The ride was HOT… Very very very hot. Did I mention the heat?
Ericka came over at 7:30 and we got on the road shortly after that. We hooked up with Anthony at Magnuson and chose to ride in the green group. It was a really large group.
The ride was mostly uneventful at first – we didn’t see the 1/2 marathon at all. Just before Leschi I heard Mitchel call out my name and I hooked onto their purple gravy train for a bit. They stopped, I continued on, then when they passed I managed to hook back up with them. I always had wanted to be one of those screaming fast riders on Lake WA Blvd and today I was!
Well just after they (wisely) cut off to follow Seward Ave, I thought that the green group was supossed to stay on Lake WA blvd. So I did. Only to get ushered OFF the street and onto the sidewalk by a policeman.
Good thing too. This WAVE of the Shore Run came running down the path.
Now I didn’t know where the Cascade ride is but I was assuming they went a different way than this. Ikes. So I started to wonder as I climbed Seward hill if I was in the right place. I caught up with another guy who had started at Leschi who didn’t know. We stopped at the park across from Ranier HS (alternate regroup point – instead of Seward park which was dealing with the Shore run)…
A bit later the hoards showed up, including Ericka and Anthony. After helping the tandem dude with his front fork, we were off again.
The route we took involved the green river trail on and off again. Weird route. Why not take the Interurban which is straighter. Admittedly this was nicer, but the on-again-off-again dealing with strange hairpin turns with so many people was sub optimal.
At one point the green river trail was closed and we had to get off and walk our bikes across a field.
I can’t remember if the green group split up into the A and B group at this point or earlier. Suffice to say, we were in B. And I had a raging headache -either from the lack of caffeine, the heat or not drinking enough. I could only fix the latter, so I tried that. Eventually that plus food helped.
At that point I thought Ericka had gotten in front of us. Turns out she was behind and trying to catch up. And she was behind the sweep. Then she fell, behind the sweep (but way in front of the yellow group), and got some road rash on her face. She called but I didn’t hear my phone and I kept expecting we’d just see her at the next rest stop.
Wehn I got there I found out she wasn’t there, and saw the message. I called her back. Unfortunately she was banged up and shaken and decided to call for a pick up. I told the sweep guy what had happened, he said he was keeping an eye out for her, saw her disappear, had gone back to see what had happened, but never found her. I’m a tad bit dubious that he went back far enough. I decided to go on with Anthony – feeling a bit guilty but as Anthony put it: if I was in Ericka’s shoes I’d totally want everyone to continue on.
We finally got to Flaming Geyser and some of the group split off at the first bathrooms. We went to where we had hung out the previous year and ate and drank and refilled our water bottles. Someone said we were leaving, I asked if it was the A group and he said yes, so we hung back longer.
Turns out by the time we left, everyone had left 5 minutes before. Including the so called sweep. Sigh.
We did see the yellow group about 15 minutes after we left the park still heading inbound. And passed a few other people who just realized they couldn’t continue the pace with so few stops on a 90 degree day.
So Anthony the biking machine managed to pull us at 18mph for about 30 minutes until we caught up with them. At the park we hooked up with the A group and continued on thinking we’d stop someplace for a cool and frosty something or other and hook back in with the B group. We didn’t see anyplace to stop, and eventually we were in a group of less than 20 people. The ride leader was such a sweetie, and took us to a Tully’s so we could get something to drink adn took the rest of the folks who just wanted to trudge on the route. She was awesome.
Tully’s was closed, but we got a bit of a break and a refill of our water. Anthony, Pete and this other guy and I took off – there were about 3 others still waiting for a Quiznos sub… We stopped at the Leschi starbucks… MMMM! Frappacino! My first coffee of the day.
We hooked up with the tandem dude again, and eventually saw some other green riders in need of another repair. Anthony to the rescue with his tools. THe Sweep guy showed up then and helped the other folks (other than Pete and Anthony and I) get back to Magnuson. We split off and headed home ourselves and got home around 5pm.