Yep, today was the last Sunday of February! In Seattle, that means it is time for the Chilly Hilly! I have written about this many times, but for those who are new, this a 33 mile ride around Bainbridge Island, rain or shine!
Add to the miles, 2300 feet of climbing, and it is a great early season ride!
As I mentioned in the last post, the weather was NOT looking promising for this ride. Sure enough, when I woke up, the was a mixture of rain and snow coming down. But, as a the title says, ANYONE can ride in the Summer. A true Northwest cyclist rides when he can.
So, with a few die-hard friends, I stood in line waiting for the ferry to show up!
By the time the boat docked, there were a few more of us, and we were soon loaded.
I always enjoy the ride over. And I had to do the obligatory front deck selfie!
This was to be my 10th ride, but there are always those riding for the first time. Today, like all rides, I heard the classic questions, “How do I find the starting line?”
“Well” said I, “The minute you leave the ferry, you are officially on the course!” Not that it is fast leaving the ferry…There were a LOT of us on that boat!
Just like on this side of the water, the rain was coming down. It was in the 30s, and wet. In my world that calls for layers! I had 4 layers on top, 2 on my legs and 3 on feet! I was loaded for bear! On the ferry back, I met a lady who’s husband keeps a spread sheet of each ride, the weather, and the clothes that he wore…. That seems WAY to complicated for me. I just wear what seems right, and keep the trunk bag with me if I need to shuck a layer!
Today I chose the layers well, for even after waiting 40 minutes for the boat, I was warm and toasty as I took off. Mother nature, though, was letting us know she was going to make this a rough ride!
The same cold wind making these waves were pushing against us as well!
I was feeling good though! I won’t say this as been the best year of cycling so far, but, by this morning, I have already ridden 560 miles with over 200 in February! Why is that important? It meant my legs were ready to climb!
This route has some serious hills On each, you will see people, many who are experienced cyclists by their looks, walking the bikes up the hill. I hit everyone of them, geared down, and pedaled my way to the top. I was not trying for fast, but I was looking for solid. I succeeded! Every hill completed!
Even with the rain, this is a fun ride. Where else would you see a unicorn, wearing a tutu, on a bike?
Or a Frog and a ladybug rock? ( I have seen the frog every time I ride, but today was the first time seeing said lady bug!)
I also just like seeing the water as I ride!
Grey and wet or sunny and blue, there is no better place to ride than the northwest!
I took it slow and easy on the downhills, the roads were just too wet and the temp to close to freezing to take a chance. But even with that, I was at the finish line in 2.5 hours! Sadly, though, I spent too much time checking out the booths at the finish line, and JUST missed the 1130 boat. I was stuck in the cold and rain, waiting for the next one! Luckily I had a spare pair of dry gloves!
I was VERY happy when the boat arrived and we boarded! It was MUCH warmer in there!
Plus it was fun to talk to the other riders on the boat with me! We were all wet, and cold, but we were also VERY happy we had ridden!
At home, I marked the book of knowledge with my 10th Chilly Hilly!
And I am looking forward to the rest of the cycling year! Well that is, AFTER my cycling gear gets OUT of the dryer!