Last night I cranked out almost 50 miles after work. This isn’t abnormal for me though. It wasn’t raining, and it was the last day I could sneak out of work early for about 3 months. The combination of the two could not be wasted.
Originally I had hoped to rest today, and ride tomorrow. Today, I was going to drop Michelle off for a long walk, and have one of my Starbuck mornings. However two things changed. 1) Our friend Sue decided to walk with her so she was good without me, and 2) the weather dude said there would be rain tomorrow.
OK, it was time to
I wanted to kick it up a notch. I knew I wasn’t ready for a century, but 70 seemed doable. (this was NOT the showoff part that will be at the end). My favorite 70 route is to take the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston and then ride to Port Townsend and back.
So, as much as I hated it, an alarm went off at 6 AM, and I ran to Starbucks for Michelle any I. Then, after breakfast, I was down at the ferry dock for the 7:55 departure!
As always, the bikes get on first, so I was able to snag a window seat and enjoy the view.
This weird bird kept staring at me though!
The trip to Port Townsend went well. I was bit anxious about this route. Last year when I tried it, I had the flat that I just could NOT fix! Luckily some trail magic occurred and another cyclist helped out. (See We Take Care of Each Other)I breathed a sigh of relief as I passed the infamous spot and kept rolling.
As you enter Port Townsend, there is a narrow bridge. The town has built a pretty nice bike path to make it safer for us riders. I jumped off the road and continued on the path.
I caught something out of the corner of my eye and had to turn around to check it out.
I have ridden to Port Townsend, a half-dozen times over the years. Usually I just go into to town and turn around for the return trip. This time I decided to do things a bit differently. I took the turn to Fort Worden its an old army base built to defend Puget Sound.
People my age will remember this better as a setting in the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman” There is a scene where Lou Gossett Jr is trying to break Richard Geere’s spirit and get him to quit. They are on a giant cement slab when Mayo’s (Geere’s) friends speed by in a boat to encourage him. This scene happened on top of this!
I thought about taking the bike to the top for a photo shoot, but there were about 20 kids playing capture the flag. running up and down the stairs and ladders. You know, there wasn’t a phone in any of their hands. Made me happy to see kids play and no parents to helicopter around them, so I decided not to get in their way with the bike!
The park is has great views of the water.
As well as the Point Wilson Lighthouse
As you can see, when I was there, the winds were blowing strong.
Sure as hell, as I left town to head home, this turned out to be a serious head wind! I was forced to pedal going downhill at times. I gotta tell ya, it was a one helluva LONG 35 miles back to the ferry!
To top it off, I got a flat!! Dammit! At least it was the front tire, but this is twice on this route it happened. For a bit, I have to admit, I was struggling getting the tire to get seated back on the rim. And 25 miles is too far for even ME to walk. I REALLY didn’t want to have to call Michelle and have her catch a ferry, then come get me. Eventually, I got it to work! PHEW! I haven’t lost my skills!
On the lighter side, there were buffalo! You just don’t see this that often.
OK the tire was fixed and I kept going, still fighting the head winds. Folks, I was tired. The last 4 miles is a set of rolling hills, and I just let gravity pull me down them until I had no choice but to pedal going back up. I rolled into the ferry waiting area just plain spent.
Well, soon after, the showing off part happened.
At the Kingston ferry, bikes and motorcycles wait in the same place. I really wish I could have snuck some pictures, because it was a cornucopia of motorcycle stereotypes. There was the older guy, with a grizzly beard with his wife, riding a gorgeous jade green Harley. Very friendly cuss, he was talking to everyone.
Then there was either a Boeing, or Microsoft engineer with a Ducati bike that “Can ride either asphalt or logging roads” that also had a custom seat (made by a guy in Seattle) and some other additions he’d done himself. His wife or girlfriend was on her own bike. It was nice, but not as nice as his. She didn’t speak the entire time.
Then there was the Ducati crotch rocket guy. Aloof, tattoos, arms big enough that he looked like he could life the bike. He had a bouncy (no lie she ran up bouncing which caused her, um attributes (which were well out there in display) to bounce as well. (not that I noticed of course!) She was a in a car, somewhere back in line, and not riding with him.
Well these folks talked motorcycle stuff that made no sense to me. Pipes, air filters, shafts, heated grips (wimps) when the Harley dude looked at me while I was eating my last Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich as I stood on rubber legs.
I am sure he was just trying to be friendly and not to leave me out of the conversation. He asked, “So how far did you go?” I answered, “Just to Fort Worden and back.” Ducati muscle guy did a double take and asked, “You rode there and back today? How far is that??” “Well,” said I, “its only 75 miles, I didn’t have time today to do 100.” He looked at me, a bit incredulous I’d say, and said, “You rode 75 miles on that!” pointing at the bike.
“Yep!” And just at that time, the ferry guy called for bicycles to load. Ladies and gents, my legs were (and ARE) fried. I just wanted to sit down and not move. But I was DAMNED if I was going to show them that. I saddled up, and took off like a bat outta hell. One would think I hadn’t ridden in days!
I got to the tie up spot for bikes, and I was heading upstairs when the first motorcycle got to their spot. I grabbed a window spot again, and each of the riders gave me a nod as they passed me!
My legs were NOT happy with me, but damn, this 52 year old cycling dude, after 75 hard miles (120 in two days) had enough in the tank to show off some. Gave me a huge smile!
Tomorrow? I sleep in, sit on my ass, and do VERY little!
Like the wind!