J2K - Epilogue
Seattle - British Columbia - Seattle
10 Days - 2520 miles roundtrip
You always need one extra report to clean up the little loose ends, especially when you have a really great contest building suspense up until the last minute.
An item escaped inclusion in Day 10's final report. We were heading east on highway 20 through the Cascades on our way home on Saturday morning. The weather was perfect for motorcycling, so we saw lots of bikes out for day rides on the Cascade Loop, a very popular ride for northwestern motorcyclists. And as you know, nearly all motorcyclists wave to each other. So we're cruising along and a guy coming the other way on a BMW R1150GS, waving with much more vigor than your average motorcycle wave. Naturally, I assume that the other rider is showing his deep admiration and respect for my choice of motorcycle, so I think nothing about it. A few minutes later, I see the same motorcycle behind me, high beams flashing on and off. He overtakes me, and then Whizmo, waving for us to pull over. I pull over, and it turns out to be Mike Paull, one of our faithful Virtual Vacationeers that has been following our daily postings. He tells me that he was so inspired by reading our accounts that he just had to jump on his bike with his wife Aillene and go to Canada for himself. He was headed to Kamloops (487 miles) that day, and then back the next. Cool! (I was so surprised that I neglected to take a picture of Mike and Aillene, so instead I offer a leftover Gratuitous Image of the Day).
Here's another item needing some follow-up attention. Kids, it's not right to fib. We have been caught in our own web of deception. Do you remember Day 8, when we became Crankcase and Switchblade and shot up western Canada? Well, alert reader Jamie Engen, who happens to be Canadian (giving him an unfair advantage), found a few picky, minor, trivial discrepancies in our report, noting that guns are not allowed in Canada, that Canadian gas stations don't sell beer, and that most Canadians will leave you alone if you just give them $5 (Canadian). He went on to suggest that we weren't really in Canada at all, but instead on a sound stage in Eastern Washington. OK Jamie, the honest truth is that we didn't have any guns. We had rocket launchers. That's our story, and we're sticking to it.
Grumble grumble, you were right
And one more unpleasant item, for me at least. Robert Smith (one of the RMMH tour guides) and I had a debate over dinner about who performed the 60's hit 'Go Now'. Robert, in his reserved British manner, affirmed that it was the Moody Blues. This being the evening of the miniature martinis, I was a little distracted, and thus did not have my full attention focused on the task. Well the moral of the story is never argue with a Brit about British music. Robert, I was wrong, you were right, and I apologize. But you're not getting a t-shirt out of the deal.
Finally, the moment you've been waiting for, the results of the gas-guessing contest. Here is the setup and question from Day 9:
Our best estimate is that when we shut down the bikes tomorrow, the total mileage for both bikes will be about 5338 miles. The question is: How many total gallons of gas will we have bought for this tour when we finish tomorrow?
The total amount of fuel purchased between us for both bikes, as audited and confirmed by the Cincinnati office of Ernst & Young, was 141.77 gallons. This works out to a 37.6 miles/gallon average, which is about what we'd expect. For our Canadian and British friends, we understand, from Robert above, that the official way of expressing gas mileage in metric units is liters of fuel per 100 km. Now to us red-blooded Americans, this seems like a very strange way to do things, especially since suddenly a lower gas mileage number is better rather than worse. (It almost makes you want to go out and get a Ford Excursion.) But, if you think about it, it makes quite a bit of sense, as the metric system always does. For example, if you've got 150 kms to go, it is quite easy to multiply your "metric gas mileage" times 1.5 and know how many liters of fuel you need to reach your destination. Anyway, in metric terms, our gas mileage was 6.25 liters per 100 km.
The winning entry was submitted by Matthew Sutton of Seattle, who estimated 144 gallons. Matthew, in addition to your yet-to-be-manufactured t-shirt, you will receive a year's free ISP service from WhizmoandGizmo.com. Congratulations Matthew! First runner-up was Mike Paull, guessing 146.25, and second runner-up was Susan Dolan, guessing 136.87.
Thanks again for riding with us.
We'll be quiet now. Honest.