Doing it all the hard way...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

January 18th Ride Report

When young Dawn with her rose-red fingers shone once more it was time for the 20/20 Fuel team to assemble and again journey to the Isle of Mercer. From I-5 Mount Rainier was silhouetted against a bright blue sky. It appeared that clouds had been outlawed. Approaching the Ship Canal Bridge I could see Lake Union hidden under a thick blanket of fog.  Long fingers of fog extended along the Montlake cut and up Capital Hill.  Even though there wasn’t a lot of water on the ground there was a little black ice on Capital Hill so the potential for a slippery ride was worth noting. 
The sun chased the moon away and soon a quorum was present and we took off. The descent was especially brisk and everyone was evaluating their clothing choices. Gloves, ear, neck and foot protection were all topics of discussion.  The pace was friendly and although the elastic snapped and we broke into two groups; there wasn’t any urgency to close the gap. At the top of the I-90 lid we caught up with Matt and soon we were riding into the grey havens on the bridge. With little wind and thick fog the bridge had a surreal feeling as if the Island was a hundred miles away through endless fog. Finally we began the climb and knew we were approaching Mercer. 
We took a quick inventory and, finding all present, we started around the island. The sun was playing peek-a-boo as were still in fog, but with blue sky overhead we knew the fog was thinning.  A small group shot off the front and the peloton proper kept a reasonable tempo. Sam A.K.A. “the Piston” started pumping and we began to move out. On the southern tip of the island the fog was so thick, we didn’t realize we were at the base of the climb until the road turned up.

My eye caught movement and I realized it was John on his foggy-pavement colored stealth bike coming toward us. He had turned and looped back to ride the hill again. Determined not to be passed by John on the hill; Kevin moved out to demonstrate he still isn’t old and Dave tried to hang on.  Shortly after the hill, John barreled by us without a word. Kevin grabbed his wheel and Dave latched on to Kevin’s draft. A few turns later Kevin drifted back and Dave tried to hang with John. This proved futile and soon Dave was in oxygen bankruptcy and sat up. Scott passed Dave looking for John. By now John was up the road really laying down the power and the rest of us were considering dietary supplements.

Mike had commitments, so he cut back along the top of Mercer while the rest of us retraced our route. The return was less eventful with Tom, Sam, Matt and Kevin taking turns leading our group. John, Scott and Hank had moved out and we regrouped just before descending to the bridge. Tom flatted on the bridge, which afforded an opportunity to help our fellow rider and show some class. Once we were again at full strength we again sailed northbound along Lake Washington. 

Scott pounced and took full KOM points on the climb up from the lake. The Arboretum was dry and traffic was light. The climb back up Capital hill was pleasant and cooperative.

Some Post ride Java at our sponsor’s venue was the perfect way to end the morning. We took our Joe and sat across the street in the sun and discussed the finer points of clinical trials. A great day.

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