Today's ride was the short little jaunt that is the road race at the Wenatchee omnium. However, there is rather less road than there needs to be. In places, the potholes and missing pavement stretch across the entire road, on both uphill and downhill sections. The phone camera photos don't really demonstrate the depth of the problem. And sure, most of the road is fine (if you don't ride anywhere near the right edge). But some of the road is just not there. I like paved road beneath my road bike, thanks very much.
Some of the holes are full of sand from a winter of road "maintenance." When you're riding by yourself, these are a challenge (picking them out of the shadows, finding a line). In a group of more than 2 riders, they could be treacherous. Although the course cries out for superlight carbon wheels, it could be their last hurrah. The problems start about 200 meters after the left turn at the church and continue on and off for several miles.
Yesterday was the long-miles day. I racked up 136 miles in the saddle and somewhere in the neighborhood of 6000 feet of climbing, finishing with 50 miles into a significant headwind. But only 3 stop lights and 1 WalMart. And not a single other soul did I see upon a bicycle. I rode from Chelan to Okanogan, then over Loup Loup Pass to Twisp. I stopped to take a picture (or three) at the top of the pass and reveled in the silence. Nothing to hear but birds and trees swaying in the wind. And I discovered a great bakery in Twisp, which will induce me to ride through that town again. The scariest moment was encountering a "pavement ends" sign after a string of "road work ahead" signs. Happily, the missing pavement on this road (Old 97) was replaced by oiled dirt (I didn't know they did that anymore) with only a tiny bit of gravel. It was almost as good as the paved road--and a whole lot better than the Stemilt loop above Wenatchee!