It was a beautiful morning. The sun was out the sky was blue. The weather report for the day was HOT! The first 17 miles of the ride were wonderful because the route was along shady tree lined country roads. Plus the early morning air was still nice and cool. It would have been a perfect start except for a bee that hit Jackie's helmet and got stuck in it not 3 miles into the ride. It stung her. She was a real trooper and continued on. After a while she felt better. Lucky thing she is not allergic to bees. Usually I am the one who gets stung. And then there was the crazy squirrel! Jackie and I were coming down a steep hill and a squirrel ran out onto the road. It does this twitchy back and forth dance, like it can't decide which way to go before it finally darts off towards the left side of the road. Jackie and I were both scared that one of us would hit it and crash. It was sort of funny and scary at the same time. But anyway we arrived safely at our first rest stop at the Southworth Ferry and enjoyed watermelon, oranges, all sorts of cookies, bagels, peanut butter, jelly, potatoes with Johnny seasoning (need that salt), water, gatore aide, and so much more. The people working the rest stop were friendly and helpful.
Refreshed we set off for the next leg of the route, which followed the shoreline and offered us magnificient views of the sound! On this section of the ride I saw two bald eagles, herons, boats, and a fisherman hip deep in the sound casting for fish. The air coming off the water was refreshingly cold. It felt wonderful! But soon our ride turned inland and the HILLS appeared! Steep roller coaster hills! Up and down. Each one steeper then the last one! We would pedal up one hill, sweat dripping down our noses and backs, wishing we were at the crest, when we finally did reach the top of a hill our relief was short lived because waiting for us was another HILL! Finally, after climbing what seemed like a hundred hills we rolled into the second rest stop dripping wet from our climbs. Yes, the Kitsap peninsula is notorious for hills! If you want to train for any kind of mountain or climbing event I would say ride the Gig Harbor area for some great hill training!
We stayed at this rest stop a good 30 minutes sitting underneath a shady tree and taking in food and liquids. Finally we decided to move on and began the third leg of the route. The next rest stop was only 13 miles away. But the heat was beginning to take it's toll. I have been riding after work, two or three times a week, for the last month but Joe and Jackie have not. So the hills and heat were really starting to get to them. About 6 miles away from the last rest stop they bonked badly. Luckily a sagwagon went by and offered to take both Jackie and Joe to the next rest stop while I continued on alone. My legs felt great, I felt great, I finished the last 6 miles and 4 steep hill climbs in record time, beating Joe, Jackie, and the sagwagon to the rest stop! I passed them as they stopped to help a cyclist with a flat tire!
The course we were on was a 68 mile course. Joe and Jackie told me that they just could not finish. So Joe asked the guy driving the sagwagon to take him back to the start so that he could pick up the truck and come back and get Jackie, me, and our bikes. I was happy. I got 52 miles in and Joe and Jackie got 46 miles. They did awesome for not riding in such a long time.
On our drive home we stopped at Burger Kings for burgers and fries, then we stopped for ice cream cones. When we finally arrived home we put the bikes away, showered and crashed. The ride, heat, and hills took it's toll. I did get a little too much sun on my shoulders but other than that I feel great. Joe and Jackie felt great this morning too! We all agreed that the ride was a lot of fun!
Here are a few pictures of yesterday's ride . . . .
Pictures of Joe, Jackie, and me riding the Peninsula Metric
As you can see it was a great ride!