Monday, March 20, 2006

Ride to Carbon River

The Seattle International Randonneurs have a series of routes called "permanents" that can be ridden at any time, unlike brevets which are ridden on specific dates. If you fill out the right pieces of paper, you can get credit for doing the ride. I don't really care about getting credit, but the 200K Carbon Glacier Permanent route passes within two blocks of my house. When I found out the Kevin Humphreys and Mike Richeson were going to ride the Carbon Glacier route on Sunday March 19th, 2006, I decided I'd meet them in Issaquah and tag along for a bit over one hundred miles of the 200 kilometer route.

Kevin and Mike left Redmond at 7:00 AM and I met them at 7:52 AM as they rolled by the Issaquah Public Library. The picture below shows my Kogswell parked in front of the library.

The morning temperature was in the upper thirties but the road out of Issaquah climbs gradually as it rolls southward and we were pretty comfortable. My main goal today was to make certain that I had my bike position dialed-in for next weeks 300K brevet and to test out one new bit of gear, a Marmot DriClime Windshirt.

The three of us formed an interesting slice of the randonneuring spectrum. We were all riding lugged steel bikes. Two of us, Mike and myself, were on Kogswells while Kevin was riding a Mercian. Kevin and I were riding fixed gears while Mike's bike had shifty bits. Kevin had those fancy pedals that go click while Mike and I were riding Power Grips.

The first control point was the store at Cumberland where we all grabbed snacks. I had a pint of milk and a couple of Peanut Butter Cups while Kevin snacked on a Clif Bar and Mike had some Beer Nuts.

By the way, shouldn't the sign on the ice box read "Purer than the water you drink"?

A big sharp chunk of glass punctured my rear tire just before Buckley but once that was repaired we continued onward. It was still fairly cool as we climbed up toward the Carbon River Ranger Station and there was some snow on the roadside and dusting the mountains that rose above the Carbon River.

Kevin and I were at the Ranger Station by noon and Mike rolled in a few minutes later.

I took off ahead for the descent back home but stopped in Wilkeson to snap a photo that I figure the Cars-R-Coffins folks will appreciate.

I stopped again in Burnett for some ice tea and a really good slice of pizza. While I was eating I saw Kevin and Mike roll by.

I meandered back home, taking the somewhat more scenic detour along Mud Mountain Road.

I caught up with Kevin and Mike while they were snacking at Cumberland but I was on a roll and kept rolling.

Temps were up in the fifties now, with blue skies. The Marmot windshirt had been the perfect garment all day. I had it layered on over a wool base layer and in the cool times I'd had it zipped up and as things warmed I opened up the zipper to let air circulate in at the neck and out through the underarm vents. At ten ounces, a lot of ultra-light backpackers had recommended the shirt and I was happy to see it works well on the bike. My windshirt is black, so I supplemented it with my yellow Canari vest to give that proper eye-searing "hey there's a biker here" effect.

The paragliders were enjoying the thermals off Tiger Mountain and I stopped and took a couple of pictures.

I was back home at 3:47 PM with 106 miles on the odometer. Not at all an epic ride, but a great day on the bike.

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