Monday, February 29, 2016

Chilly Rainy Windy Hilly

The much anticipated Sunday finally arrived. First organized ride this side of 2016.

I laid out my choice of clothes the night before, packed my handlebar bag with unnecessary things (per usual), put the bike in the car - yes, I decided against riding downtown because I didn't know how much steam I would have left post ride, and set the alarm to 6 am.

The morning arrived with spotty rain in Issaquah, however the weather forecast predicted showers throughout the day. My last ride with COGS was a slightly painful one. Man, oh man, how much difference padded pants make. There are times I am not happy about my lady parts. After the COGS ride I was so sore that I walked like a bowlegged cowboy for days after.

Not wanting to repeat that beaver slaughter, I chose the padded route. However, none of my padded pants have long legs, so I wore knee high socks with the choice of pants. I threw the rain pants in the car just in case, thinking I wouldn't need them. Boy, was I wrong.

As soon as I approached Seattle, the rain started dumping down in buckets. The wind picked up, causing the rain to come sideways. I lucked out with parking, finding a spot right across from the ferry dock. The first thing that happened was a homeless guy knocking on my window, wanting to wash my car - in the rain. He was carrying a bucket full of supplies. He told me he was a veteran  who had fallen on hard times and just needed money for breakfast.

Me, always the bleeding heart, gave him $5 and requested he not wash my car. I know the $5 probably didn't go towards a breakfast, but who am I to judge. One man's recreational fodder is another man's liquid breakfast. The homeless man advised me to put up my seats so my car looked less like it was going to be parked there all day, making it a target. I didn't take the advice, even though it cost me $5.

Bainbridge! A fresh load of spandex coming at ya!
I didn't know how many people would show up due to the weather, but pretty soon the entire ferry dock was as full of spandex as the pride parade.

Find the guy in yellow
Kevin being funny
Turns out Kevin didn't have to wave since he was easily spotted as the only guy texting on his phone.
Kevin and I were soon joined by other people from COGS and together we waited the longest 30 minutes ever for the ferry.

Some of you should NOT wear spandex
The ferry was full of strutting peacocks and, sorry guys, but some of you should really consider concealing your weapons. See, what happens when I'm in a seated position, your non-secured weapons are pointed right at face height. My face. And should your weapon discharge, I won't be very happy.

All the bitches in line at the bathroom
Funny observation: partaking in an organized bike ride is like being in a reverse club. During my party days, the lines of the women's bathroom were miles long, whereas the men's bathroom didn't have a line. On board SS Spandex, the roles were reversed - which just goes to prove that bike rides are male dominated. My guess on this ride is that the ratio was 1/30.

The rain was light when we spewed out of the ferry in Bainbridge and the "hill" from the ferry was not a hill. Slight incline at best. I tried slowing down, but couldn't. My legs just wanted to go, go, go. Pretty soon the rain increased, but I stayed dry in my rain jacket and pants. The only parts of me that suffered slightly were my feet. Didn't wear my goretex shoes. Oh, well, it could have been worse.

The weather was typical Washington. It changed from rain, sun, wind, and every combo in between. The worst part was the wind. There was one stretch of the ride where we biked close to the water in headwinds of 25-30 mph. It felt as if I was biking on a stationary bike. I was pedaling like crazy, but didn't seem to move anywhere.

No gold at the end of the rainbow, but plenty of spandex
As y'all know, I am no fan of stopping when I'm on my bike, but I decided to do a brief swing-by at Battle Point Park where they served the usual grub. I grabbed a few things for later, ate a banana, took a photo, then headed out on the road again.

I made another exception a bit later on.

I can see Russia, I mean, Seattle from my house!
I finished the ride in a little over two hours, which I think is respectable. The people were friendly, the hills were great! Oh, the hills really were alive with the sound of - if not music - huffing and puffing. The hills were my absolute favorite on this ride and I had plenty left in the tank when all was said and done at 33 miles.

Awesome hills!
As I thought, I'm not the fastest, nor the slowest. Mid-pack is my wheel house, but I climb well. The people that were passing me on the flat, I passed on the climbs.

A load of sweaty spandex headed off the island
I caught the 11:30 am ferry back to Seattle. As you can see, it was a real sausage fest. Not sure what's next since there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of rides in March, but if there is one, I will find it!

Oh, and the ride ended with a flat - which must have happened the last stretch from the ferry to my car. Pinch flat. Go figure. My changing time is down to 5 minutes. Yeay!

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