Doing it all the hard way...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ronde and Ribs 2013 Coffee and Lies #25

This kind of sums it up.
After the Maglia Bruno made an appearance at the Ronde von Portlandia this past April, one of our team members realized we have hills right here in Seattle and since he can cook some freakin good ribs;  he should host a ride.
We met at Dave's place.  It was easy to find with the flag of Ned Flanders in front.  That is Dave on the left of the picture, smiling as always.
There was a large smoker in front and assorted BBQ weaponry. 
We all look fresh and ready for the day ahead.  It was sprinkling, but at almost 60 degrees we didn't expect anyone would be suffering from the weather.  Keith donned the Flanders jersey for some cred.
We rolled out, looking forward to the day ahead.  Keith a.k.a. Hot Pants was sporting the Flanders jersey.  
Sam pointed out that if there were snipers they would assume Keith was our leader and take him out first, giving the rest of us time to escape.  Sam is always looking out for us (expect Keith)

The day would involve climbing, descending and exploring West Seattle.  But with Ribs awaiting, we took heart and pedaled onward.
Dave had marked the course with Rainier styled "R's" for Ronde. Ninety kilometers of route marking must have taken a ton of time.  Way to go Dave !
In no time we were fighting our way up twenty percent grades.  Tim remarked his steepest reading was just over thirty percent. 
The ride included an assortment of "greenway" traverses.  Sometimes we went downhill, sometimes up. The cross tires were a huge help and my low gearing saved my life and my knees.
The "route" included every kind of road, path, easement, trail, sidewalk, byway, and driveway that met the objective of fifty miles and seven thousand feet of climbing..
We stopped for much needed calories and caffeine.
Despite obstacles in our path, the brown continued to persevere.  It was muggy and rained off and on.  It felt like Hawaii !
Although there was 7,000 feet of climbing there was also 7,000 feet of descending !  Some communities welcomed us more than others.  We had cheering, jeering and honking.
Once you are hypoxic, it doesn't even hurt anymore!!
McWoodie provided mechanical services as needed.
As the suffering to fun ratio neared a tipping point, we stopped to refill bottles for the final push.  
At this point calories and liquids were the coin of the realm and were shared unselfishly. When Aaron picked up some Snickers Bars and handed them to weary riders his name was revered henceforth.  The day was weird in that I could feel my body switch into "epic" mode and just keep riding within myself. Between the race yesterday and the ride today I had a weekend with over a hundred miles and over ten thousand feet of hard climbing.

One might have thought that as our journey neared completion that the climbs would be less severe offering up a kind of "cool down" for the day's epic. If one thought that, one would have been wrong.  As we neared the end, Dave threw in one more chain buster climb. As we climbed the profanities were flying. We weren't swearing at the steepness, we were swearing at Dave. I was wondering what kind of friend saves the steepest climbs for the end of the day when muscles and spirit are weak?  Then I realized, the best kind of friend shares your suffering and urges you onward.
Finally we finished our ride....
..Or perhaps, the ride finished us !
True to his word, Dave had slaps of food (literally)
We didn't want to hurt his feelings, so we ate and ate !

Huge thanks and praise to Dave and his wonderful family for putting on the great ride and rib feed.  Mark your calendars for the Ronde and Ribs 2014 !!

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