Sunday, February 20, 2011

Roller Coaster: WSCC Version

Olympics were larger than life, and so were the waves

I met the RCC/ Goosebumps group in the parking lot at Lincoln Park and, not having seen the crowd in several weeks, enjoyed some chatting, the "secret handshake" and hellos. More followed on the ferry ride to Southworth, in between the oohs and aahhs of the views and the rocking of the boat. I mean literally the rocking of the boat; strong winds were making Puget Sound into a big bathtub and the ferry was a little rubber ducky, being tossed and turned.

Once we found our legs again, we disembarked and headed out from Southworth toward Port Orchard, fighting the wind at times, but I managed to find shelter behind other, bigger riders (names intentionally left out). We had a close encounter with the powers of nature as we rode along the shore. The full moon's high tide plus the high winds had brought the beach onto the road and we walked a section that was covered in seaweed, shells and rocks.

At Manchester, I bid them farewell, as I was meeting a group from the West Sound Cycling Club who were doing a shorter ride around the Peninsula. The "group" ended up being two guys, Dan and Leo. It seemed that the high winds had deterred riders in this normally hearty group. They had fought a headwind to get to Manchester and chose to return the way they had come to get the reward of a tailwind. And so we departed toward Port Orchard. Arriving in town, we came across Lynn M who was making arrangements to ditch the ride altogether (via bus) due to strong winds. While bigger riders are great to hide behind in such conditions, we riders of slight build have a tough time keeping our bikes moving in a straight line. Leader Dan convinced her to join us and we four set off to go inland.

For the first few miles, we followed the Rollercoaster route, then journeyed into a neighborhood, then east to cross the many ridges of the peninsula and on to Long Lake and some really nice scenery, then back via Olalla Valley Road and a nice downhill finish.

The route is here and is just shy of 40 miles, a nice alternative to a 60-mile ride with lunch which tends to last all day. However, the 40 miles we rode were consecutive and not broken up by a stop for coffee or pie. My legs were unfamiliar with this concept and nearly stopped working somewhere along the way. But our kind leader, Dan, was patient and slowed down for me, while Lynn kept vigil behind me so I didn't slip into the vastness of the landscape.

We arrived back at Southworth as the ferry was unloading, thrilled at the perfect timing that Dan had managed to provide us. Back at Fauntleroy, Lynn and I climbed the last hill to our cars, said goodbye, then I was off to have my delayed pie snack.

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