Setting out with 3 other riders we rode a 60 mile fund raising bike ride. We in our infinite wisdom decided to ride 6.3 miles to the start of the 60 mile ride. Before we ever got out of Georgetown, Brian got a flat, had to go back and trade bikes. We left without him and he managed to arrive about 7 minutes after us, nice timing really. We were the last group to depart and we made great time. At some point along Lake Washington trail, my chain fell off. I have coaster brakes and this meant I had not brakes. THis happened as I was heading down a fairly steep hill, fortunately there was no traffic. I scuffed my feet as the bike was heading back up a slight incline to stop it. We managed to get the chain back on and we were off again.
We rode along and kept pace up until Richard got a flat just past the I-90 overpass before entering Bellevue. He had to got a lift to Greggs bike shop so they could fix the flat. I rode with the group that stopped to help us, I abandoned Richard, and felt bad. I rode into Bellevue and had to push my bike up a hill. I had not expected to have to go up this steep incline. I had the guys at Greggs Bike shop check out my chain and realign the gears. Then it was off to the lunch stop in Kirkland. Lunch was great. I loved the hummus, could have had more variety, but in the world of long distance maybe heavy food is bad.
Off we went again, this time up Market Street in Kirkland and then the big hill, Juanita Drive. This hill is 5 miles on a constant up incline. Brian was surprised at how much endurance I have. I can kick butt on that big ole cruiser! We all made it, Richard was such a trooper. For being the only one that hadn’t been on a bike since October and having not really ridden a huge amount he was my hero. The fact that he never gave up and that he made it the whole way says a great deal about his character. Richard you are my hero!
Once we hit the Burke Gilman Trail it was a breeze from there. I have to say that the fruit and nut bars are my new favorite snack items. Minimal Calories, mostly natural and quite tasty with both carbs and protein along with plenty of taste, what more does a girl need? Or a boy for that matter! Brian headed home at the end of the Burke. Ben had some knee issues and we stopped to adjust his seat to help dissappate that. Richard passed us and caught up to Brian. Ben and Richard and I all tried to get back to the Central District, we found ourselves walking up Montlake, because I got lost, shhhh do not tell them that! We made it back and have the most awesome Lavender ice cream ever! Along with some tasty cornbread and we each managed to get a cup of beer before the keg went dry.
I realized that those two were not going to be happy riding back home, so I asked Sean to take them home. He had no problem with that and they were hooked up with a ride. I took off to ride home as soon as the bikes were on the car. I managed to beat them home by 5 minutes, but I guess they did not leave right away. Oh well, the fact is we all made it home safe and sound. I am glad we did this. It was an amazing experience in support and unity. For a ragtag group of varying abilities in biking, we stuck together and supported one another with pride and dignity and that is worth more than all the fund raising money we spent on it.