17 March 2010

Spring 200 km, Mostly about Jimmy

Having to ride at 3AM for a 7Am start over 100 miles away is not really that difficult, except that I am out of practice. It was too early to eat when I left, so coffee was it and on arrival at Greg's place, the anticipation and gear check took precedence over food - needless to say, I started at a deficit that would dog me for 130 km.

It was a blast seeing all my favorite folks on the ride, but I was preoccupied with thoughts of my dear friend Jimmy who had been shot and killed in Seattle this day 20 years ago (Seattle Times). It was a somber remembrance and something I pondered all day. He would have loved this, or more likely would have been at the start with his guitar and harmonica with his dog Salvador at his feet, playing some funky tune he wrote. The ride was a good time to connect with the good memories we had. I miss you Jimmy.

This is a popular event and one that I've done since 2001 (most years). The Cox's have decided that this was the final Chili Feed though, so no way would I miss it! Their gracious hosting of this event for 11 years is above and beyond what most would take on, but I hope they know it is so very much appreciated!

Though I was happy to be riding with the gang again, I mostly wanted to ride alone and think. I told this to a few folks that came alongside and I apologize to them all for not being very social, but it was a roller coaster emotional day for me.

Next up is another 200 km from Arlington to Bellingham. I hope there's more sunshine.

Jon, Noel and Joe cruising up another hill...

01 March 2010

100 km Populaire - what a great day!

I cannot say how nice it was to be back riding with the SIR gang. Today was really stellar weather-wise  and with friends David and Dwight from PT headed to Renton. A big crowd and many familiar faces greeted us and off we went in what was to be a day of dry roads and sunshine!

Lots of good climbing on the route, but nothing too taxing. The usual suspects were off the front and gone, but I took a more leisurely start and later picked up the pace first with Matt Newlin and then Bill Dussler. Fell off Bill's increasing diesel pace on the way up Tiger Mountain but hooked up with Corey Thompson, Ian Shopland and a few others for the final third of the ride at the info control. We did a few bonus miles as Corey and I talked our way right past the 224th turn and finally found our way back. Al (?) on the beautiful chromed, lugged Davidson had a map...thankfully. I need to get one of those...

The finish at the Dog & Pony Ale House was rockus and fun, with the US-Canada hockey game going on and everyone talking about the ride and the season now underway. Enjoyed a big fish and chips and pint of IPA before gawking at all the glorious bikes on the patio and heading home.

Thanks to all for a wonderful day!