Singlespeed P-12, #1
Route #0775, Snoqualmie River Run, 110km
2000' elevation gain
5h 10m finish time
I prepped the night before the ride with a hearty dinner of pierogi, sausages, and cabbage rolls at Dom Polski, the Seattle Polish Cultural Center. They have a phenominal dinner menu on Friday evenings, so the wife and I were joined by a friend of ours for a lovely evening which lasted a little longer than I expected. We didn't finish dinner until 21:00, then made a stop to the grocery store on the way home so Andrea could take care of Saturday food prep while I was riding in the morning. By the time we got home it was too late to do much with bike/ride prep, so I went to sleep. After barely a few hours of sleep I snapped to being awake and looked out the window to grey skies and rain. Lots of rain. Not just a mist or drizzle; but for real deal rain. Bleh... Welcome back to rando in the PNW, I suppose.
So, I prepped up my bike for the rain. Stuck the lights back on, found my saddle cover, aired up the tires and checked the fenders, then strapped on my Topeak large Aerowedge saddlebag. Quite a change from my previous seasons of bringing everything and the kitchen sink; I've learned what I do and do not need to bring. 110km is a short adventure and I brought 2 tubes, levers, chain tool, tracknut wrench, pump, phone/wallet in the wedge. I had a few NUUN tabs, 2 bananas and 2 Snickers in my jersey pockets. I was wearing everything else I needed. 2 bottles on the bike, and I was rolling light with the intention of making quick time on the road.
Peet's to Snohomish 7-11: 2h 02m
I rolled up to Peet's about 20 minutes before the start time and began prepping my gear and looking for Jason Hansen, who had invited me on the ride in the first place. Jason showed up about 5 minutes after me, we finished out gear prep and headed inside for a quick bite to eat and a receipt for the start control. I had already downed a banana/OJ protein shake before leaving the house, so I grabbed a slice of zucchini bread and we sat down for a quick chat with Will and (maybe) Chris, before we headed out for the River Run and they took off for the Alps.
After about a 15 minute start lag due to snacks and chatting, Jason and I were off on our way. Not that 15 minutes would be an issue for this course, though; even on my worst of days I could make the controls in time. We rolled through the park and down the Sammamish River Trail, getting good and drenched in the first 5 miles. Not that it was a concern with the temperature, but it does slow you down a bit when you're soaked to the bone. We rolled into the Wilmot Gateway Park and stopped at the restrooms there, and Jason alluded to some stomach problems. Meh, these things happen, and we continued along through the center of Woodinville and up the hill. Being on the singlespeed vs. Jason's geared (and beautiful) Kogswell P/R with Grand Bois Hetre 650b tires I was losing him a bit up the hill, but I figured I'd just wait at the top... Then I looked in my mirror and he wasn't there. Apparently something was very unsettled with his stomach and he was off the side to evac all contents. When I turned back down the hill and met him, he was pretty pale looking. He decided it was best to turn back, and I agreed. I think he got whatever flu-bug has been going around; it can hit just that quick. I had it a few weeks ago, and the morning I fell ill, I had gone out for a 35 mile ride and felt great.
So, Jason turned back and I decided to renew my efforts for a speedy finish, and picked up the pace. The hill up Woodinville-Duvall to the light is part of my commute, so that was a piece of cake. The hill from the light to the gas station wasn't even that tough, and I was keeping even pace with a guy on a Specialized Transition who was trying to catch his buddies just up the hill from us. I managed a quick 18mph average through the remaining section down to the SR522 crossing and into Snohomish where I hit the 7-11 for a Baby Ruth and receipt, and got moving without much ado. Normally I'd control at the Snohomish Bakery for a bigass muffin and cup of coffee, but I was going for speed.
Snohomish 7-11 to Tall Chief Golf Course: 4h 09m
With late starts and stoppage time I was just over 2 hours for the first 23 miles. The second 32 miles were knocked out in 02h 07m. I love that section of this course. The roads open up into the farm country 2-lanes with nice shoulders and low rolling hills. You don't lose much on the up, and you can pick it up a mile or two per hour on the downhill sections. The rain kept coming, and the wind was more prevalent out of the building and tree cover, so I was a little slower but still pushing hard. As much as some people may not like it through there, I grew up in cow country down the street from a dairy farm, and the smell of the Carnation/Duvall farming valley brings back childhood memories of riding my bike, and I got to hauling ass yesterday for the conditions. I knew the control at Tall Chief and didn't even slow down as I checked my clock coming through.
Tall Chief Golf Course to Peet's: 5h 10m
The cue sheet claims 110km, but I've done this one 4 times on 2 different bikes with triple-roll-out calibrated bike computers for 3 different tire sizes and I've always come up with 71 to 71.5 miles for this course, which puts it at more like 114 or 115km. Whatever; I just don't like seeing my time split from Tall Chief to Peet's looking like I stopped to take a nap on that final stretch. :-p
So, the final 16-ish miles took me just about an hour. Not too shabby considering the stretch from 31st into Redmond on SR202 is a fairly consistent "false flat" of 1% to 2% grade. It's those deceptive stretches that can do you in mentally. It looks flat going forward, and you pour out the effort for 1.5mph slower than you think you should get. That's when you start questioning a rubbing brake or slow-leak flat, but in reality you've just been climbing really gently for 3 miles. I was pretty happy to see a 16mph average on that section.
I rolled into Peet's at about 5h 07m and took off my gloves, helmet, hat and coat before going inside, to keep from slopping up their floor all too much after spending 5 hours in the rain. I got my Sasquatch sized triple-shot caramel soy froofaccino and sat outside under the awning to chat bikes with a couple at one of the tables (and to pet their dog, who was just thrilled to see me.)
Overall, I'm pleased with my ride. I would have loved some company the whole way, but things happen, right? Next time, Hansen... Next time; and we'll tackle the U-District/Issaquah. That course is a turbo-burner, all the way.