Today our group of 50 gathered for a breakfast of oatmeal, muffins, fresh fruit, with eggs and bacon for the carnivores. We didn’t rush to get started because it was going to be a short day, made shorter by our decision to not ride the extra 7 miles to dip our wheel in Puget Sound. After all, that was the point of our trip from Westport two weeks ago.
We set out with our bike bedecked with a Gay Pride flag since it is pride week. Notice the Seattle to Boston emblazoned on the fender! By cutting off the 7 miles for the dip at the start of the day, we launched ourselves into the front of the pack. That’s not a place we’re used to being. We passed our new friend Carole from Salem (the only other vegan) on the way to Snohomish and we were in the lead.
The roads were familiar and pretty flat from Everett to Snohomish to Monroe to Sultan. That road to Sultan had one short hill that topped out at 14%! We continued zipping in to Sultan and the lunch stop. Wouldn’t you know it? One of the strong young bucks from England passed us 50′ from the lunch stop. We’d lost the lead.
Lunch was plentiful, but way too early to actually eat. We packed up some sandwiches and by that time lots of people were catching us. Tim, the guy who caught us at the lunch stop, had actually ridden in the Fremont Solstice Parade with the naked bicyclists. He decided nobody in this country knew him, so why not? That’s Shuli who’s in charge of the daily lunch stop.
We eventually headed out under increasingly cloudy skies. Pretty soon we had rain squalls going by more and more frequently. Raingear on, raingear off. Raingear on, raingear off. During one of those stops we ran over a roofing nail. Needless to say, that flatted our back tire as quick as you can say “bang”. We followed the Skykomish river which was uncharacteristically high for this time of year.
We fixed it and headed the last 8 miles to Skykomish. Along the way we were caught by Alex, one of the UK boys. We kicked it into gear and led him into town at 19-20 mph. It was an exhilarating end to a great ride.
When we arrived all the bags were neatly lined up under a canopy. A good thing as the sky opened up shortly thereafter. Notice how these bags look exactly alike? We thought ourselves quite clever to have made ours so easily identifiable with checkerboard tape. Tonight we’ll sleep safe and warm inside the gym at Skykomish rather than camp outside since it’s now raining pretty hard.