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We only had a short ride so, after fixing my puncture, chilled in Vancouver with the goal of getting there for 1pm when Kevin, our host for our time in town, would get off work. I was happy to see the sun making an appearance after the previous days of rain and was hopeful of seeing Mt St Helens which Jason had said we could see from his place. Unfortunately the trees were too tall and so once again we were foiled!

We stopped by Walmart on the way over to get some snacks and to get wipes to clean our bikes, something we hadn’t done for a good while. My rear tyre felt like it was going down a little on the ride over and I figured that I’d not applied the patch properly. The tyre felt normal to touch, but I could feel it in the handling. I didn’t see a bike shop but figured we’d go past one when we got to Portland and assumed it’d last that long.

The shortest way over to Portland was over the I-205 bridge. We probably could have ridden on the shoulder, but why we would we do that when a big bicycle lane had been built down the middle? It was well signposted and then glorious to ride on. There were decent sized barriers on both side of the lane so it felt separate from I-205 and so none of the problems from riding on I-5 the day before.

Once we crossed the bridge, there were great signs again that combined with my GPS lead us towards Kevin’s place. At the first bike shop we went past I stopped and pumped the tyre up. It had been going down slowly and I figured that it’d tide me over until Kevin’s when I could work on it properly. It didn’t. Blowing it up like that must have stretched the hole in the tube and within a mile I was pulling in to another shop with not much air protecting my rim. I checked out the tyre and the sidewall was coming apart. I took my bags off and showed the tyre to the guy in the shop who said that while it was wearing it shouldn’t be causing problems, I pulled back the tyre to expose the tube and he quickly changed his mind. Thankfully, I had got my parents to bring over a spare when we saw them at Yellowstone. I switched tyres and finished the ride down to Kevin’s.

The tyre problems had delayed us a lot and, instead of getting to Kevin’s place for 1-1:30, we got there around 3:30. That was no problem with Kevin, but Jordan, a friend of Bernice, a friend from Korea, had been planning to show us round and by the time we got in touch with him it was a bit too late. We made plans to go to a local pub and met him at the Happy Hour instead. Being a Spanish major, he had lots of good advice for me about Latin America. We then headed out to ¿Por Que No? dinner where we would meet Whitney, his roommate and another friend of Bernice.

We arrived at ¿Por Que No? and there were some minor complications, we knew neither what Whitney looked like nor her phone number. Jordan had headed off instead of coming to dinner and so we sat down and made a sign to put on our table. Next problem, it was busy and the only free table was at the back where Whitney would be unlikely to even see us when she entered. About 20 minutes later, a blonde woman came over to our table and we found out that she, Whitney, had been sat at the front of the restaurant waiting for us the whole time we had been there. Oops. We didn’t let it spoil what ended up being a lovely evening and I was really glad that B had put us in touch with her!

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