Wednesday, October 22, 2008

RUSA 203 Hood Canal Loop

Sunny and 71 in late October. It was a great day to be out on the bike. Steve Davis, Albert Meerscheidt, Thai Nguyen, Eamon Stanley and I got up well before the roosters crowed and caught the 6:10 AM ferry to Bainbridge to do the Hood Canal Loop.

Billed as a ride to control the symptoms that have led to several mid-week sick-day rides for ailing SIR members, I for one can state it was succesful. I did not realize however, that my symptoms would be replaced by sore, tired legs brought on by a sub-9 hour ride. While the five of us rode together for the first stretch of the ride to Suquamish, shortly thereafter we split into two groups. Eamon must have had a burr on his saddle, as he was riding fast. Thai seemed to have no trouble keeping up, but I kept dropping off the back. Fortunately a few construction zones, with stops by the flaggers provided me the opportunity to catch up. However, by Shelton, I was done. After a quick stop, Eamon went on while Thai and I took the opportunity to refuel with a bite to eat.

We did catch up with Eamon neear the Grapeview info control ... which was no longer there. So I came up with a new question for the next riders.

While it was cold to start and there was fog along the Hood Canal Bridge, the rest of the ride was clear and sunny, with temperatures quite comfortable. Although the reading was a bit suspect, the sign in Belfair read 71 as we rode by in the middle of the afternoon.

Thai, Eamon, and I reached the end by 3:40, with time to enjoy a sausage & beer at Fritz' before the 4:15 ferry. Alfred and Steve had a more sane ride and caught the 6:40 ferry.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

RUSA 085 Three Rivers Cruise

A gorgeous fall day, great riding companions, and a wonderful bike route! Could one ask for more? Why? It was even a leisurely start. Don Boothby had sent out a notice for a Sat ride of the Three Rivers Cruise with a 8:00 AM start at the Haggen store in Arlington. Don, Thai Nguyen, Chris Heg, Mike Richeson, new RUSA member Pam Creighton, and I hit the road right at 8:00. Shan Perera got a few extra minutes of sleep and caught up with us on the road.

There was a bit of fog to start off with, but the sun was blazing through the clouds before we were able to make to Darrington. Darrington ... at 575 feet we had reached the summit of our ride ... pretty tough riding :) ... well, a good enough reason to stop and refuel. Soon we were off ... except Thai stayed to wait for Shan.

From Darrington the ride was picture perfect ... a crisp fall morning with lots of sun. The gentle downhill made for nice riding and we soon made it to Marblemount. We took the back way to Marblemount ... exploring a minor route adjustment to avoid the out & back section on 20 ... and it received favorable reviews!

Also receiving good reviews were the soups at lunch. A couple of miles west of Marblemount we stopped for lunch - soup & pie. I had chile & onions. It hit the spot.
Now for that after lunch siesta ... well, maybe next time.

The ride from Marblemount to Concrete on SR-20 was generally pretty nice. Most of the time the rumble strips were a nice addition, but there were a few instances where the construction crews must have been asleep on the machine. To the right was one example where there is no way that this could be within specifications. Arghh!

Well, once we got past Concrete the rumble strips were behind us and it was chip seal instead. It actually wasn't too bad as it was fairly old so it had been packed down. Still, the riding surface on SR-9 was a welcome change. Mike and I rode ahead of the others at this point. Towards the south end of Big Lake there was a serious accident ... two fire trucks, two aid cars, and a rescue truck were all at the scene. As we past, a police unit arrived and must have closed the road. Don, Pam, Chris, Shan, and Thai all had to backtrack and ride around the other side of the lake. Six bonus miles! Mike and I reached the end at 5 ... we had a tailgate party waiting for the others to pull in shortly after 6.

A nice day!