I woke up this morning and looked at the alarm clock. It said 5:30 AM. I turned it off and went downstairs to start the coffee. Joe must have heard me because he joined me in the kitchen a few minutes later. I said it looked like it was going to be a nice day for the ride. We decided to eat breakfast at home and pick up Starbucks on the drive to Redmond where the ride was to start. After breakfast Joe went out and got the bikes ready and loaded them onto the truck while I filled our water bottles with powerade. We were on the road by 7:00 AM.
Initially I was going to do the ride with a friend from work, Jennifer. But on Thursday she went home sick with a very bad sore throat. She emailed me on Friday saying she was really sick and would not be able to do the ride. We had signed up to do the 70 mile route. I didn't want to ride alone so I talked my hubby Joe into doing the ride. He said on one condition, that we do the 45 mile route. I said that would be fine with me. Joe hasn't been riding as much as me this year and anything more would have made the ride miserable for him (and me). I've been training for a big 128 mile ride. It's next Saturday! At least I got to ride today!
So we left the house by 7:00 AM and made our Starbucks stop. The ride to Redmond is only 40-50 minutes depending on traffic. We were making good time until we reached the exit for Marymoor Park. It was backed up down the highway with vehicle upon vehicle loaded with bikes. I guess everyone thought it was a nice day for a bike ride too. We finally pulled into Marymoor Park and parked the truck. We unloaded our bikes, pinned our numbers on then hit the sanican lines. Fifteen minutes later we were finally on our way! :)
What a turnout! There must have been at least 5,000 cyclists there for the event. It was like one big party! The start line had music playing and a guy on a mic shouting out encouragement, welcome, and alot of other nonsensical information. It was all good.
The first seven miles was sweet. We left Marymoor Park and cycled along Lake Sammamish. Around mile 8 or 9 we veered away from the lake and hit our first major hill climb. A steep son of a gun with a ten percent grade the last mile from the crest. I made it and waited for Joe at the top. He reached me a few minutes later.
At mile 20 we reached our first rest stop at Camp Korey near Carnation. Camp Korey is a special camp for children suffering from serious and life threatening illnesses. The camp provides week-long camp activities to these children at no cost to them and their families. Camp Korey had people at the finish line with information about it's program.
After the first rest stop we hit a headwind but we also cycled on some beautiful (and smooth) back roads around the Carnation area. At mile 28 we hit more serious hills. Some pretty long and steep (8-9 percent grades) climbs. About 3 miles away from our next rest stop we saw a sign that said 10% grade! And it was downhill! Woo Hoo! What a thrilling trip that was!
After our ride Joe and I hung around for a while watching people race on the velodrome. It was pretty interesting to see. It was the first time I have ever watched people on bikes ride around and around on a velodrome. It actually looked like a lot of fun.
With the afternoon quickly disappearing we finally left and headed back home. We had a great time!