Saturday promised to be a nice day, with a little rain in the morning to start off with. I had been thinking of riding the Bainbridge - Port Townsend - Bainbridge Permanent, but the opportunity to ride with Mark Thomas and cohorts sounded much more appealing, especially since I wasn't sure I would be able to get done with the Permanent in time to head out to Quilcene to cover the Control for the 300K Brevet. The fact that I could sleep in till 6:30 or so instead of getting up at 5:00 probably factored in as well.
Mark and Peter McKay pulled in behind me at the ferry terminal (we were both in cars) and transferred Control supplies to my car while we waited to get on the ferry.
We got off the ferry and headed to a coffee shop by Safeway to get ready. The first step obviously was to have coffee while we waited for that early morning rain to pass by. A few tall drinks and tall tales later we hit the road. Of course the rain was still around, but not a big deal. Our plan ... we did have a plan right? ... was to head to Poulsbo on our way over to Port Hadlock. By the time we got to Poulsbo the rain was coming down a bit harder ... and look, a bakery ! A little while later the rain lightened up and we headed out. Mark had a plan for where we were going, so he shouted out directions.
When we got to the Hood Canal Bridge it was time to make a decision ... and Port Gamble won out over Port Hadlock. We decided to avoid the bridge and go for a shorter ride ... after all that early morning rain seemed to be sticking around. A couple of miles later and we were at Port Gamble and another chance for food & drink. The chicken soup was pretty decent. Of course all good things must come to an end and it was time to hit the road again. But wait! Mark had a flat tire. So while Mark changed his tire with Bob Brudvick's help (who got to test his new mini-pump), the rest of us went back inside to warm up and watch the show. Let's just say Bob isn't quite satisfied with his new pump.
Back to Bainbridge Island we went. Quite a few hills along the way, but at least it was pretty countryside on the way. We were glad our legs were fresh ... basically untested, not like the 300K riders that would be sorely tested by the hills tonight at the end of their ride. Reaching the end of our ride ... a whopping 40 miles and 2800 feet of climbing, we felt we deserved to eat ... it was time for a nice lunch ! As Amy put it, today was not a negative calorie day.