Saturday, June 13, 2009

2009 Flying Wheels Century Ride

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!

Me approaching the finish line!


Donald Boothby said...

Nice ride report, Susan. The only time I did Flying Wheels was 2 years ago - on tandem. We hit that 10% grade on ol' Sherman, and all I can say is YOWCH!!! It hurt, but we made up for it by singing to mask the pain. :-) And that descent was especially sweet on tandem. Glad you had a great ride.

Sue said...

You climbed that son of a gun on a tandem?! You and Mimi (yes tell her) are animals! The highlight was the 10% downhill and of course doing the ride with Joe. I wish I could have done the 70 mile course but the 45 was sweet because I had my sweetie with me. Joe really needs to start riding again and getting back into shape. He works way tooooo much! My goal this year is to bike more often, do my 128 mile Native Planet Classic on June 20th, and lose 15 pounds! So far I'm on task! :)

Are you doing the RAMROD this year Raleighdon? I know you did it last year. I haven't made the lottery the last two years that's why my new big ride is the Native Planet Classic. You should ride it too!