Miles: 55 Climbing: 3900’ Route: Downtown Seattle--Mercer Island--Honda Hill--164th to the top of Lakemont on Cougar—Newcastle Golf Club--May Valley--Tiger Mountain from the north--Issaquah Hobart Rd.--Issaquah--Newport Way--Mercer Island--Downtown Attrition Rate: 10%
If you are going to have "Pro" written across your ass, maybe you should act like it, at least part of the time; like when there are others around? It's kind of like having your name on your golf bag; it's nice to have the game to go along with it. More later.
We had a nice group of ten for today's HOWC. Emil led the ride, and I don't know what he was expecting, but I thought we might have 20+ show. I guess the still chilly early morning discouraged some riders, but I think many people likely tired themselves out during Saturday's equally stunning weather.
We had some new folks today, and all rode well. We did have someone show up with panniers, not typical gear on the HOWC. I guess Baggage Man didn't get the memo...or read the ride description? In any case, he exited fairly early.
Jeff S is recovering from surgery, and it was nice to see him on the bike. He left early, not wanting to push it, and Reg N and I peeled off early as well, as we both had to get back to town.
Right at May Valley Road, we happened to "merge" with a local racing club, the one with "Pro" on their backsides. We found ourselves in one large paceline with a bunch of people we didn't know—never an ideal situation. As the cars piled up behind us while our now large group hogged the road, I cringed to think what was going through the drivers’ minds.
Some in our group had to work a little harder to catch back on after stop signs, as the Pros simply blew through, dropping at least one of their own in the process. Others in our group appeared to have trouble making up their minds as to which group they belonged with. It was easy to see the group mentality take hold. I was glad when we elected to opt out and wait for Baggage Man and another rider who had missed a light...and wisely decided not to run it.
As I saw large group after large group on May Valley, I was once again reminded of how delicate cycling's image seems to be right now. While some drivers enthusiastically support cycling, many others seem to grin and bear it. As you leave the Seattle environs, I think there is a little less grinning.
As serious cyclists, most of us know our rights, but not too many think of the responsibilities. A little courtesy can go a long way.