2019 Ride The West – London to Port Townsend, WA
After driving to Heathrow yesterday evening it was an early start this morning to drive the short distance to Terminal 5 to catch flight BA053 to Seattle. I was apprehensive as I approached the check in desk after the hassle I had last year booking my bike in for my flight to Boston. However, I need not have worried as everything went very smoothly and I said farewell to my bike as it slid into the depths of Heathrow airport.
Sarah and I had a quick coffee before our farewells and she headed home and I headed for Security. My suitcase made it safely through the scanner but my back pack was set aside for further inspection. It subsequently transpired that my bag of liquids had not been sealed correctly and after a further inspection I was allowed to proceed to departures.
I met up with Nick in departures who was on the same trip as me – Ironically he had been directly behind me at the check in desk earlier on and we chatted for 20 minutes before making our way to gate 47 for our 10 hour flight to Seattle. The flight was uneventful and I passed the time sleeping and watching a couple of films. We arrived at Seattle 30 minutes early which is always a bonus.
The immigration hall was busy as usual but a group of us were selected and moved to another area where they hoped we could be processed quicker. However, this was also the area where they process flight crew who it seemed take priority over passengers and as we arrived so did 10 – 15 crew from an incoming flight who in effect jumped the line. After a wait of about 20 minutes I was called forward and duly processed. Had we been allowed to stay on the original queue I am sure we would have got through a lot quicker.
Nick and I collected our bikes from Baggage reclaim and headed outside to meet Dom from Biking Adventures who was waiting to shuttle us to Port Townsend, the starting point of trip. Another rider, Steph was already on board the bus and we chatted throughout the 2 hour journey about our forthcoming adventure together. We eventually checked into the Port Townsend Inn shortly after 14:00 local time.
I decided to unpack my bike and check it was all ok and assembled 90% of it before Steph, Nick and I headed into Port Townsend for something to eat. We ended up at a nice restaurant called Sivens that overlooked Puget Sound. After dinner we walked to the furthest point north we could find hoping to view the shoreline of Canada before heading back to the hotel.
It had been a long day but I was in the US again and looking forward to a new cycling adventure. Tomorrow we planned to do a short ‘shake down’ ride to ensure that everything was ready for the start of our journey south on Sunday.