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Jul 13 2011

July 4 “Animal” Ride Report

The call for this ride to Northbend went out right after Tour de Donut. When I heard that Richard set it up, the only word that came to mind was, “hills.” When I heard that Ed was on it I thought, “hammerfest.” Ed said he’d be riding tandem with a mystery stoker. I was a little nervous about that, but I figured I’d do the ride.

I showed up at around 8am at Sunset with my Cannondale. My stoker said she didn’t want to ride a hilly hammerfest. Janine and Elden were there and soon Rocky rolled in. He was already sweating from riding
from his house. Soon Steve S., Mikkel, Richard, Ed and the mystery stoker – Kary!

After we prayed, we rolled out and as expected, Ed and Kary blasted off – I wasn’t going to get sucked in this early in the ride so I hung back. As we neared Costco, I saw a searing yellow light. I wasn’t blacking out – it was Dan with his famous headlight.

Richard led us through the little known trail behind Pickering Barn and up to the Highlands hill. Mikkel took off on an early lead. I followed, but didn’t really want to crank it this early.

After we regrouped at the top, we rode down the stair step into Snoqualmie Valley but not before I missed a turn at a “T”. I had to ride back up hill a little ways :(

We gradually made our way over toward Snoqualmie Falls. Again, Mikkel took off on the hill climb. Steve S., Rocky, and I followed. As we started climbing Steve S. said, “I know what you’re thinking!” I told him I’d be interested to know what I was thinking. We made it to the top and took a break, but Dan kept going. Only after a while did he finally rejoin us.

We then started off toward Northbend. Ed and Kary rode past and shouted to join the ride. I swept in behind them and told them I’d draft them until they dropped me. I kept my front wheel an inch or two
from their mud flap. I thought I’d pass a couple of times but I knew I couldn’t keep up that pace plus I didn’t know the way.

We pulled into QFC in Northbend. Ed bought animal cookies since this was definitely a ride for animals.

Heading back we faced a bit of a headwind. Ed and Kary took off and Mikkel lead the pack for a while. Then Dan started to ride outside the line a little. I wasn’t sure what he was doing, so I decided to go for the lead. I didn’t stay ahead too long before Mikkel caught and passed me.

We made our way back up the stair step – Ed and Kary really took off. I tried to catch up, but they were able to keep a good pace. As I started up, I could see the bright yellow light right behind me. Dan is getting to be a stronger climber. Every so often I could hear Mikkel calling out passing cars. His voice kept getting louder so I knew he was catching up.

As we passed the Issaquah-Pine Lake intersection Dan rode off toward the Highlands and we started our descent off the plateau. But on reaching the Costco intersection, Ed and Kary took off again. I tried to catch them, but I got held up by a light. I figured I’d take whatever speed I could. Then Richard zipped by me saying something about catching them. I poured out what I had left, but was not able to catch them.

We finally all met up at Sunset – the end to a pretty intense ride. It was my first real ride on the Cannondale this whole year. It felt pretty good!