Cougar, Squak, Tiger, Ravensdale loop

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.

RSVP – Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party, The Parties

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.

RSVP – Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party, Day 2

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.”