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 1

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).

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.