Around here, (Seattle area, Washington State) 4-5000 riders start watching the forecasts about a week before Cascade Bicycle Clubs Chilly Hilly. We all know its going to be cold, its February for Bikes Sake! However, repeat riders know just how bad it can be….
Friday we had a huge storm come through, high winds, heavy rain, biking woulda sucked big time. To me this was a closer near miss than the giant meteor that skimmed us a week or so ago. Then yesterday was gorgeous and almost warm, but the day before weather does me no go at all!
I woke up today at 545 AM (Got VERY lucky as the alarm I set did not go off.) I made a quick Starbucks run and I was happy to see it was no rain, I was NOT happy to see it was blowing pretty hard.
I made it to the Seattle waterfront, scored free parking and headed for the holding area of the ferrys. I was far from the first one there! But I was there in plenty of time to make the 7:55 ferry.
Its fun running walking around waiting for the ferry. You get a chance to walk around looking at all the bikes. I can tell you, I was WAY down at the bottom of the pecking list in the bike comparison. There were bikes cost more than I my loan qualification amount! I’d have to put both my kids up as collateral! Luckily I love my bike, so no envy, but its fun to look.
Aside from spendy, you find different bikes waiting in the holding pen. Sometimes, ones like this are most different.
At least this one has pedals! This year I found something I had NEVER seen before! I have no idea why someone would want this one, and it CAN’T be easy up hill, and it would be kinda scary going downhill, but each to his own!
Well after about a very cold and breezy half hour, our ride showed up!
It was time tp take over the boat. As you can see the cardeck is covered in bikes, but some people were NOT smart enough to keep the bikes away from the emergency equipment. Those bikes were moved by the crew, and some people were still looking for their bikes when the ferry landed. I wonder if they went overboard?
and the upper decks were taken over by riders!
Now I’d like to digress for a second, did you notice how all the bikes are laying down? Well look at this:
Notice the one bike in the middle, that’s mine, a simple kickstand keeps my bike off the ground! Not sure why more don’t use them.
When we got to the other side, the sun was trying to come out, and it was NICE! The only time we had headwinds was when the route took us to the water (we were on an island after all). I hit this route hard! I have been working out hard this year, putting the miles under my butt and it helped! I cut 30 minutes off my best time! And that included:
Stopping to take a picture like a tourist:
I also helped a dad fix the gears (translate that to I held the bike while he worked on it) on his tandem
After that, it was go like the wind! I did stop for a cookie and brownie at the food stop halfway, I needed it before the Mother Bear of a climb, Baker Hill Road! (Ok its also a charity for the Bainbridge Island Rope Skippers, now THEY are in shape!) I didn’t hammer up it, but I did pass more than passed me! And I hit 37 MPH on the way down!
The first time I rode this was 1999, and I walked the bike up most of the hills, At the end I was done! It was not a pretty sight!
This time I ended feeling like I could do another 20 miles, and looked like this!
More importantly, I finally get to wear the commemorative jersey! I bought it when I registered, but superstition prevents me from wearing it till I finish the ride! (Sill? Yes, but it’s what I do!)
This is a classic ride! It’s the only one I do EVERY year, it is ridden by all ages!
I love it when a ride comes together and I do even better than I could have hoped! Its going to be a good year! Next month, the McClinchy Mile!