Cycling Advocates Ride to Pro Walk Pro Bike 2006

Daily Trip Log

from Vancouver B.C. to Madison, Wisconsin

Picture of Vancouver, BCGrouse Mountain Vancouver B.C.
Mount Vernon to Monroe, WA
Date: 2006-07-27
Distance: 83 Kilometres
Cycling Time: 4.88 Hours
Average Speed: 17.02 kph
  Trip Distance since Leaving Vancouver 224 Kilometres  
Thoughts for the Day  
    The morning started very cool with overhead fog rolled in form the sea. A fleece was needed to be work to keep some body temperature in. The question ran through my mind if I should stop and slip on the wind pants as the legs were quite cool. What a change from the past days and weeks.


    The fog kept cycling very comfortable until about 11:00 pm. Then the sun came out in strong force and warmth. By the early evening, while walking to the grocery store for diner from the deli counter, the air was again cool. It was a reminder that the evening was being spent at the foot of the mountains.  
  For the first part of the day, the travel was along flat lands. An old store at the intersection of a county road south of Mount Vernon and Milltown St. bore a location sign with the elevation of 7 feet marked on it.
    Then it was time to stretch the climbing muscles and give them some exercise as a 100 metre elevation rise was undertaken. Later on, there were a couple of significant climbs to assist in preparing for Stevens Pass.
  It was a relaxing ride at a reasonable pace where one could enjoy the scenery. From flat lands to urbanization to rolling rural lands with some agriculture was passed through. The roads selected or today were primarily county roads with low traffic, a secondary highway and what was called an expressway.
  The stretch from Arlington to Marysvile illustrated some of the worst reasons why the big box urban style form should be avoided at all costs. Wastelands made up of low rise retail with uninteresting streets were encountered. No feeling of a place, a community, or spirit was present.

Monroe is another example of a nondescript town made of up big boxes and sprawled retail aimed exclusively for car travellers. Would one recommend to others to come here for a visit? Why?


Cycling Facilities  
  Today, there were limited cycling facilities encountered. Paved shoulders on county roads and especially wide paved shoulders on highways was the order of the day. On the I-5, cleaning of the shoulders needed to be done, especially on bridges.


  Entering Monroe, there was a traffic light on the western limits of the municipality with a long right turn lane. Cycling was provided with an unmarked lane on the shoulder side of the right turn lane, making it easy to move forward on cars waiting for the traffic lights to change.
    The regional buses serving Monroe with Everett and other locations which travel through rural lands had bike racks and were used.