Bicycling from Santa Rosa to Seattle is no small accomplishment, but doing it a century ago was a far greater challenge.
The intent of his 15-day ride to Seattle, explains Bill Harrison, was to repeat the trip made by two young Santa Rosans 100 years earlier. But changes to the landscape over the past century made that impossible in places.
Bill Harrison celebrates his arrival at the landmark fountain on the University of Washington campus was the final destination for both Vic and Ray—the 1909 riders whose journey was chronicled in the book, Two Wheels North (published by Oregon State University Press), and for Harrison 100 years later.
Interstate 5 was not part of the landscape 100 years ago, but Harrison explains that it now serves as the only possible route in some parts of the trip north. Curiously, though, the legal status of bicyclists varies between states.
Traveling by bicycle is an excellent way to savor the landscape as one passes through it. Harrison says one of his most memorable vistas-from among many-was this view of Mount Shasta, look back the morning he continued on from Yreka.
Another, larger repeat of the 1909 ride is being planned for later this summer by a group in Sacramento, as a fund-raising event to help fight Histiocytosis, a rare blood disease that primarily affects children under 10 years old.