud and my working mates are wondering WTF is going on!

    I’m enjoying the blog as always

    ‘ugz James

  3. Robin Bradey
    6th June 2009 at 3:27 am #

    Hi Nice people………

    Just catching up on you two 🙂 It is so nice to know that your still on that Journey that will forever be with you.
    Take care,say “Cheese” then smile.

    Happy days.


  4. Roger Hayes
    7th June 2009 at 9:53 am #

    Friedel and Andrew:

    It was truly a pleasure meeting you on the bike path between Pullman and Moscow. You two are truly brave and strong people. It was funny and ironic how I said, “I have been all over this country by bike…” while you have toured the world.
    I am glad that you were able to get your bikes fixed at our local shops. We are luck to have them here.
    Good luck with the final 7,000 K of your journey.
    Did you take the St. Joe river road to Saint Regis Montana? The ride through the National Bison Range could be wonderful.
    Again, I wish you the best of weather and may the wind be always at your backs.

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