Two years ago I woke up on the morning of the McClinchy mile only to see it snowing. On that day, I crawled back in bed and decided the B.I.K.E.S. Club of Snohomish county could just keep my $25. I was going to stay dry and warm. Luckily today, I woke up to dry, and not too cold.
Maybe waking up is a bit optimistic, I had to drag my butt out of bed at 6 AM after popping some night-time cold meds the night before.
Now I hate being sick, especially a cold. I have always relied on the miracle of modern science to allow myself to breathe. Night-time meds to sleep and day time meds to function at work, or in today’s case on the 48 mile bike ride.
I took off a little bit late from home but still got to the school in Arlington with 15 minutes to spare. These guys are sticklers, though, and an 8 AM start means 8AM! No wristbands handed out before then! A few of us hovered over the table and got them to give in at 7:55.
The ride leaves Arlington and head through the Jordan Valley to Granite Falls. I was struggling a bit early on, I am hoping it was because of a headwind and NOT because I am under the weather. I chose not to stop for a picture on the bridge as I got the picture last year.
I learned early on that the route was NOT one of the better marked ones. the Dan Henrys were washed out in places due to the rain, and they were not placed in the places my normal rides have them. Add to this its a very small ride, there were times I was cycling and had NO idea if I was on the route or not (I was)
And then, there was the new round about…. There was a marker as you entered, but there wasn’t one to show where to leave… Add to this I neglected to grab the street by street turn sheet, I was stuck. Luckily, another rider was there pondering as well. It still wasn’t easy but we figured it out.
What I like about this ride is the seclusion, after I got through the tiny town of Granite Falls (don’t blink you’ll miss it). You are in the middle of nature. Sadly, though, it was pointed out to me that the sides of the road were lined with litter. This is an area I used to camp in as a kid, but with people moving in, the bad habits happen.
That’s not to say there wasn’t nature to see. Once again, being on a bike let me notice things I woulda missed in a car. Like these wet lands
It would be fun to sit and watch it so see what animals show up.
The ride from here was mostly down hill until we hit the Centennial Trail at the food stop. This part was the most boring this year. No real tail wind to push me along, so it was more work than I expected.
However, mile 46.5 was a mile long STEEP hill. But of course that means there was a steep UPHILL to the end.
Overall, a great early season almost half century. I stretched the legs, and, for the most part, avoided the rain! It’s also the second 100 mile week of the year. Even with the break for a snack and pictures, it took me 2 minutes over 4 hours. I am good with that this early in the year.