So here’s a handy tip when you’re getting ready for one of those rides you do every year, the ones you think you have all the details memorized, like, for example, how late the start line is open…look it up anyway! And here’s a handy tip for event staffers when riders show up 20 minutes late…don’t get your panties all in a bunch and yell and scream. Dude, I’m sorry I screwed up, but I would much rather you told me to go home than to deal with your anger.
Yes, alas, this is how my RSVP (Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party) started. And their staffer isn’t making my Christmas list. But they do have awesome volunteers, so thanks to the guy who found a spot for my bag and got me on my way.
One of the things about RSVP that most people like is that it utilizes miles of rail trails- old railroad tracks that were converted to pedestrian and cycling trails. I guess that makes sense- no cars to worry about, usually pretty nice surfaces to ride on. But not me. I think they are BORING! The grade is too flat and everything looks the same for miles. Before a section of the rail trail was completed several years ago, there was an amazing descent on a road- SPEED- so much fun! Now it just gently rolls up and down. Yawn. The one detour that I can completely get behind is to avoid the construction on the Skagit Bridge. You know, the one that collapsed earlier this spring? They’ve got a temporary bridge up, and are working on a permanent replacement, and I guess a bunch of cyclists would slow down the work. So I got to see a different part of the county this year.
One of my favorite parts of RSVP has been getting to the end of Chuckanut Drive- that section of the road is really scenic, and has some great hills- but at the end, there’s the pink lemondade girl. She’s been selling lemonade at RSVP there for years. I think she was 13 the first time I met her, and that was at least 8 years ago. You’re almost to Bellingham, you’re tired, and there’s the lemonade stand. I think she uses the money for college, but I bet most of us wouldn’t care if she was using it for new shoes! She made me feel old though- this year she is engaged. I can only imagine in 15 more years, her kid will be out there selling lemonade, carrying on the tradition. And I’ll be there to cheer them on!
On a final note, when I reach Vancouver, I will be almost at my 1000 mile/month goal with a couple days to spare. So who wants to go for a ride on Monday?