Or perhaps we should start to call this the Flaming GEEZERS Ride, based on the overall average age of our gang. Today, we had five machines out there, 3 tandem teams consisting of Greg & Ruth Sneed on the Green and Gold Machine, Linda Knapp & Max Maxon on Linda's wonderful DaVinci and Ken Condray with Ralph Nussbaum stoking on Ken's brilliant Trek. Then there were Susan Cady and me on singles. Left Gene Coulon Park right on schedule at 9:00 am and wound our way down to pick up the Cedar River Trail, which we rode about 15 miles out to Maple Valley, where we paused leaving the trail for everyone (except me) to take off their raincoats. Then it was a series of backroads into Black Diamond for a "lunch" stop. After a nice break, we took off along Hwy 169 and cut off toward Flaming Geyser State Park and through the Green Valley, turning off back toward Black Diamond on Auburn/Black Diamond Road. Left that nightmarishly busy road for another very quiet and scenic climb up 168th, turning onto (I think) 340th, where we eventually picked up Soos Creek Trail which we rode to its end in Renton. After a short stint on 140th, we crossed over Petrovitsky Road for a screaming 40+ mph descent back to the Cedar River Trail and back to the park. I was the only one who rode to the start line - 5 cars in the parking lot, and none of them were mine!!! I tuned off onto N 4th in Renton and headed off toward home. The sun was out and a nice southerly breeze, so called Mimi and asked if she wanted to meet me and do a short ride. She seems to think I need to ride 50 or 60 miles before she and I ride together - that will wear me out (right!) enough so I'll be slowed down to her pace. She agreed to meet me, so I took off from the Renton Airport and turned north onto Rainier Ave. S. where I overtook a rider riding along futzing with his gear. As I passed him, he tucked in behind me and hung on my wheel. I kicked it up a gear. He hung in. I kicked another gear, and hit 24, he stayed right on my wheel. The guy is puffing and panting back there and I've got 2 gears to go. I'm having fun now with a little tailwind, good bike lane and Elmer Fudd chasing me down. He's a few years older than me, and we've not said a word to each other. Click. Another gear. Push a little harder. 26 mph. He tucks in and holds on for dear life. I've got just one more gear, but now there is a little bit of a rise for a quarter mile so I drop the gear back and back to about 22. I look in my mirror and he looks relieved. I still don't say a word. Then I see a recumbant ahead - all black. Looks like a really heavy guy with lots of bags. We crest the little bump and I kick it into overdrive. 27. 27.5 and this guy is right on my tail. I'm smiling as I overtake the recumbant and shout out a quick howdy do as we pass him by. We're now just about to the last little turn before Rainier Beach. I drop to the middle chain ring and pull off to the right. "Is this the end of your ride?" My wheelsucker says. "Yep," I say, "I'm just heading over to meet my wife. My 70 are done." Actually it was only 68.5 at that point. He tells me thanks, mentions that it was a really fun pull along the lake and takes off. Recumbant guy pulls up along side and in a very thick German accent asks if I know the way to Seward Park. I give him directions and turn off toward Seward myself, with a left onto Henderson to meet Mimi, and a farewell wave back and forth with Recumbant Guy. After stopping at Rite Aid to grab a Gatorade, Mimi and I take off, ride to Seward Park and just as we're coming in, get stopped for a few minutes by the flagger where somebody took out a fire hydrant last night. They've been working ever since to clean up the massive mess it created. As we head north, there is Recumbant Guy plugging his way along the lake. We're in almost full sun now, and the afternoon is beautiful and warm. Exit the lake at Sayres Pits and after a quick stop at CycleWorks, meander our way along to Orcas, up the hill, and along Beacon to home, stopping just long enough at Youngs Market to pick up an onion for my bean soup.
Ah, but now it's dinner time. I'm outta here. Here's a little photoshoot I did along the way if you're interested.
Flaming Booger - 2008 (Redmond Cycling Club)
See ya up the road.