Chilly Hilly and Camano Island (and Hampsten)

Our first major event with the Cascade Bicycle Club was its well known Chilly Hilly — which, in fact, isn’t all that hilly and this year wasn’t very chilly (until it came time to wait an hour for the ferry in damp bike clothes …)

This was a great introduction to beautiful Bainbridge Island. And though we didn’t know it at the time, it also kicked off our unofficial Tour de Islands, still in progress. We did know that we’d return to Bainbridge, as the route was just gorgeous. Even on an overcast February day. And even though we didn’t manage to take pictures.

But: The most notable moments came after we finished pedaling.  Big events such as the Chilly Hilly are more than just rides. They’re also unofficial bike expos. Timothy had spent much of the ride, and the pre- and post-ride gatherings, ogling other bikes. Paula largely ignored this.

Until, that is, she emerged from a Port-a-John to discover Tim examining what was propped on the other side.  And it was love at first sight. And second and third and fourth.  It was a spectacular Hampsten Strada Bianca. Just luscious. She couldn’t stop gazing at it.

Then Timothy explained the Hampsten story.  And she got home and read more.  One week later …  well, stay tuned.

A month later we did Island No. 2 (or No. 3, if you count Mercer Island).  This time, we drove a little more than an hour north of Seattle to Camano. This ride was led by our new friend Bob, who’s been fabulous in making us feet at home and happy in the Seattle cycling scene. He’s a great person and a great ride leader, and we’re very lucky to have met him on one of our very first club rides.

The route was a loop of the island, and another little slice of heaven.  Too bad we didn’t linger long enough to get any photos, either here or on Bainbridge. We shall return!