An old store in Vader, WA. with sign out front welcoming one to "West Vader Mall."  Seen on my 1994 bike tour of south west Washington.

6 ways a bicyclist can tell if one is way out in the "country"

By Robert

IN AN URBAN AREA

IN A RURAL AREA

Your radio brings you a lot of choices from "new age" music to Mozart.  All you can hear on the radio is Rush Limbaugh. 
You pull into a bike shop and they put you're bike at the top of their priority list and fix it right up because they know you are touring.  The hardware store says they would love to help, but the only bike parts are for Huffy Bikes. They send you across the street to the filling station where someone can bang your bike into shape with a pipe wrench. 
You pull into the campground and the sign always reads, "CAMPGROUND FULL," but the ranger greets you with a smile and says, "that doesn't apply to bikes." "We have a special camping area for bikes and you only have to pay half price." "The bike spot is in the best part of the park right down on the beach."  The only campground you can find has a rusty sign that says, "Ron's Trailer Park." and all you see is some RVs parked in a gravel lot. The manager practically faints when he learns that, "you came all that way on a bike?!?!?!" He invites you into his own house, behind all the RVs, puts you up in a spare bedroom.  His wife tells you that everything in the refrigerator is yours and doesn't charge you anything for the night.  Normally they make tenters even pay for the sewer hookup. 
Hikers must get permits, from the Parks office, to hike in that popular, and beautiful canyon.  No permits are needed because no one ever wants to go to that canyon and when you get there, you find out why.  Frankly, there really isn't much to see. 
The restaurant is a natural foods co-op with lots of bikes parked out front and healthy cyclists, joggers, and kayakers
inside.  No one notices you, or particularly cares, as you just blend into the crowd. 
The only place to go is a smoke filled tavern, with a shot gun hanging over the bar, but they have good steak dinners.  People, at the next table, see your bike out the window and wonder where you are from. They invite you to their table and treat you like a celebrity. They also introduce you to their grandfather who has smoked a good style of cigar for over 80 years. 
There is a nice bike path that goes through parks all the way. It glides you under busy intersections follows the old railroad grade.  The only way to go is the main highway, but there isn't much traffic there, however, there still are a lot of trucks, but you can hear them coming. 

By Robert.