Thursday, June 2, 2011

Moral of the Story

Annie tops out on Norway Hill
It all started to go downhill (somewhat literally) when Annie and I left David standing in line for the toilet on the 7 Hills of Kirkland ride. We had ridden a paltry, yet hilly 17.8 miles so far, had scored a brownie (and a cookie for later), gone to the potty, chatted with friends and pretty much taken advantage of all the things that a rest stop early in a hilly ride could provide. It was time to go. Where's David? I looked around and he gave a wave from a long line of cyclists waiting to use the loo.

We didn't abandon him, or at least that was not the intent. We figured he would catch up to us and, if not, we'd be right back at that same rest stop in another 10 miles so we'd rendezvous then. Off we went, downhill, ooh la la, and onto a flat (eek!) road in the valley. I quickly found a wheel to stick mine to, a nice guy who didn't seem to mind being a windbreaker (I'm nice; I didn't say he was breaking wind) for two gals. We even took our turns pulling. Then came the badass Winery HIll, a steep, unrelenting climb that went higher and higher. So we dropped the nice guy. We passed by Neil, the bagpipe player, and headed back for the 2nd rest stop. I stopped to make sure Annie was with me and, when I did, saw the nice guy pass by. The rest stop looked really crowded and though I did want to get another brownie, I also knew we were headed for another flat road, so we took off after the nice guy for some more wind blockage. 
Neil the bagpiper on Winery Hill

We settled in behind him and felt secure going into a headwind. At the left turn, he deviated and went straight. I couldn't figure out what had happened until later; he was doing the 40-mile route and wasn't heading east with us. We climbed hills some more and there were a lot of people on the road but we didn't see David. Then came the turnoff for Annie to head back on the metric century route. I left a message on David's phone... see you in Duvall: "I'll save a brownie for you!"

I had a nice descent by myself and arrived at the rest stop. There weren't any brownies and no David, either. I did see a bunch of people I knew (and one of them tipped me of that I would not see David), but they were all doing the true century. I was doing some Rosie Ruizing, but without mass transit. I had scoped out the route and wanted to ride more like 75 miles. Off I went on my own, a situation that I'm not usually fond of, but on this day, it was a relief to be away from the crowds and enjoy the scenery. Enjoy the scenery I did, as I stopped to take photos. I also saw friends who were out on their own ride and we were able to quickly identify each other in passing.
along W Snoqualmie Valley Rd

I climbed the hill out of Duvall, made some turns from memory of past rides in the area, and was soon back on the century (100-mile) route, near Bear Creek Road and, due to my timing, mixing it up with both the slower metric century (60-mile) riders and the super-fast century riders. Luckily, no one asked me to identify myself in either category, though I was wearing a wristband that indicated "century". It wasn't that I was ashamed of cutting the course, but I didn't want to disappoint anyone who might be impressed by my speedy completion of a hilly century. But it still felt good when I passed a bunch of metric guys going up Education Hill. 

There seems to be a pattern here... sit on a guy's wheel, drop the guy on a hill, repeat. It was fun and easy to do, but then again, it had led me to riding solo, which is less easy and not so much fun. Next time, David, I promise not to drop you when you are in line for the toilet!