My pal Nick Craswell was in town, which means he was up for another attempt for me to prematurely end his life by doing something “fun.” Last year about this time, he went with me on Chilly Hilly while I trailed Laura. This time around, he opted to take my Bianchi Veloce that I use for commuting (and trailing) and I hopped on the Trek 5900 race bike, as Laura would be unable to join us this year due to a birthday party. Now, for those thinking I just set Nick up because I gave him a heavier bike, you’re sort of right. However, the lighter bike doesn’t have a granny gear like the Bianchi, and has a maximum rear gear of 27, as opposed to the 25 on the race bike.
We decided to bike down from my place after MK got back from church, meaning we started out about 10 AM for the 11:25 ferry. For some reason, I thought that “Course open until 3 PM” meant they’d have day-of registration until noon… silly me. We got down there about 11 AM, couldn’t find anyone, so paid our way on the ferry and started off with about 15 other random riders.
This turned out to be a brilliant idea, as the course was generally unoccupied, allowing us to wind our way up some of the bigger climbs and letting us bomb down the big down & ups. Also, the fog and clouds parted for a beautifully sunny day for the last half of the ride. We also didn’t feel terribly guilty at the VFW hot cider rest stop as they were pushing the late-comers like us to eat everything left over lest it go to waste.
Last year, it was a typically cold and rainy Chilly Hilly, so Nick and I bailed at the VFW and headed straight home. This time around, we decided to go up the extra big hill – Anderson! This must have been my first time up it, as I don’t recall it being that bad. Ah well. I got up it pretty well, Nick was dying. Here he is near the top:
Sadly, the decent down isn’t nearly as rewarding, as it curves a bit and ends at a T, forcing the use of brakes. Bah! Anyway, we trucked around the south end of Bainbridge, and then grumbled up the final sets of hills to the finish. Why do we keep forgetting about those final hills? Ah well, Nick kept his composure… here he is cresting one of them:
We decided to skip the finish chili and just head straight home as we were spent… plus all that was left were the dregs. We realized at this point that biking down was foolish given we had to bike back. It took us about an hour for what really should be 30 minutes… yeah we were tired! But all in all, a good day. We ended up totaling 50 miles and for me a bit over 3500 calories burned, so a full pound! The beers at the finish were also quite tasty!