Street Scramble

From the official Street Scramble site:


Saturday, June 9, 10 AM – Everett

Friday, June 22, 7 PM – Seward Park

Saturday, July 7, 10 AM – Ballard

Saturday, July 21-22, Night & Day at Green Lake

Sunday, July 29, Pike’s Place Market

Saturday, September 1, 10 AM, Puyallup

Sunday, September 23, 10:30 AM, Fremont. Foot only!

Tuesday, October 9, Yakima

Saturday, December 8, 10 AM, Pike’s Place Market. Foot only!

Street Scramble can be enjoyed by anyone who (a) can travel under their own power for 90 minutes – walking, running, biking, wheelchair, skating, or scootering, (b) can follow a street map, and (c) likes to explore.*Map fragmentMap fragmentWhen you arrive at Street Scramble, you will register (or check in, if you pre-registered). Then, a half hour before the start time, you will receive a map with about thirty checkpoint locations circled. Each circle has a number between 10 and 99. The point value of the checkpoint is equal to its number rounded down to the tens; for example, checkpoint 35 is worth 30 points; checkpoint 12 is worth 10 points. You will also receive a scorecard with a description of a feature to be found at each checkpoint, such as “statue of woman” or “public pier”. PlanningPlanningYou (together with your team, if you have a team) will then plan which checkpoints you will try to visit, and in what order. You can visit as many or as few checkpoints as you want, and in any order. Your team will need to stay together at all times. You can change your plan as you go along, but it’s very helpful to at least start with some kind of plan.A few minutes before the start there will be a pre-Scramble briefing where the event director will review rules and safety.There will be a countdown to the start after which you will head out to visit checkpoints. Again, your team must stay together at all times. Checkpoints are found at the exact centers of the circles on the map. When you arrive at a checkpoint location, look for the feature described on the scorecard. You will answer a simple multiple-choice question, found on your scorecard, to prove you were there. Example:

Statue of woman: What is the last word on the plaque next to the statue? (a) Arts (b) Commission (c) Space

Circle the correct answer and proceed to another checkpoint.To participate in the 90 minute option, you must return to the event center within 90 minutes. To participate in the 3 hour option, return within 3 hours. You can decide which option you want while you’re out there. Returning on time requires planning!

The map is usually a USGS topographical map. The map will have only a few street names on it, so it will be important for you to keep track of where you are on the map. Because the USGS updates its maps infrequently, the map will not be completely up to date and you will see streets and buildings on the map that no longer exist– an interesting window into the past.

When you return, you will turn in your scorecard. It is important to be on time because you will lose points for each minute you are late. We will keep your scorecard, but you get to take your map home with you. We will tally your score while you enjoy refreshments, included in your entry fee. After refreshments (40 to 60 minutes after the finish), award ribbons will be given out for those with the highest scores in different categories.

* Strollers and power wheelchairs are OK for those who need them. If you can’t read a map, you can be on a team with someone who can.

Another Sunday Trip Report

cts-june-03Had a really strong biking day today and a “lucky I live in a good place” moment. Headed off to Renton to go do the Cascade Bicycle Ride (advertised as “Very Hilly”) down to Black Diamond and then back and over I-90 to head back to Renton for an 80 mile ride. I drove down and arrived within 15 minutes of the start so I was worried I would miss the start. (I thought I forgot something, and I did but that would not be revealed until later…..)

I hurriedly parked, got my stuff together and headed off underneath the 405 to find 4 huge groups of riders out biking on a sunny Sunday morning. They grouped the people into 4 speed groups 18+, 16-18, 14-16 and 14 and under. Not knowing where I would fit in, I selected the 16-18 group and took off down at the start. Having never done that road before, the ride was gorgeous and it’s really amazing how fast Seattle turns rural the second you get a few miles east of 405.

After biking with the group for a bit, I realized that when they said 16-18 they _meant_ the base was 16-18 regardless of uphill or downhill, realizing that I was just pedaling in the back of the crowd, I got my cue sheet and decided to bike on ahead so that I could at least train a little harder. (I did fall off the bike at one intersection because my left pedal refused to un-clip, but fortunately that occurred while I was just stopping. *sigh*). I took off solo and had a great time biking at the pace my legs wanted to go. The ride was gorgeous and there were relatively few cars and just a joy to be riding. When I got to the rest-stop in Ravensdale, I realized that A) Erik was in the middle of the race I just had gotten to and B) I had just caught up with the 18+ mile/hour group. (They had just finished a 10 minute break, and I was able to down some food, and take off when they did).

The ride bike via May Road was a bit car-filled, but the group formed into some pace lines and we were flying down the road. The pace was great, and 2 times on the ride home I pulled the pace line at 21-24 miles for a 2-3 mile stretch (and then fell back to the end of the line exhausted, that said the group complimented me). We ended up shaving 10 miles off the route by not riding around Mercer (because of some other event conflict).

By the time I got back to the car, I realized what I had forgotten, I had left the sliding door of the mini-van open for the entire morning. After taking a quick peek at the contents of the vehicle (everything was still there), I realized that I was glad that nobody had thought to do some car prowling on a Sunday morning in Renton.

Anyway, the ride was great. I love my skinny go fast bike and I definitely need to take a nap.

Total Ride: 70 miles, 18 MPH Average, 3:50 hours riding time (4:20 total)

Obligatory trip data: There is an anomaly in the data in that it is only good for the first 70 miles. the last data point by the house was triggered accidently and I didn’t bother to delete it.

Ravensdale – Cumberland Road Race

Ravensdale Cumberland MotionBased Today I raced the Ravensdale – Cumberland Road Race, a lovely 2-loop, 58 mile course between Ravensdale and Cumberland, WA. This is the same course we scouted last week, and so I felt reasonably prepared. At the start, I found a bit of news — because the Cat 4/5 field was so large, they decided to split us up into Cat 4 and Cat 5. Well, since I hadn’t seen any Cat 5 only rides after early May, I hadn’t bothered to request an upgrade even though I’ve now hit the 10-race mark. Oops… so in short order, I’m the only Wines guy in the field, as the others have upgraded already. Turns out Steve, another rider, upgraded right after Mutual of Enumclaw as they split the Cat 4s and Cat 5s as well (I raced Masters C/D in that race, so didn’t think of the issue at the time).

Going into the race, I wasn’t too worried. It was well into the season and I’ve been riding well, and I should be more than capable of showing well against the Cat 5s than a mixed field. I had a strategy: stay in the front until the first time through the wall, get over as quickly as possible, and see what opportunities present themselves. I raced to the plan until the wall, and was towards the front when we went over. At this point, a number of other climbers sped past me, but I was OK with this as I knew I was towards the front and just needed to hang on. There were no crashes or big stalls from what I could see. We muscled to the top, hit the short straightaway, and then headed downhill. At this point, I noticed that there was a decent gap between the group I was with and the front group. The pack had split about in the middle.

At this point, I now realize why it’s bad to race with the 5s. There are two classes of 5s: those who have been racing with a good team and have a clue, and those who haven’t. By now, most of the racers on good teams have upgraded, leaving very few racers in the 5s who have a clue. This became evident when we attempted to get a rotating paceline going. Aside from this guy Ryan, neighbor of Trish, one of Wines fantastic Cat 1 Women, and an Oberto junior, none of these guys knew how to ride in a paceline. So, we gave a crash course to a bunch of Native Planet guys and a few other noobs on the basics… such as staying on wheels, slowing down when crossing over into the slow line, accelerating to hop onto the wheel of the last rider in the fast line, and so forth. But this was painful, and too often the rear pack was happy to sit on any rider (usually one of the stronger ones, like me) who was trying to take a turn at the front. Miraculously, at the end of the first lap, we caught up to the front. Seeing the thumbs-ups from the guys in the follow car was great as we passed back into the rolling enclosure.

We then went back up the initial hill and grabbed some water at the feed station 2 miles into the first lap. The field had slowed tremendously, as it seemed people were OK to take a breather until the second pass through the wall. I was happy to sit in for a bit and recover. However, here’s another trap for the 5s, as well as for riding with teammates. When you’re riding with teammates, you try to clump together, and you yell at one another when things happen. When you’re solo, you have to always pay attention, and when you’re tired and recovering, this can be tough. The pace of the front group picked up suddenly and I found myself with about 6-8 riders gapped. As I saw the gap widening, I tried to ask for help as I wasn’t going to be able to sprint my way back on. However, everyone behind me seemed more than happy to sit on my wheel until it was too late. The front pack had a huge gap, and nobody was coming to help. So we tried a smaller rotating paceline with 6 and eventually 8, and while this was more technically sound, we were all going slower than we needed to be going. I believe most of us were in the chase group, so turned out that we were all pretty much low on gas. At this point I knew my race was over, as I wasn’t going to be able to catch back on with this crew. So, we went over the wall fragmented, and had a lovely ride back to the finish line. I ended up catching a Native Planet guy and we rode into the finish together (I was slightly in front, so I wasn’t DFL!), but boy, was I tired.

Prior to writing this, I sent in my request for an upgrade. There aren’t too many road races coming up, but I’m going to make sure I can race with a team versus being all by myself with a bunch of guys that can’t even do a rotating paceline properly!

For your entertainment, the HRM report:


Snohomish Ride

Snohomish MotionBasedA wonderful day that started at 8:30 with me trying to ride from our house to Anthony’s without going uphill. I miscalculated and added elevation.

Still a great ride. Anthony and I made it to the cut off (to the trail that goes by the UW Bothell Campus) in under an hour, James showed up shortly there after. We only had one or two missed turns, up through to the Lowell Larimer road, but all in all made it to Snohomish and Pie in about 2hr 45 minutes ride time (just before noon with stops). The weather and view was gorgeous.

In Snohomish we had great sandwiches and pie behind the building in a Gazebo. Apparently we had arrived right in time – when we went back there were about 10 bikes parked out front. James and I eyed a couple of the recumbent bikes and soft-rides (including one lemon yellow one with a Sponge Bob Squarepants attached to it). When we went inside, I saw someone I knew (as will other people on this list from UW CSE department) – Richard Rodgers (and his new wife). Turns out Richard has the nifty red recumbent I was eying.

We rode back via Broadway hill (and Richard’s group passed us going up). But they stopped about halfway up and we just kept going. They didn’t pass us again :) Oh and I got to see a field of Irises in full bloom – what a treat!

On one of our almost missed turns James found our new Mascot: Maltby the Rescued Sea Otter (I’ve CC’d my sister here – who wants to start an Otter Rescue in the Pacific Northwest). Guess where we found him. Anyway, poor dirty Maltby road on my Voide Pack the rest of back, apparently flapping in the breeze.

Then Anthony and I got a crazy idea: let’s do 100 miles. So we followed James to his break off point (near Marymoor). After some discussion we went down East Lake Sammamish Pkwy through Issaquah and back around the lake.

Totals: My GPS says 103.55 miles, 7:37 road time, 10:24 total time.

Oh and 13 road kills (although we’re not quite sure if we should count the dead catfish on the trail near Newport). Four of the road kills were spotting in a 1 block stretch on Seattle Hill Road (Yes Jacki – I passed your work).

Two things I was personally proud of on this ride (other than being in the saddle for that long:

  • In comparison to doing the Lowell Snohomish road last year where I was just WIPED at 14. or so MPH unless I was drafting Megan, I was able to sustain 17-19 mph unaided on the new bike with the aerobars.
  • I was able to take the Broadway hill faster (note not FAST, just faster) than last time. It didn’t hurt as much either.

So is it the new lighter bike or is it the legs that are a bit better at climbing hills. Who knows.

Respectfully submitted,