Beautiful Tulips and Daffodils

Erica, Heidi, Elias, Ruben and I made the trek to the Skagit Valley this morning. First to note, with the front wheel off we can put the tandem on the back rack without having to get a wide load permit. In fact, it doesn’t even stick out more than our side view mirrors. But we can’t fit 4 bikes on the rack that way… so we took the wheels off Ruben’s bike and it fit in the way back no problem.

So all of us managed to fit in the van… Heidi was borrowing my old Allez… sporting a jersey from a century she did down around Gilroy, CA.

After hitting The Old Grind coffee stop (in Mt. Vernon) for a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie and their bathroom, we were biking around 10:15.

There’s a lot of smell of manure – a lot of farmers working the fields. There was one loose dog, but the owner made sure to come out after him. Oh and on Best Road (the busy road just before Dodge Valley) there was a whole slew of motor cyclists who were giving us peace and hang loose
signs as we plugged up the hill and over the bridge. It was awesome.

We didn’t see any Herons, but we did wind up seeing some hawks and what looked big enough to be an eagle, but wasn’t a bald eagle. We also thought we saw a black deer in a field, but it may have been a sculpture ’cause I didn’t see it move.

We wound up at the LaConner Brewing company around 12:15, and parked our bikes on the side, much to Ruben’s nervous chagrin (we had 2 locks, and locked pairs of bikes together, but he was nervous for his bike)…. :)

Anyway the road back was MUCH more crowded – and this isn’t even the bad week (next week is the tulip festival street fair). We were totally dusting the cars… and loving it. There’s definitely color – the daffodil field on Calhoun is nice, plus there are some tulips getting nice and purple and red at Calhoun and Brashaw. We didn’t stop at the Roozengarde ’cause it was crazy, but they had some nice displays
outside. Plus a nice daffodil field across the way. The prettiest daffodil field was just north of the Roosengarde – they were the light yellow ones with darker centers I think. We didn’t stop though – Elias was getting ready to get home. We also didn’t go north of McLean road – we just headed right to Mt. Vernon from there.

Kudos to Elias who made it 30.11 miles AND did a top speed (with Ruben on leading the bike) of 27.5. Afterwards we went back to The Old Grind for more coffee and cookies. I found out they’re going to be closed Sunday, so make sure you know of some place else to hit the bathroom before starting on your journey.

Pictures are here (first are my picture, then Ruben’s)

Info from my garmin is here (ignore the data down I-5 – I forgot to turn
off my GPS and I also thought I had deleted this data, but alas, no).

Pacific Raceways CCR/ER – so that’s what 90 riders looks like!

A sunny day, a 7 PM start. In theory, flats, but due to some work on the drag strip, it’d be counter-clockwise with the escape route. Should be a good hills workout, especially after all the March racing. The 1/2/3s head out… then the Masters. Huh… there’s still a lot of people about.

Over 90 people, to be exact!

It’s just a huge, huge pack. It’s actually a bit intimidating, to be honest. I’m in the middle. The first couple of laps are tough and I’m winded… I’m not bombing down the escape route as there’s tons of people. And it’s tough moving up, as the pack is fast… very fast. It’s 30 minutes, so people are taking it like a crit, and I’m having a hell of a time climbing. I get dropped after the 2nd hill, so I sit up at top for the pack to come around. When they do, I race to catch on the back… and don’t! The pack is moving at around 26-28 MPH, and I can’t catch on for the life of me. Turns out the 4/5s also passed the Masters… just a fast moving pack. I do one more lap, then I’m done. Oof!

Hill repeats. Must do hill repeats.

Pacific Raceways Escape Route