Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chilly Hilly With A Toe Jam Kicker

Shawn, Elisa, Greg - Near Battlepoint Park

***Warning, intrepid cyclists only need apply. ***
Oh, yeah, that's us.
 Welcome home Daddy-O! My dad just rolled into town fresh from the dry desert heat of Phoenix, Arizona, so we decided to reaquaint him with the joys of cycling in Kitsap County, Washington. We (us year round Washingtonians) thought it was a warm day. It had to be in the upper 60's, for sure, maybe even the low 70's, and the sun was gracing us with it's presence. Shawn, Elisa and I all whipped our jackets and/or sleeves off after the first few hills on the approach to Battlepoint Park on Bainbridge Island. He kept his thermal underlayer on. It is a true testament to how well the body adapts to different climates.

A "woo" worthy climb. One of many.

Shawn, Michelle, Greg, Elisa with Illahee Beach State Park across the water behind us.

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard

Just to add a little fun and extra challenge into our adventure, Shawn led us through Fort Ward State Park, and out along the water on the south side of the island. It seems the park is not currently being maintained, but it is still suitable for biking. Shortly thereafter, as we were strolling along the water just admiring the view, we took a sharp left and, gulp!, craned our heads upwards as we scrambled to get into a manageable gear for our attempt up Toe Jam Hill-site of the annual Toe Jam Half Marathon.

It was a close call, and we certainly were wishing for mountain bike gears, but we made it up the steepest section, and after that, although we were still climbing, it almost felt like we were heading downhill, such was the relief we felt. There were still many more hills to conquer and downhills to freewheel. My Cateye clocked my top speed at 39.8 mph. Yahooooo! Good thing I didn't hit a pothole-but what fun.

Welcome Home Dad!!! -Michelle

Bainbridge Ferry with Seattle Skyline

About three hours into our ride, my Dad (a.k.a. Greg) was shaking his head at our distance covered. We had pulled off along the east side of the island, along a beach road with a stunning view of Seattle across the Salish Sea, to gobble down whatever food or gels we had left at that point. We were 40 miles into our ride. "I'm usually at home and relaxing in the pool by now," he quipped. "Welcome back," laughed Elisa. "No kidding," he replied with a wry grin. The hills really do slow you down. Fact.

We continued on the roller coaster route, making our way back to the Agate Pass Bridge, which leads into Suquamish and onto Poulsbo. We will all be riding together in the upcoming Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, otherwise known as the STP, next month. This ride was a great confidence booster for all of us. I think we are all really looking foward to our upcoming 200+ mile jaunt from the Emerald City to the Rose City.

55 miles, 4 hours: A challenging social ride. :)

Happy riding folks!


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