Well Saturday turned out to be the perfect day, weather wise, for a ride. When I arrived at the starting line for the Flying Wheels Summer Century, it was a little chilly, but a windbreaker took care of that completely.
The ride did NOT start all that well though. The beginning is a relatively flat 4 miles, followed by a very steep .5 mile climb. I just could NOT catch my breath on the climb. Then, to make matters worse, I thing someone’s septic system was over flowing, cuz when I DID get air, it reeked! I was honestly not sure I was going to make it … I even gave consideration to doing a shorter route!
Once I got past that hill though, things straightened out! This ride was FULL of hills, and some were VERY large, but there was also flat land we rode through.
I found myself staring at the odometer instead of losing myself in the ride, so I switched the display to so only the average speed. This helped a LOT. I would only check the distance at the food stops. This allowed me to notice the scenery around me, like the Snohomish River.
As always Cascade did an excellent job at the food stops, there was plenty to eat, and it was GOOD! However, you’ll notice the lines were long for the honey buckets
Once out of Redmond at the start, this ride takes us throughout Snohomish County (North of Seattle) I rode through Duvall, Carnation, Snohomish, Monroe (RIGHT by the penitentiary) and back to Redmond. For the most part it took us on back roads, with light traffic.
It is a unique ride in one respect. The longer loop brings you back to a road you ride on in the beginning, and to a big intersection. The first time through, if you are going to ride the longer 65, or 100 mile routes, you turn left for a big circuit of the county. The shorter 45 mile route turns right.
By the way, let me tell you, the scariest part of the WHOLE ride was riding by the soccer fields in Snohomish. There was a weekend tourney going on, and these parents were cutthroat looking for parking, I wasn’t sure I would get through! But I digress.
The second time through, EVERYONE turns right. There is a big sign that says so as you approach (and you have 2 chances to read it). Problem is, the Dan Henrys tell people to turn left for the century. So if you haven’t read the sign, you might go the wrong way.
So I reached the intersection for the second time, and these two nit wits (OK let’s call them Dip Ships) are stopped dead in the middle of the intersection, blocking ALL traffic, and arguing about which way to go. A cop is yelling at them, people are mad…. Lord.
Now I have no issue with people being unsure, as I have been there. But get OUT of the damn road to figure it out! I got there, and yell “You are turning right! GO!!!” (I had seen them on my route earlier so I knew where they were going. This got them rolling, and a thanks from the cop for me! They give cyclist a bad name!
After fighting out way through BAD traffic in Carnation, we end up on a side road, deserted of all cars, going through a wetland sanctuary, it was gorgeous!
HOWEVER, just before I took these pictures a bee flew under and got stuck in the brim of my helmet. YEP got stung. Hurt like hell! I survived, but damn… The bee died! So I got my revenge.
Soon after these pictures, I was at the base of the 2.9 mile hill!! The ride referee kept calling it the “Hill of Doom”. NOT encouraging. I tried to take a pic of it as I approached.
It doesn’t do it justice… But when I looked at it closer I saw I caught this guy:
YEP, no leg beneath the knee! AND he was ahead of me until now! Here I am proud of my riding and this guy TRULY deserves praise. Well I am not sure if he inspired me or not, but I hit that hill hard, passing many people and pedaling steady to the top. It was nice, it had a decent downhill for a breather half way, but then I had to climb again!
After that, it was simply a push to the end! And I made it! Average speed of 14.2 mph, 98 miles, just under 7 hours! This was my third century of the year, and it was by far the hardest! I am feeling it some!!
I did get 18 GO COUGS for my jersey, and saw two others sporting the same one!
Came home, and Michelle made a fantastic pork loin and rice for dinner, then the Manchild and I went to the movies to see Ironman 3. All in all a good day!