Old Man and the Sea (of Wheat)

As you may remember, the SkiZer has a peculiar bicycling tradition related to his birthday. Every year, he must ride his age.

It’s an odd habit, one that is clearly counter-intuitive. As he gets older — the SkiZer turned 61 earlier this month — the ride gets longer.

This year, SkiZer was visiting Pullman, Wash., and decided the time was right for a ride-your-age adventure. Following the route for the Tour de Lentil, he rode 62 miles along some of the most beautiful portions of the Palouse.

The ride started in Pullman, headed west into the wide-open farm country, then north to Colfax, east to the town of Palouse and then back south to Pullman.

For a city boy, riding on the Palouse is quite a treat. Very little traffic, farm roads and big skies.

Cougar pride on display on the Palouse.
The wheat is ready for harvest.
Fonk’s Coffee Shop in Colfax is an excellent stopping point.
A planter in the town of Palouse.
Riding the quiet streets of Palouse.
The farm country near Kamiak Butte, just north of Pullman.

It’s Downhill All the Way on This Pleasant Bike Ride

You have to love a bike ride that loses 1,000 vertical feet and feels like the wind is behind you the whole way. When does that ever happen?

During a trip to Leavenworth, Wash., the SkiZer got a drop-off at Coles Corner, near Lake Wenatchee (thanks Mrs. SkiZer). The SkiZer then rode to the town of Plain, managed one 800-foot climb over Big Beaver Hill, and then cruised downhill into Leavenworth.

Total distance: about 22 miles, falling 1,000 vertical feet from the starting point.

A farmer’s market in Plain.
Customers buy produce at the Plain farmer’s market.
Big Beaver Hill was the only challenging portion of the ride.
SkiZer rides the Chumstick Highway from Plain to Leavenworth.
Arrival in Leavenworth.