Umm make that Tahuya Hell - no not quite that bad.
We caught the ferry over to Bainbridge early Friday evening and had a nice dinner at the Harbour Pub. After dinner we rode past Pegasus Coffee where a folk singer was playing, I wish we could have stayed and listened, (Pegasus Coffee is my daily cup of choice at their downtown Seattle location at third and union) then up the hill and stayed overnight at the Best Western. This was a really nice hotel (5 down pillows on the king size bed, kitchenette, Pegasus coffee in the room, big screen tv, big comfy chairs, high speed internet) - and I'd like to go stay there again when we didn't have to get up so early for a big ride.
We woke up to the sound of rain - my hopes of doing this ride on a beautiful day were dashed. After a quick breakfast in the room we headed down the hill to the Bainbridge Island Bike Barn where the riders were gathered to depart. We picked up our brevet cards and paid our fees and headed out - we quickly saw all the yellow jackets disapear up the hill. We spent the morning riding in the rain and I was cold. We saw our friend Knox at the Hood Canal Bridge - we were not sure if he was afraid to cross the bridge or just taking pictures. When we got to the first control at Port Hadlock, I got some work socks and heated toe warmers which made the difference for the rest of the day - unfortunaly I also got in the slow check out lane - reminder to self - if self check out available to use it.
From here at least the weather improved we headed to Quilcene where we found Tom Mage - who I did not expect to see since he is a zippy rider. Tom - had earned a DNF (Did Not Finish) for the day his bicycle only had one crank. Tom was waiting for a pick up - we wished him well and headed up Walker Pass. This is a pass and does take a bit to get to the Summit of a whopping 727 feet but we had started at close to sea level.
After descending Walker Pass you ride through a series of rollers and past many RV parks, Campgrounds and Scuba sites. The Hood Canal is known for its excellent diving. We reached Hoodsport (Control #3) and took a short break to eat sandwiches and refill our water bottles. The we proceeded around the hook of Hood Canal to begin the part of the ride I don't like.
Control #4 found us at Kays Corner - where the SIR folk were doling out cups of noodles and fritos to get us through to the end. It is deregur to eat a cup of noodles on an SIR ride - without one the ride doesn't seem complete. They are packed full of sodium goodness. We turned on our lights for the first time and headed up Tahuya River Road at Twilight. It was snowing pollen. This road is really tough because it hilly and has no markings so its hard to tell how long the hill is. We made it though - I flatted on the next stretch of road, Bob fixed my flat and we headed back up the road - another really tough stretch of hills Dewato Road and Holly Road. I made the mistake of stopping and had a bitch of time getting started again. About this point Bob flatted - he told me to continue on without him.
Control #5 - The Seabeck store - Oh My this place was a hoot. I was good on food and water but did need to use the facilities. Lucky me I got to use the inside facilities all the guys had to use the green box outside. While waiting for the facilities I got to look at the taxidermy that was on display and talk to the propriotor of the store. One of the displays - a big momma goose and her little yellow goslings (Happy Easter - poor dead little goslings). Anderson Hill which has a bad reputation was next - I had learned my lesson earlier about stopping on the hill and powered through.
Paulsbo - I got called a bitch by some folks standing by their car - Oh Joy - I'm getting nervous about time but am confused by the way the route goes through town. I'm anxious to be back on 305 where I know I just have a straight shot to the finish. At this point Dan and Patti catch me and Bob catches me also - we all put the hammer down and get past the Casino and over Agate Pass. I don't know why I was thinking it was all downhill from here because it wasn't - we pushed hard and made the turn onto High School Road - looking for the hotel where the ride finishes. We both expected the hotel to be right on the road not tucked back into a side road - so we rode past it and turned around and found it when we realized this was the case - pulling in at 3:00 am. That's right - this ride had lasted us 20 hours. Lessons learned - be better prepared clothing wise so no shopping needs to be done on route, don't stop on hills, more endurolytes so less bio breaks, if the water isn't hot - forego the cup of noodles (sad), pay closer attention to the time.
This year was great with the ride ending at a hotel so we ate Pizza, grabbed a nap and caught the second ferry back to Seattle. I spent Sunday near comatose and feeling toxic from too much sustained energy and too many powerbars.
Ride #2 completed towards Paris - Brest - Paris - next up the 400 km