Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Return to the Flock

After a 24-mile ride mid-week went ok and didn't leave me in pain, I decided to try a ride a little longer in length and test myself with a few hills. I first consulted the ride leader, Bill, as to how to go about cutting short his Fall Colors ride. We decided that I would ride with the group to the Snoqualmie Valley, then turn off at Fales Road while everyone else headed for Snohomish. Although that meant that I would miss out on good pie, I thought it would be a good way to re-introduce my legs to cycling and show myself a little restraint.

Forget about the restraint part. While I had imagined hanging in the back of the group, chatting with the sweep, Dottie, the reality was that I had given myself a lot of much-needed rest and I was raring to go. I easily ascended the first couple of hills, passing a few people in the process. It occurred to me that this behavior didn't match up with "taking it easy" but I couldn't seem to control myself. The group-riding mentality was taking over and I was striving, against my better judgement, to get toward the front of the pack.







Bill's plan for keeping the big group together included dropping a corner person at each turn. That person would wait for the last rider to go by, then re-join the group. I realized it was going to be my only opportunity for getting some photos so I stationed myself at a corner. It was like being reunited with friends I hadn't seen for a while; in my efforts to ride up front, I was missing all the folks in the middle and back. The downside to being a corner person, as I soon realized, was that it would take miles before I would re-join the main part of the group. Luckily, they stopped at the bottom of Woodinville-Duvall Road before heading north.





After being overly aggressive in the group again (couldn't help myself- there were guys around), I fell back some to rest before taking the princess turnoff at Fales Road. Both Sylvia and Marie were joining me, each with our own reasons for needing to cut the ride short. We had a nice ride back to Woodinville and made the discovery that gas was being sold for $2.89 per gallon at Paradise Lake Rd (and I was in dire need of the stuff).





Back at Red Hook, we said goodbye to Sylvia, then Marie and I headed for a local winery for a tasting. After sampling a nice variety of wines at the Novelty Hill/Januik winery, we returned to Red Hook just as the group was pulling in to the parking lot. In fact, I think my car was able to provide a draft for Bill for a moment. Marie and I spilled out of the car, laughing at our timing (and slight inebriation). We said our thanks and our goodbyes, then I headed for the cheap gas where I ran into my SBC friends on their 60-miler. We exchanged greetings and they clued me into the fact that the gas station across the road had gas for $2.79, ten cents cheaper. It was meant to be!

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