We’re not sure how it’s possible that each weekend event here seems even better than the last — but RSVP (Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party) was simply amazing.
Gorgeous route — much of it on wide bike paths — and, as always, spectacular scenery. Outstanding organization. Great camaraderie. A fun bike festival in Bellingham, and as promised a nice post-ride party in Vancouver. Berry picking while waiting in line to clear Customs at the border (fortunately, we had to wait only 30 minutes or so; others who came later got stuck for 90. Not so fun).
When I shot this, I just liked the view …
… And didn’t realize it was our friend Bob and his group.
Part of Bob’s group, rest stop.
Bob group and Timothy. We joined for awhile, then dropped back to take photos.
The scenic little town of Arlington, Wash.
The Best Never Rest! Except Timothy.
Cool signs and architecture here.
The Tarmac with its new frame and new pinkness
Another architectural envry shot.
And still more.
Looking down from the bridge.
We liked the bridge.
Great views from the bridge
One of many excellent bike paths on this route.
Many beautiful farms.
Shot backwards while riding. Pretty good!
Approaching Chuckanut Drive (the big hill in the distance)
“Suck it up on Chuckanut,” said Timothy.
A break on Chuckanut
Still on Chuckanut
The two of us, on Chuckanut
The guy who went to HS two blocks from Paula’s Harlem apartment.
Sucking it up, on Chuckanut.
Another Chuckanut view.
Long and winding etc.
Dynamic tandem duo, one of several.
One rider, big sky.
Needless to say, Timothy was thrilled.
The signs were all about the lemonade stand …
RSVP’s Favorite Lemonade Stand, and for great reason!
Happy Valley, Washington, not to be confused with the Happy Valley where Paula grew up in Pennsylvania
And in the very small world category: When we stopped along Chuckanut Drive to admire the view and pose in our NYCC jerseys, two couples in a car called out to us and asked if we really were from New York. After we explained that we’d moved to Seattle eight months ago, one of the men asked where we’d lived in New York. “Manhattan.” “Where in Manhattan?” “Harlem.” “Where in Harlem?” “Central Harlem.” “Where in Central Harlem?” “122nd and Lenox.”
“I graduated from Brother Rice High School!” — two blocks up at 124th and Lenox. Paula even attended a neightborhood association meeting at the high school, shortly before it closed.
What’s more, this guy used to teach in Stony Brook — where Paula went to camp as a kid. And his brother-in-law, driving the car, is from Ridgewood — popular haunt of all the NYCC SIGs.
This weekend we stayed closer to home with the lovely Tour de Peaks century in the Snoqualmie Valley (after a non-bike trip to Whidbey Island for the Coupeville Arts Festival on Saturday).
The ride started and ended in North Bend, of Twin Peaks fame. Between the start and finish we saw lots of horses, llamas, cows and pigs (including Wendy, pictured below, and Horace and Brenda, not pictured, but caught in the act of, shall we say, relations. Loudly).
A rough version of the route is here.
At the start in North Bend
Arm warmers: one of the best pieces of clothing ever invented
One of several fields of flowers.
More Snoqualmie River
Wendy the Pig
(Not her real name.)
(As far as we know.)
Old building, Snoqualmie
Old truck, old building, North Bend
Twede’s Cafe, which was the Double R Diner in Twin Peaks
Gritty stuff in North Bend
Some 4,500 to 5,000 feet of vertical gain in an 18-mile continuous climb — and then a thrilling swoop back down again. Surrounded every foot of the way by stunning scenery — and on this day, no cars for most of the journey. Such is the glory of the official Ride the Hurricane up Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park. Plus, they served chocolate milk at the top!
This was a great follow to the Tour de Lavender the day before. A fantastic cycling weekend in yet another stunning area of Washington.
Needless to say, the two of us did not climb this little hill together — Timothy being a strong climber who had fun reeling people in, and Paula being more than a bit climbing-challenged. Still, it was a fantastic trek for both of us.
Sun rises over Port Angeles before the start
Timothy starts up the ridge
Here begins the challenge: How many ways to say “stunning” ?
At the second rest stop
Running out of words already
So the pictures will do the talking
Guy with a Hampsten. Soon Paula’s will be ready!
Cowbell welcomes at the third rest stop
Cannondale poses for portrait
This drummer crew, a half-mile from the top, was a real highlight. Fabulous!!
Paula went into it more than a bit intimidated. But it actually wasn’t all that hard. Just long. There were no pitches above 9 percent and even those were few. So it was just a matter of grinding it out. And grinding it out some more. And more. For 18 miles. While taking pictures.
Timothy employed his usual methodical approach, being careful not to blow up early on, then breezing past those who pushed too much too soon.
And then, the descent! With no cars! (Just for this ride; usually there’s car traffic, but not all that much). Being able to blast down amid all that beauty with no worries of cars was simply unforgettable. As one rider said at the gathering afterward: “That descent was the best thing EVER.”