Pictures from my cell phone coming soon.
In what may be my last long organized ride in Washington, this was one of the prettiest that I’ve been on. While I have done a couple of centuries and STP in one day, I have never rode two days straight with 50 or more miles. I had a great time, it was so fun meeting and chatting with everyone. Our team raised $94,000 for MS (we are still trying to break the 100k bar)
pictures from the ride from the team photographer at: http://teammicrosoft.spaces.live.com...&_c=PhotoAlbum
The first day 100 miles
I arrived at the rider village before dawn and grabbed some much needed coffee and a muffin. My bike had some shifting issues on my training ride on Friday so I had Oleg from Veloce Velo adjust the derailleur so I could use all of my gears. All set and ready to go, I joined the group for the team photo. It was pretty cool to be part of such a large team that accomplished a huge fundraising goal for such a great cause.
The start line was very cool with a pretty large crowd with Team Microsoft up front ready to lead out the riders.
The first 5 miles were nice and relaxed with great conversation. Then we started getting into some hills, not too bad I was expecting worse but then I was unable to use my low gears again. So I had to slog it up the hills to the bridge, that was “fun”. Luckily we had a rest stop at Deception Pass park and I got the bike adjusted again. Lunch at 9:30 was a bit too early but I ate anyway since I was there :-) The next 30 miles were uneventful going through the back roads of Whidbey just a great relaxing day on the bike. At the decision point for the century I hooked up with another rider that was going my pace and we decided to ride together for the rest of the day. We went up the big hill right after the turn off and my gears started not working again, so I started slogging up hills again. Other than my potty mouth everything else was going just fine until we got into the town of coupville (sp?). right after passing the hospital on main street I was leading a small paceline when an elderly woman in a white Ford LTD decided to turn left “right” in front of me. No turn signal, if not for the people right behind me yelling at the last minute that she was turning I would have been a hood orniment. Thankfully, I was able to slam on my brakes through the bike sideways and turn tighter than I have ever turned before and I missed hitting her by inches. Then, the woman who was at least 80 turned and flipped me off. UGH! The rest of the day was uneventful and just seemed to go forever. It turned out to be my slowest century but I didn’t have to be anywhere so it was just fine.
Got a massage, a beer, enjoyed conversation at the tent, and had pasta “yum”.
The next day 75 miles
Ouch it hurt to get on the bike. I started slow with friends going around 12 mph and enjoyed the smooth roads at the start. Then I jumped on the next paceline that passed me. This was the Columbia team and they cranked it up to 24 mph, I managed to hang on for 15 miles until the airport stop. I was kinda impressed since I have never gone that speed for so long before, but it was wiping me out. At the stop I hooked up with Graham from Veloce Velo and we decided to ride together. The views going up Chuckanut mountain were breath taking. It was amazing how you could smell the salt air when you crested the mountain and were greeted with the views of the islands. That view alone was worth it. The ride down the hill was fun and everything was going swimmingly then I hit the head winds that I had heard so much about. Wow they sucked, I thought I was doing pretty well then I was passed by a guy just sailing along as if there was no wind at all. A humbling experience for sure. Finally out of the wind the final few miles I got a burst of energy and crossed the finish line.
I think I am still sore from all the chip seal roads and the vibration. That surface really takes it out of you.