It was a good day in the northwest, and a fine way to usher out the first month of the year with a little 70 mile ride from Snohomish through Marysville and over a lot of backroads toward Arlington, before getting onto the Centennial Trail back to the start. 7 of us, Greg and Ruth Sneed on their new tandem "Guacamole", my new friend Pat Leahy on his white Cannondale stallion, Ed on his mighty Griffen, Barb Scheffler on her beautiful Land Shark, Susan Cady on some old hunka metal she has hanging around and me, of course astraddle the mighty Katrina.
The other 35 or 40 riders had already departed and we were all about a half hour late out of the parking lot, but at least by the time we were rolling, the temperature had warmed up a little bit and by the time we rode through Marysville, the sun had come out for a little. We made a quick potty stop at a park just before leaving town and then headed north. As we were riding along, two of us didn't have mudflaps. Both Barb and Ed were really generous, though, and offered to sit on the back so they wouldn't spray us all. Poor Pat, though, had a great rear fender with mudflap which I truly appreciated, but he had no front fender. The result, of course was that as we were traveling along where there had been a lot of frost an hour or so ago, there was now a very muddy goo that we were riding through, that kicked up a pretty good spray from his front wheel that was blowing back at him. Nobody, of course, could see this until we came to a stop light at 34th, and I rode up beside him. Here's what I saw:
Some others tried to blame Barb who had been in front of the line, but Pat and I both knew where this was coming from. He ended up riding like this for the next 30 miles until we hit the lunch stop in Arlington, where I managed to squeeze myself into a booth with three lovely ladies while poor Greg found himself alone in a separate booth, without coffee, water or even anybody to keep him company. And to make matters worse, the waitress wouldn't even take his order. He, of course was NOT pleased.
Eventually, we all got our egg salad sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches, burgers and chiliburgers (my first of the season!!) and took off for the last 22 miles back to Snohomish. Me made a brief stop at Machias for a little pottie stop and to visit with the locals. And only one big mean dog incident along the way! Not bad.
From there, it was all downhill, but with just 4 miles to go, Barb discovered a slow leak from her front tire, so we had a little pause to change that, whereupon a family with a couple of young hot shots on tiny bikes decided to give us a bit of a chase. I think they were after my bell, but I'm not sure.
So here we were, in the middle of winter, temperature of 43 degrees, in the late afternoon with the sun low on the horizon, and the trail simply loaded with all manner of folks out, with skates, scooters, dogs, lovers, and it started to feel like spring is right around the corner. We must be due for a weather change.