Sunday, May 3, 2009

May Day Metric

A bunch of Creepy Old Guys in Spandex were standing around outside Johnny's Grill & Bar in Federal Way. They had bikes and helmets with them and each wore an expectant look on their face. Two women appeared, chatted with the guys and they all left together on their bicycles, heading south. One of the women, the skinny one, stayed out in front of the group, as though she were pulling the rest. Once the group got into some hills, the skinny woman stayed near the front, joined by some of the guys, while most of the rest of the group got more spread out. But eventually, they all came back together, riding nicely in a group.
One of the guys discovered his front tire was leaking air and so at the first rest stop, he remedied this problem while everyone else either sampled the various foods or stood by, watching. The other woman, the one with the jacket, was hesitant to continue on with the group, but she knew one of the guys and he convinced her it would be easy, "just ten more miles to the next rest stop, then we turn back" is what he said. He forgot to mention the headwinds and the flat, open trail that he would drop her on. It sounded as though the guy worked in marketing.
Indeed, they all made it to the next rest stop in a quaint but very quiet town. The town had some interesting elements: a skeletal driver of an old truck, a neat and tidy town hall, a nearby home with a small statue of a pig on its porch and an old train that had been used for transporting coal. From there, the road continued upward and, since the guys and the women were interested in going downward, they made that stop their halfway point.
Soon, they were on the flat trail with the headwind and they all rode nicely in a line, gaining the advantage of each being behind another, with the first in line setting the pace. The first guy in line was training to climb Mt Rainier so the group was doing their best to help him in his training. The trail continued, past intersections, over train tracks and around bends, until the trail became flat and straight, forging on across the prairies. One of the women, the skinny one, got tired of this monotony and dropped back in the line. Soon, the other woman, the one with the jacket, also became mentally fatigued and dropped back as well. They waved to the guys in the distance (with all their fingers, of course, these were nice women) and succumbed to the wind.
At the end of the trail, the guys were waiting and, as the women caught up, the one in the jacket remarked that dropping women was why most of the guys were single. One of the guys nodded in agreement and he stayed with the women for the next stretch through a flat industrial park. At the end of the flats, just before turning off to face what was known as "Phil's Hill", the guy who was friends with the woman in the jacket urged the woman to go with him on an easier route, rather than face the impending climb. For reasons unknown, and although the woman had been left behind by the guy once already, she chose to go with him on his shortcut.
The rest carried on up the hill, with the skinny woman regaining her place toward the front of the group, as they climbed up the switchbacks. The climb was on a one-way road, ascending via short switchbacks and providing views into the foothills and beyond. It was reminiscent of climbs in France- no cars, just steep enough to be a challenge but still fun, surounded by greenery and with signs marking each quarter section of the hill, with some inspirational markings on the surface of the road. Allez! Allez!
The whole group, minus the woman in the jacket and the guy who talked her into another route, summited the climb, all in agreement that it had been the favorite part of the day and headed on. The route included another section of trail, though this one was hilly, more roads and, finally, the sidewalk finale. The smart guy and the skinny woman began to chat about the reward that lay at the finish and wondered what flavor choices they would have. Once back at the bar, the place where it all began, the skinny woman made her way directly to the table, chose the apple flavor and began the new task of eating. The guys, including the one who led the woman astray and the woman with the jacket slowly made their way to the bar as well, claiming their rewards. The whole group was back together again.
The slogan for the ride was "Ride More & Worry Less!" but the crowd at the bar thought it would be more fitting to Ride More & Eat More Pie!
And, don't forget, if you like women (and want them to like you), don't drop them.

For more photos from the ride, go here.

1 comment:

Ken said...

"A bunch of Creepy Old Guys in Spandex..."---lol. Hilarious post, nice job.