The route starts from the Beacon Hill Red Apple and just like at Thanksgiving when they paint the window with turkeys, now it is with easter chicks:
I arrived a bit early, so headed over to The Station:
(photo imported from FB profile page)
where I found this sign:
They were hot and freshly made (heck, it was 8:30 in the morning!) and JoseLuis Rodriguez told me I'd never forgive myself if I didn't try one. So I did. Lawdy, Miss Claudie! That was sooooooooo good, and just excellent pre-ride food, along with one of there outstanding Mexican Hot Chocolates. Dave arrived just as I got back,
and after taking care of the obligatory paperwork, we were off, right at 9:00.
Of course, this is a course that starts with a 38 mph descent from Beacon Ave. down to SODO on Holgate. I was a bit concerned since I didn't know how he'd do, but after we got down to the bottom of the hill and were headed out toward Spokane at 17 mph, I figured we'd do just fine together, especially when he started telling me he sure hoped he wouldn't slow me down (as I was choking and trying to keep breathing!).
We made a quick stop in South Park for a wardrobe change and Dave took a bit of a spill when his skinny tires got caught in some sort of terrain. Luckily, no serious damage, and off we went, chatting a mile a minute and then the rain started. For the first 30 miles it was one of those Seattle mystery rains where you keep feeling the drops, but never get wet. Then south of Kent, it started to be a bit more serious, but never enough I needed my rainjacket.
Now, Dave is a big guy at 250# and he was really worried about "the hill" at the end. This course has about 900' of vertical gain, over 550' of it in the last 5 miles. Only the first little section right after MLK is very steep at all, and he just made it up that like a champion.
After a quick stop at Casa Boothby (2 blocks off the route) to grab a piece of forgotten paperwork for the ride, we were off again and finished strong in just 5:17. a VERY respectable time, especially for a first time rider.
JOB WELL DONE, DAVE. WELCOME TO RUSA AND SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL RANDONNEURS!
After the finish, we lounged about The Station, where we each did a fine job of wolfing down another three tamales and chased it down with some coffee.
If you happen to be on the north end of Beacon Hill, head across the street from Red Apple, take a left down 16th Ave. S (north) and head that half block toward The Station. Best dingblasted espresso on the hill, nice rotating art display, great pastries, and a small selection of beers. Of course, now with these tamales, I'm even MORE of a regular! Tell JoseLuis "that crazy biker" sent you. He'll treat you right, trust me.
*that total time/saddle time is a little deceiving - I didn't really only spend 3 minutes off the bike! The saddle time includes my 4 miles riding from home to the start and 4 miles back home. The total time includes JUST the time for the permanent route itself.