Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hills of the West Coast Six-Pack Gone Flat

Miles: 29 Climbing: 2800’ Route: Tibbets—Issaquah-Hobart—132nd Tiger climb—Tiger from north climb—Tiger from south climb—May Valley—High Valley on Squak climb—May Valley—Rt. 900 (raining-abort)—Tibbets Participants: 12 Attrition Rate: 4 (two didn’t leave the parking lot: one didn’t want to ride hills today, and one drove in as we were leaving-two with mechanicals)

One of our riders today has lived in Seattle for his entire life of 54 years. He said that he has never experienced a summer like this weather-wise…but then you already knew that. The plan today was to stay close to our Tibbets start and do climbs on Tiger, Squak, and Cougar Mountains before the rain. Ideally, we would pick up a “six-pack” of two each on each mountain.

Well, at least we exceeded our quota on Tiger. Not by plan, as the intent was to loop to the south before heading back to Squak. Thanks to Dan and his handy phone with a radar map, we changed our minds and rode back over Tiger from whence we had just come. As it turned out this was a good call weather-wise. I wasn’t the only one who didn’t want to ride in the rain on their “A” bike…in mid-July. Besides it simply being the wrong time of the year to get messy, the roads were as slippery as glass on the descents.

It started to rain on the High Valley climb. After descending, the group took a shortcut over Route 900 back to Tibbets. I have only ridden 900 in the other direction one time eight years ago. My, how time flies. Heading north on 900 is a much better plan, and it wasn’t bad at all, at least on a Sunday morning.

One of our riders had a heart rate monitor with a high heart rate alarm. The noise the device emitted was that fast, “beep, beep, beep” that you hear in a movie right before the bank vault door blows off in an explosion. It was the loudest little HRM alarm I have ever heard, and I was hoping that his heart wasn’t going to explode. He looked like he was riding hard enough for that to happen! I’ve written before about how little relevant information a heart rate monitor conveys. Why can’t they invent a device with a rain alarm?

There isn’t much to write about today, because there wasn’t much to today’s ride. While our ride was short, it was sweet as well, and I just hope that we have good luck with the weather for the rest of the summer.

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