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!
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.