This years first “big ride” was Cascade Bicycle Club’s Chilly Hilly Ride. It’s over on Bainbridge Island, 33 miles of February fun. My friend Erin and her boyfriend David came out to do the ride and I coaxed T to join in the fun. As a last minute surprise, M & J decided to ride the ferry with us and hang out on the island while we rode. This was especially surprising given the early start time – we picked them up at the ungodly hour of 7 am! Plus, since I forgot my camera, M was kind enough to shoot some photos for me.
I had no idea how popular this ride was, so I was pretty surprised to see how many folks were waiting for the first ferry:
We found Erin & David surprisingly easily, given the number of people out there. Then once we’d loaded onto the ferry, we met up with M & J. T had made bagels on Saturday, so we had some yummy pre-race fuel which M was kind enough to photograph us eating…
Finally, we made it to the island and the ride began. It was insanely crowded as legions of cyclists took to the roads. Eventually, things started to thin out a bit, though it was pretty full the whole way. The weather was a little drizzly, but wasn’t that bad, so the Chilly part of the name wasn’t so accurate but the “Hilly” part sure was. Holy crap! I’m proud that I managed to ride up all but one of the hills (a huge group of people basically dismounted right in front of me, making it pretty much impossible to ride through the chaos) although some times it was simply because I wasn’t coordinated enough to clip out. We saw every kind of bike & cyclist imaginable, including two guys on unicycles (crazy bastards!) For the most part, people were pretty nice except for the occasional douchebag (I’m talking to you, a$$hole triathlete deliberately passing people on the right on a crowded downhill section!) and despite my dislike of riding in crowds, it was pretty enjoyable.
After the ride, we met up with M & J and said good-bye to Erin & David:
While we were chatting, some obnoxious pedestrian chose to complain to us about “those cyclists” and how difficult it was to try to drive today. Direct quote: “I mean, it’s bad enough that they have their own lane, but today they were all over the road.” All I have to say is read the sign, dude:
I knew people thought these things, but few of them have the cojones to say it to my face, so bravo Mr. Pedestrian. After a delicious snack/coffee at Blackbird Bakery (mmmm, multi-grain sticky bun) we hopped back on the ferry for the ride home. All in all, a very enjoyable outing.