Nine of us rode the 10th Annual Chili Feed 200K yesterday. It was cold and wet as we started. Not snowing where we were at the start, but it was where we were headed - at Greenwater along 410 on the way up to Mt.Rainier. The forecast was for improving conditions right? Wrong.
Within the first mile we passed a group of walkers in the rain ... they had no hats on, no umbrellas ... and they called us stupid as we rode by ! Well, we might be planning on riding our bikes all day in the cold and rain, but at least we dressed for it! Well, some of us did. Not naming names here though. I did notice that Bob Brudvic and Mark Thomas were dressed much more warmly today as they helped out on the Populaire.
"This is the stupidest thing I've done in a long time." "How stupid is this?" and statements to that effect were heard at the Black Diamond Bakery as the cold and wet riders slowly brought feeling back to their extremities.
A muffin or turnover, a jolt of caffeine, a bit of warmth and we're almost as good as new. Since we started a quart low, we didn't know any better and were soon back on the road. It actually stopped raining for a bit and what's that? A spot of dry pavement! If you're going to have a flat on a cold & rainy day, wait for the dry stretch. So that's what I did. First flat in a long time, so can't complain at all. Since my regular Rando bike is still in the shop, I was riding a bike with narrower tires ... higher pressure tires (100 psi)... vs the wide ones on the Green Hornet (75 psi). But my pump is a mountain bike pump not designed for that. Stupid! I get it to about 70 psi and am struggling to get more in. Fortunately Bob comes to my rescue with some CO2. I'm back in business and we hit the road again ... and make the turn on 410 up to Greenwater.
We got lucky on our way up to Greenwater ... no rain and, better yet, no snow. It was cold though, but not frozen cold ... there was slush, not snow/ice on the sides of the road for the last few miles into Greenwater. We went inside and refueled.
Proving that we were not at the very end of the stupidity bell curve (just very close to it), we had just missed someone who left the store a few minutes earlier. This person was walking to Yakima over a closed mountain pass ... probably over 10 feet of snow ... in tennis shoes. Now that's stupid !
We were in the home stretch now ... a quick stop in Enumclaw and then the last twenty miles back to Greg's house. Of course it was rainy most of the way. When we arrived, Mary had a great welcome for us with hot soup and pizza. Thank you Mary!