Day 6: Orcas Island – Deception Pass State Park
Distance: 11.83 miles.
Average Speed: 6.5.
I awoke early, to appease stray US law enforcement, and started operation get. bike. fixed. In the cold light of day I found the real antagonist in yesterday’s little drama, a small strand of metal sticking through the roof of the tyre. With inner tube repaired I was confident that I’d be underway in no time. However, relief soon turned to despair, as every time I seated the tyre around the rim of the wheel, another part popped out. Round and round I went, but the tyre would not stay in place.
Prospects weren’t looking great – 200 metres up a mountain, 15 miles from the ferry, and an hour and a half of futile bike maintenance behind me – when a guy in a jeep stopped and asked if I needed a lift, then tried to back out as he had work to get to. Too late. Brian was many things, including a Wellbeing Coach and Stockroom Assistant. From Boston, but moved to Orcas Island from Peru. He was big on experiences, I asked if being stuck half way up a hill with a broken bike on your first day in a new country counted.
That got me back as far as Eastsound. Good start, then Katie a fellow cyclist who just happened to be doing her laundry nearby mentioned that there was a bike shop in town, and that it should be open. I made it 100 yards – pushing the bike – before the tyre had fallen off so far it got stuck in the brakes. I couldn’t carry all the stuff, the only solution was to replace the faulty back tyre with the sound front one, then at least the back of the bike would support my possessions, I just had to keep the front half lifted off the ground. I made it to the bike shop, and he had a tyre that fitted! But I wouldn’t have time to pedal to the ferry so I marched into the hotel and asked if there was any chance they could phone me a taxi. The taxi driver was on his way to the library to play online cards, but arrived to collect me before I’d even got back to my bike.
Frazzled, I sat on the ferry, definitely requiring a rest now. I’m stopping at the first hotel in Anacortes, I thought. Then I got speaking to another couple of cyclists as we waited to leave the boat, one heading down the Pacific Coast and pressing on for Port Townsend that afternoon…
Having finally resurrected my bike to its usual two-wheeled state, I had a dilemma. The weather was perfect, I could just cycle on a little, maybe. At least any distance gained now was distance I didn’t have to cover later: I opted to cycle the 12 miles to Deception Pass. Instantly, I turned a corner and was overlooking a stunning bay, and that was soon followed by the highlight of the trip – so far – when I crossed the spectacular Deception Pass bridge. And when the beautiful State Park campsite had hot showers, my wellbeing was fully restored.