Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fueling up for National Pie Day

Just by chance, I was reading the blog for Fuel Coffee, the folks whose owner also makes great pie, when I saw that Saturday, January 23 was National Pie Day. While that's enough for celebration on its own, I had the finely-tuned-into-pie sense to have already scheduled a ride for that day, passing precariously near the Montlake Fuel, on our way to the Winter Garden at the Arboretum. Quickly, before my news was scooped by anyone else, I sent out a notice to the COGS group:

"What luck
How Serendipitous
Or Just Plain Delicious!

Saturday is National Pie Day
and I am leading a ride that will stop for pie.
I am going to order a couple of pies for us so they don't run out by the
time we get there.
Maybe we should skip the plants and just go for pie?"

The response was overwhelmingly for pie, not plants. And though there may have been a few riders who wanted to scratch and sniff plants, when I told them about the two pies I had ordered (apple and sweet potato), they acquiesced and we headed toward pie.

The sweet potato pie was none like I had ever seen before. It reminded me of Thanksgivings past- particularly, the stress that ensued while a member of our family waited for the marshmallows to melt atop the potatoes. The apple pie is one of their best, with thick slices of fruit and lots of cinnamon. We made friends with a nice dog outside who was a pie fan. First, I went out and let him lick my fingers after getting them covered while doing the slicing. Then, another member of our group was kind enough to leave him an empty pie plate to lick. My kind of dog!

We cleared the mass of pie-dirtied dishes and coffee cups and continued on with the ride. The front end surged while the rear-end sagged but we all met up again at various points and made our way, on the easiest of all climbs, back up to Phinney Ridge. Friends think I'm a good hill-climber but they don't realize I have a talent for finding the easiest ways around what could be tough climbs. The other talent is for finding good pie, which I will do again in a couple of weeks. See you then!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cruising the Burke-Gilman

Just in time to help me figure out how (or if) to use my kayak paddle with my bicycle, Claire arrived at Gasworks Park, ready to ride, sans paddle. It had been so long off the bike for me that I wasn't quite sure I was all together, yet I trusted her advice that it was unnecessary. This ride was unlike any of the others I had led- there were some qualifying factors to allow participants. For example, Claire is currently receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer - an instant qualifier. Next, Trina arrived, noting she had only been on one COGS ride since joining and didn't even feel worthy of the Holiday Party, yet here she was. When Mark B arrived, I barely recognized him, since I'd never seen him on his bike (we don't normally ride in the same circles). Then there were the posers, the fakers, the wannabe easy riders, the I-didn't-have-anything-else-to-do-today riders like David and Michael who think they are out of shape, yet they have merely been taking some off-bike rest time, laying in wait for their next hill-fest or century. And although cause for suspicion, they agreed to help with flats, repairs and locating pie at the market so I welcomed them to the group.

We headed north on the trail through the UW campus and managed to make every light, an unusual occurrence. The plan was to ride to Magnuson Park but when we made it to 65th St, the turn-off point, I felt so good and everyone else said they would like to continue. There was a sudden rise in chatter and I saw that Eric had caught up with us. He had ridden over from his house in West Seattle and is an easy-going guy (and photographer) so he fit in just fine.

We rode into Matthews Beach Park and I must not have been the only one with some endorphin production because suddenly everyone became a little silly. Good thing Eric was there to capture it on film. I think we were good subjects and the weather provided us with a great backdrop of the Cascades. Soon, it was time to leave, regaining the little hill that we had descended to the water and heading back to Gasworks and on to Ballard.

Although the Burke-Gilman is a flat trail, there are some subtle ups and downs and heading south from 65th St is one of those downs. So I was just going too fast to figure out who the guy in blue coming toward us was. But, sure enough, he joined the group and I realized it was Bruce. OK, so by now you might be thinking that there are an awful lot of guys on this easy ride. Don't these kind of dilly-dally rides usually attract women more than they do guys? Well, this is the COGS group and, though it officially stands for Cyclists Of Greater Seattle, the vast majority of us (guys included) know it as Creepy Old Guys in Spandex. Of course, they are nice! creepy old guys, otherwise we'd lose them somewhere along the way.

And off we went to the Ballard Farmers Market, in search of treats.