I finally got off the couch for some much needed group riding. Surely I have been up and down the trail, nothing challenging though. It was time! I had never tried a Cascade Bike Club ride and felt it was about time. I chose a Saturday ride deftly named CHEW: climbing hills eastside in winter. I was chewed up all right…
Saturday morning was sunny. Better yet, it stayed that way the whole day, a nice change in this very damp winter of ours, wettest one sine 1894 – great, isn’t it?! With the rest of the family scattered on different trips across the country, I also had all the time I could wish for myself and the bike. As you can see, a total “no excuses” scenario: just get up and go!
The ride started in the south, in Renton, and traveled for 48.3 miles, climbing a respectable amount of hills ( 3139 ft of elevation gain). There were multiple pace levels, and the comfort of a “stay together” ride policy for my group – the brave “steady” folks. We gathered our bikes on a parking lot, got the wise SMART ride safety briefing and rolled at 9:30. Just right: not too early, not too late, neither cold, nor hot. A pleasant departure for a colorful group! Off we went: the “ brisks” left first, then the “moderates” and finally us.
We warmed up on a good stretch of flat and some rolling terrain before hitting our first big one. Once we did, however, it was all uphill – well, some downhills were so steep and winding that I would actually take an upwards anytime….we persevered, however, earning our coffee break mid point. Relief. Sigh.
Then, it was pedal to the medal to get back. At the end, we were gifted the soothing terrain of the Cedar River Trail – beautiful, sunny and ever so ….flat! Yay! We rode back joyfully and in one piece enough to chat and laugh (and that is the whole point, right?!).
Back home, soaking in a much deserved bath, I was enveloped in that warm, reinvigorating post ride glow: pleasantly chewed up and glad I showed up for the ride. Awwww…..A morning outside, in the sun, on the bike, with great company – not bad at all!