Today was absolutely beautiful. I woke up to bright sunshine and a brilliant clear blue sky which was deceiving because the temperature on my thermometer read 37 degrees. I got my bike ready and then I dressed into my riding clothes and off I went on a bike ride. I drove to the Foothills Trailhead in Sumner and started my ride. I headed towards Orting and continued on to South Prairie and then to Wilkeson. After reaching the town of Wilkeson I headed back. I stopped at the Orting Bakery on my return trip for a coffee and one of their fine toffee crunch cookies. Refreshed I got back on my bike and finished off the last 8 miles of the ride. Although it was sunny, with a warm sun beating down on me, the air that was blowing into me (yes a headwind) was "arctic" cold. I'm happy that I rode today because the weather is taking a drastic turn beginning tomorrow. They are calling for snow, AGAIN! Yes, rain mixed with snow. Hopefully it will not be as bad as they are reporting especially for Sunday as I have a ride to lead. Here are a few pictures that I took on today's ride . . .
Bridge that will be part of the Foothills Trail. Connecting South Prairie to Wilkeson.
A neat old barn on AP Tubbs Road.
Coffee and cookie break at the Orting Bakery on the way back.
This was the second ride in the 7 ride series of Getting Ready to Ride - South End Series. Our first ride was cancelled last week because of SNOW! I thought we would be cancelling today's ride too because of weather but the rain held off. Though we had no rain on this ride we sure had wind. 25-30 wind gusts. Going north we had a tailwind but when we turned south we hit the wall of wind! It felt like we were riding in Boeing's wind tunnel. But we had 17 hardy riders show up and the ride was great. A nice workout. Here I am giving ride details and safety briefing to the riders.
I'm really excited about this year! I'm back on my bike, I'm a ride leader, I'm doing the GR2R South End series rides and after this series ends I am helping out with creating rides in the Pierce County area for CBC. And I've signed up to finally ride the RSVP, one ride I have been wanting to ride for years but never gotten around to it. I've done the Daffodil Classic, the Chilly Hilly, the May Day Metric, the Flying Wheels, the STP, RAMROD, and many many other big event rides but the RSVP has eluded me all these years but finally this will be the year! Besides my bike riding I have been doing a lot of archery with my husband. This is another pass time I truly enjoy. And I'm getting pretty good at it too. Last year I shot three Robin Hoods! A term given to two arrows shot end to end, the second arrow embedded into the rear of the first. Happens rarely, so the arrows are usually kept as a trophy. And I have all three of mine! Here are pictures of two of my Robin Hoods . . .
I posted four rides this month. The first one was on November 2nd which I had to cancel because of a severe wind storm. The second was on November 9th, A Steady Lark to Madison Park". Here are some pictures from that ride. We had a great afternoon on our bikes!
My third ride was a very wet and soggy ride but fun never the less. I had six people sign up but half way through two had to drop out because of frozen feet! Besides the rain and wind the temperature was quite chilly and these two riders came without booties to keep their feet warm. Here is a picture of the four remaining riders and me at Panera Bread in Kent. We enjoyed coffee, soup, sandwiches, and pastries before continuing on. Even with the constant down pour we had a great time! All riders who came were happy I did not cancel the ride. As one rider said, "If you don't ride in the rain, you'll rarely ride in Washington"!
My last ride in November was my favorite. It was a sunny gorgeous day. Blue sky but frigid temperatures. The start of the ride was a frost biting 29 degrees but by the end of the ride it was a balmy 43 degrees. The sun made it feel balmy and the hills of Vashon helped keep us nice and warm. Four people signed up but only two were able to make the ride. The three of us had the best ride and a great time riding and chatting and enjoying the views that Vashon had to offer. One rider complimented me by saying it was her favorite ride she's attended this fall! She's glad I posted it and looks forward to more adventure rides like the one we had that day. We took the 10:05 AM ferry from Point Defiance to Vashon Island and began our afternoon adventure. We stopped by the tree that swallowed the bike, which was followed by a stop at Cafe Luna to warm ourselves before we continued our roller coaster ride around the island. November was a month of extreme weather and riding conditions. The month began with a severe storm of high winds and rain, followed by rain and more rain, but by the end of the month the sun finally came out but with freezing temperatures. I wonder what the month of December will bring with it?
On May 13th I attended CBC's Ride Leader Certification class. It was the first step towards becoming a ride leader for Cascade Bike Club. The next criteria was leading two rides with a ride mentor. My first mentored ride was on May 18th with Page. We rode her Fall City Carnation route. My second mentored ride was with Marizel on May 23rd. Her ride was the South Lake Washington route. With all criteria met I am now a ride leader for my club. I've only lead three rides since becoming a ride leader because my daughter was in the hospital for over a month. Now that she is home and healing I hope to lead more rides in the future.
After a year off my bike I am back. I started riding again in February and my hope is to be back in shape by the time summer arrives! I even signed up to become a ride leader. I figure if I lead rides I will ride more often! My sister wants to start cycling too. When I visit her in Aspen this summer I'm going to help her look for a bike. I believe this will be a good year. Another good thing is my daughter is on her way to health. She has been very sick this past year (one of the reasons besides my back that I was off my bike). She is scheduled for surgery in June and will be coming off all the nasty medicines she has been on this past year. So good things are coming! I believe this in my heart!