May 31 2010

2010.05.31 7 Hills of Kirkland

Well…Kary, Chris, William and I rode the 7 Hills of Kirkland today and guess what? We found the two hills we missed on our previous attempt!  You know what we didn’t find?  The South Kirkland Park and Ride.  Can you believe that the City of Kirkland is so into urban beautification that they hide their park and  rides?  Or is it more believable that William and I can’t find anything half asleep at 6:30 am?

The steady rain had diminshed our group of interested riders down to four and since Kary and Chris were riding from their respective homes, William and I decided to drive closer to the starting point at the Kirkland Marina.  Not too many of the 1,500 registered riders were down there at 6:30 am (surprise, surprise) so we scored a parking spot right in the marina.

After checking in and attending to our pre-ride rituals at the over-hydration hut, Kary and Chris showed up.  We took a quick pic and were off!  

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Ready To Go


Let me say a word about the equipment.  Kary was on his Litespeed (no fenders). Fuji was well represented with both Chris and I on Fuji Carbons (no fenders).  William was the only one with fenders, which was great for a day that promised some rain.  Yes, William brought his commuter rain bike equipped with front and rear disc brakes, a Brooks leather saddle, a sturdy steel frame, and a highly visible lithium battery powered Dinotti light system.  And what is truly amazing is that William’s bike weighs about as much as my carbon fiber/no fender bike weighs (on the planet Jupiter) – a staggering 30 pounds! 

The course started off immediately with Market Hill and then Juanita Hill, both very manageable climbs.  Part way up Juanita Drive we cut down on Holmes Point Drive NE, which led us up Seminary Hill, probably the toughest ascent on the route.

After that it was Norway Hill…

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At the Top of Norway Hill


and then Kingsgate Hill.  Climbing up Winery Hill was an interesting experience.  As we neared the top we were greeted by the solemn and eerie, but beautiful sounding music of a bagpipe player. Never mind that the only other bagpipe music I can remember has been at funeral marches – we really didn’t look that bad getting to the top of that hill.

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Could've Used Some of His Wind


Kary and Chris took off for home at the bottom of Rose Hill.  They made sure to remind us that they had each already done one extra hill on the way to the Kirkland Marina (okay, okay). Chris actually had to ride up Lakemont Boulevard to get home (kudos to Chris).  Despite the heavy rain that started falling, William and I finished up the route around 10:15 am and enjoyed some fresh strawberry shortcake.

On the way home we patted each other on the back for starting out so early, thus preserving the rest of the Memorial Day holiday for whatever enjoyable activity may await…probably a nap.  

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  1. Tailwind

    What Jon did not mention was that he rode all the hills in his big 52 chainring — and did not even use his largest rear cogs. At least I don’t think he did because I was always, shall we say, riding up at a more leisurely pace. Thanks Chris for urging me on up the hills.

    BTW, the strawberry shortcake after the ride was good! I forgot to take a picture of it and by the time I remembered we had finished it off. Oh well.

  2. Litespeed

    Funny William you should mention that Jon was on the big ring. Mike Shaw says he also does that when he’s training. You think they know something we don’t…;) Btw William, your twin Dionotti light system looks like a car when I’m in fron of you looking in my mirror…there was a couple of times I called out “car back” when it was really you. Chris, that 100 Tour de Cure you did last week paid dividends today…you handled those hills pretty easily…

  3. blueneck

    Way to go guys! I was one of those who cancelled out due to excessive moisture and a little bit of a queasy stomach.

  4. Chris Huynh

    Thanks. The four Amigos riding in the rain on 7 hills of Kirkland. It’d been a great experience!

    We’d have hardtime counting the number of hills during the ride. Some hills William counted as a hill but to Jon they are not. We’re also confused about if a down hill is counted as a up hill. We need more riders next time to help figure this out.

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