I joined the Seattle International Randonneurs on their first WTS (Winter Training Series) ride today. We met at Sammamish Valley Cycle for an 8:30 sign-up, an 8:50 briefing, and a 9:00 start. The day was a typical January day in the PNW. Wet, chilly, windy, but the sun popped out half way to Carnation. It actually turned into a pretty decent day to be outside and on a bike.
We left the bike shop's parking lot and maneuvered through the streets of Redmond. We turned onto East Lake Sammamish and cruised for six miles before turning left onto Thompson Hill Road. The run on East Lake Sammamish was a nice warm up but Thompson Hill Road was a challenge. The grade on this hill is 9.5% and a few riders I passed were walking. Hey it's early in the season and why kill yourself on a training ride in January? I took my time and made it without having to get off my bike and walk but I sure was huffing and puffing as I ascended the hill. Once on top it got a lot more pleasant. The rest of the ride to Carnation was flat with a few rollers. One particular part of the ride I totally enjoyed was the descent down Duthie Hill. What a ride! Entering Carnation I rode along wonderful back country roads with very little traffic. The road that runs along the Carnation golf course was one of my favorites. Finally at mile 22.5 I arrived at Sandy's Espresso in down town Carnation, this was our rest stop.
At Sandy's I ordered a tall mocha which I thoroughly enjoyed. I took my time drinking it relishing in the warmth and taste of this wonderful beverage. After I finished my mocha, took my bathroom break, and refilled my water bottles I was on my way back to Redmond. On the ride back I set a moderate cadence and enjoyed the pastoral scenery. There was quite a bit of climbing again and another thrilling downhill to enjoy. And before I knew it I was back at the Sammamish Valley Bike shop.