Reliable friends who do what they say
are like cool drinks in sweltering heat—refreshing!
What a weekend! It felt nonstop. Saturday Dad and I did a Francis Gan/Team Earthdreams ride around the Issaquah Alps. It was 50 miles with between 5900 and 6300 feet of climbing, depending on which GPS track reader/elevation profile creator you believe. All but 400 feet of that climbing was in the first 37 miles. The last 13 miles were mostly flat and faster-paced. The ride took us all day — we regrouped at the top of every climb (normally I’d say “hill,” but we were riding up small mountains), and had a couple of water-refill stops in there, too. Even so, by the end my legs were howling. Partway up the last climb I honestly wasn’t sure I could keep pedaling. But I did. It was excruciatingly hard for me, but I did it, and I’m proud to have finished. I spent pretty much the rest of the day napping or quasi-asleep.
Sunday I did Bike Alliance stuff, went to church, and then did more Bike Alliance stuff after church until Ian’s parents came over. Actually, I kept doing it after they arrived, too. So much to do to get ready for the Sedro-Woolley class. Mom and I spent about three hours talking about ways to make the class more interactive and less lecture, and I’m excited to try some of our new ideas.
Today I drove up to Sedro-Woolley, met Jim there, and we got the area ready. We laid out the skills course, spray painting dots in a little-used parking lot. I hope the state doesn’t mind too much. Then we rode around to scout for the road ride; this is a bit problematic, since the building we’re doing the training in is about 2 miles from the town itself. That’s not far for an experienced, fit bicyclist, but for people who haven’t been on a bike on 30 years — or even a year — two miles each way adds up. That means we have to keep the rest of the course as short as we can, both so that the participants can actually finish the ride, and so that we can finish it within our allotted time. Once we scouted a route, Jim and I sat and hashed out who was going to teach what tomorrow and Wednesday. I’m mostly going to lead teach, my first time. But the participants don’t know that, so I’ll just act like I know what I’m doing, and they’ll be none the wiser.
The class is in the North Cascades Gateway Center, which used to be a mental hospital, back when the state ran such things. Now some of the buildings are used and some are empty and slowly decaying. The part we’re in is used by what seems to be an alternative high school. Two teachers (I assume) stopped me and asked what I was doing while I walked around. The architecture is really remarkable, Spanish colonial stuccoed buildings with gorgeous architectural flourishes that haven’t been used in 80 or 90 years around here. Unfortunately inside feels as grim as you’d expect from a run-down ex-mental hospital.
Anyway, I confirmed that it’s an hour and a half or so to Sedro-Woolley, but I can get NPR all the way. When I got home, it wasn’t raining, so I rode my bike to Kirkland Bike Shop, where they replaced my worn-to-a-nub brake pads. I’d forgotten how responsive disc brakes are when they’re fresh and new. Then I rode around to the 520 trail and home with a southwest wind. Sometimes it felt tailwindy, but other times it felt more headwindy when it came from the west. It was a good ride, but my legs still feel tired from Saturday. So. Tired.