We planned to ride RAPSody 2013 (Ride Around Puget Sound), a two-day event, this weekend. However, Paula took ill during the week with a cold that would keep her off the bicycle. With a gorgeous August Saturday in offing Timothy opted to do a ride closer to home and found one listed by John Kay, a fellow High Performance Cycling member. John is training for the High Pass Challenge and put together a route featuring a number of climbs. Paula felt well enough to drive Timothy to the start at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park.
When you slow down a bit and actually talk to people on a ride you sometimes come away feeling rather privileged by the company. John Kay retired from an electrical engineering career with Boeing over a decade ago. He’s taught karate since 1974 and he and his wife run a martial arts school. He also rides a Harley Davidson. He’s done marathons and mountain climbing and now enthusiastically embraces cycling. Mike runs a physical rehabilitation center in Issaquah. Both have businesses and families. The two of them swapped too many stories to recount here, but they’ve certainly gotten around.
Mike Hatzakis (left), another High Performance Cycling member, joined the ride. John Kay (left) ready to go.
We weren’t the only group setting out. This team was just getting their group together.
Looking at Seattle from the top of the first climb
Lake Washington seen through the trees.
The top of the Tiger Mt. climb in the rain. Sadly the climb doesn’t go very far up Tiger Mt.
John Kay shows off his Tiger tatoo.
His eagle tatoo.
On his back John has a rendition of the Frank Frazetta painting of Conan the Barbarian.
A brief lunch stop in Ravendale.
A study of saddles.
John and Mike chatted quite a bit.
Mike going for it
A farm off of SE Jones Rd.
The Renton Municipal Airport.
The Renton Municipal Airport.
Post ride bliss. Timothy succumbed to the siren call of woodfired piza at Pizzeria Pulchinella.
We expected, as the name of the ride suggests, to Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and PARTY! However, the partying didn’t wait. The evening of the first day, in Bellingham, WA, we attended the Bellingham Bike-In, which celebrated the bicycle with a parade, a bike show, music by Hot Damn Scandal, food, a beer garden, and later on, a outdoor screening of a movie (we didn’t stay for that–our stamina has limits).
The next afternoon, we rolled across the finish line at the Coast Plaza Hotel in Vancouver, parked our bicycles downstairs and then joined the official festivities upstairs. After riding 188 or so miles over two days, any food and any beer tastes wonderful as you vigorously rub elbows with fellow finishers. And on both days, it was great spending time with our buddy Bob, plus on the second day we got to hang out with James, Sandy, David, Gary and other Cascade friends.
It’s a bicymple, designed by Josh Bechtel.
Here Josh shows our friend Bob how it works.
And Bob bravely tries it out.
The rear wheel can pivot as well as the front.
Thus the bicymple has qualities much like a unicycle.
A woman and her pet, on her bicycle decorated for the bicycle show.
A penny farthing on display.
The band Hot Damn Scandal
A judge of the bike show, hard at work.
Bob reads up on the “Bellingham Express,” a 1930’s era tandem kept in very nice repair.
A local couple rode this bicycle for years many decades ago.
Discussing the Express with the current owner.
Jump ahead to the Post-Ride Party in Vancouver. Here Timothy massages Paula’s feet beneath the privacy of the tablecloth.
James Coliz, in the Bianchi jersey, one of the Bob group.
Behind our table, the fountain where many soothed their tired feet.
Paula, Bob and Timothy
A jersey from Bainbridge Island . . .
. . . that celebrates age and aggression.
We took a cab to our hotel and as it turned at the first corner we encountered a parade.
Zombies on Parade!
Day 2 of RSVP took us from Bellingham to Vancouver. Photos do better than words in describing our journey. But these words, inscribed on a marker along the way, work pretty well.
“This stone stands to mark the Earth, where a Norwegian youth, named Knute B. Aker, established his homestead, April 14, 1886, and struck with axe, strength and vision to turn a wilderness into productive soil. Through the years, with the help of God, sturdy energy, and determination, he realized his dream: produced a life marked by abundance and happiness as he marched forward with America. In 1950, Knute Aker retired, and leaves this memorial to remind the youth of today that the future is bright, and the Earth a willing ally, for those with the will to do.”
Fascinating skies heading out of Bellingham on Day 2
Hard to get the exposure right while riding
But you get the idea
More fun skies and fields
And trees and skies and fields
And wide open roads and skies and fields
Inspiration along the way
Words to live by
One of many appealing farm buildings
We pacelined with this guy for a great stretch on Day 1. Would have again on Day 2. But a photo stop beckoned …
Gave up pacelining to stop for these shots
First one side …
… and then the other
More junk art
You guessed it
Finally, we left the farm …
… and headed closer to …
Picking Canadian berries, while waiting for Customs
More Canadian berries
We had a half-hour wait. For some, it was 90 minutes.
Made it onto Canadian roads …
… only to gash a tire while racing up a roller.
Timothy went to work …
patching the tire (we later stopped in Fort Langley for a new one) …
while Paula shot what turned out to be Bob’s group!
More of Bob’s group.
This guy was not in Bob’s group. Skateboarding from Seattle to Vancouver!
Actual Canadian Cyclists coming at us
The Golden Ears Bridge in metro Vancouver
Obvoiusly, it has great lines
Heading into downtown Vancouver!