Soggy Seattle Century

I’m mourning lost data again here, but this time it was totally user error. Oh well. (Last time it was because I didn’t delete old rides and ran out of memory on the machine. You’d think it would warn you of that!)

Highlights:
– New Sidi shoes rock, but when you get new shoes, remember to tighten the cleats after a few miles.
– The food on this ride was good and plentiful.
– The support was good – although not many support vehicles seen, there was a number you could call for pick up.
– The route markings (dan henrys and signage) weren’t so good – I talked to the ride officials about that.
– Maybe 1000 people rode? something like that.

Long story if anyone is interested:

I left the house at 5:50 – 5 minutes than I wanted, but it was because it had ran back in to get an extra pair of socks and my waterproof pants. There was a light rain when I left.

I got to Magnusson about 15 minutes later after going across 68th street and all those hills. I was impressed I started out that way.

At Magnusson I found out that I could have easily gotten my bib number there – instead of running to REI yesterday. They had a nice array of bananas, bagels, PB, Jelly, etc. And marshmellows for hot chocolate. I had just eaten and was ok, so grabbed 1/2 a banana. I left a bag (and my waterproof pants) in case I wanted to change clothes at the end and got on the road around 6:20.

It was kind of a lonely bit of trail – I saw a few other bikers, passed a few, but it was early. It was still rainy all the way up there, but the road didn’t have puddles yet. First stop – Bothell Landing (across the bridge) – the only reason to stop was to use the bathroom – 4 nicely cleaned port-a-potties. I grabbbed another 1/2 banana and 2 orange slices. Oh they also had hard boiled eggs.

Back on the road I kept up for a while with a guy who works at REI. It was coming down even harder now and the road was wet. My legs were a mess and my new shoes But at the next stop (Marymoor) – he took off quickly. I looked at the array of food options – which included Fried chicken. Somehow that just did NOT seem appealing at 7:45 am. I think I had a banana and peanut butter here.

Big problem was that it was so wet I didn’t drink hardly at all. In fact I don’t think I refilled a water bottle until Stop 4.

After you leave Marymoor you go east, across a housing development to 202, then down the historic brick road (annoying) and across to Duvall. The hill climb here was gradual and nice. At some point a guy named Andre commented about my music, so we chatted ab it. He was with another guy (Chris) – and they were a bit faster than me. Andre was a monster on the hills – I was very impressed. Chris (as I later had found out) had run 5 miles in the Torchlight parade the night before. They’d go on ahead, then I’d catch up, etc. I was taking downhills slower because of all the water on the roadway.

We crossed the valley into “backwards” from the Flying Wheels route, then UP the hill to stop 3 at Cherry Hill Elementary. I saw Andre and Chris here, had a few pretzels, and a 1/2 a PB&J – and topped off my hardly drunken water bottle.

Shortly after I left Andre and Chris caught up again, and we wound up riding the rest of the ride together. The rollers through the back part of Cherry Hill were nice – and the only thing to note here was that we think some trickster was switching signs around on us. Not cool. We put them back.

Down 203 (not my favorite stretch) to Carnation (almost though about stopping at a coffee shop) and tucked in behind Andre who was behind a few other folks. Really nice pace line going until Remlinger farms. Fortunately the rain had stopped so pace lines were an option (the rain was kind of stop and go all day).

There I couldn’t get my left cleat out. Turns out I now knew why I wansn’t getting a lot of pull on that side – one of my screws came out of one that cleat! Andre kindly helped me tighten things up (and Chris helped me stay upright) – then we got PIE ala mode! AWESOME! MMMMM. I wanted two or three, but kept myself to 1. Filled my water bottles (I was finally drinking), I changed my socks (and only teased them a little bit) and we headed on the road.

It took us a second to realize we needed to cross 203 on Tolt Hill Road, but then we followed W. Snoqualmie River Road – one of my favorite stretches. We wound up following the Flying Wheels route, but cutting off on Issaquah Fall City road. (There were other folks doing another ride on the same route – the Tour De Peaks) This we took to Preston where Chris’ wife was a DOLL and brought us each a latte. The folks at Gregg’s greenlake (including a repair guy I recognized) very very very kindly gave me a new screw for my cleat (I heart Gregg’s) and they had pasta salad. I had 2 cookies and a fruit bar thing here.

The next stretch was kind of cool – some people didn’t like it but I thought it was a hoot. We rode on I-90! One exit only, but it was COOL! I hadn’t done that before. We got off and wound up in Issaquah, then went up the killer hill for the day: Sunset Way. OUCH! Many people were getting off and walking here. Chris stopped, so I did too to take off my jacket. Andre powered up once again.

We were supposed to go up by the Issaquah Zoo and the kill “Lakemont” hill that Ruben was a little excited I was going to go on. But the folks at the Preston stop said they had to cut it out because of construction, so we went “straight” to Factoria, then over to Luther Burbank park.

First, Chris’ wife also met us there (more coffee, but a hot chocolate for me). I had to fill my bottle so we went over and there was strawberry shortcake! MMMMMMMMMMMM Happy Happy!

This is where I must have hit my pause button. Oh well. WE left there and crossed I-90 back to Seattle, and I realized that I was missing data by Madison Park. At this point we were passing many 50 milers.

They had us not follow the standard bike route through the twisty turnies- instead we went “straight” to Madison Park and up Madison – then caught up with the bike route.

At Marymoor they had a ton of bike racks set up, they had a whole dinner with roles, salad, grilled asparagus, chicken, salmon and brownies. Oh and an ice sculpture. :) We ate at the ampitheatre, got our goodie bags which included coffee and 2 beers (I skipped the beer garden). Andre said his good byes, then Chris and I rode back to U Village (turns out we live about a mile from each other – Andre lives in Alaska but comes down here to visit the in-laws and get in all his yearly outdoor riding in about a month.)

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