Tuesday, 4 July
I capped off the long holiday weekend with a 91-mile spin out to the lovely 'burb of Sultan, known to most as the last bastion of civilization on the way to skiing at Stevens Pass. On this holiday, the bakery (creators of the best donuts on any bike ride) was closed, so we explored a little and came to the Vinaccio Coffee Company. What an amazing place in the middle of the Sky Valley! A little bit of coffee culture in the midst of pickups-that-run-cyclists-off-the-road country. Most of their beans are fair trade and organic, and they roast their own. You just about stumble over the bags of beans stacked around the shop. Comfy chairs, tables outside, free internet access--what else do you need for a coffee stop in the middle of your summer (or winter!) ride?
And the stopping wasn't the only sweet part of this ride. The raspberries on the Tualco Loop Road were super fragrant in the humid sunshine, the stretch of the Ben Howard Road along the Skykomish River was magnificent, riding through the narrow wooded sections of the Old Pipeline Road was tranquil, and it was just a great day to be out and about on a bike!