Start late and RSVP!

By | August 17, 2013

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.

First stop is the charming town of Snohomish. Last year, I rode with a friend who made me start really early (although her father did give us a ride to the start line, so it was worth getting up before dawn!), and we arrived in Snohomish amidst crowds of cyclists. This year, as you can see, I was one of the last to arrive. No matter- the guy at the coffee shop still had cookies (yes, I ate cookies for breakfast, no judging allowed!), and he was still thrilled to be serving cyclists. We may be an odd bunch, in our CHEEKY jerseys and weird shoes, but we spend money on our rides, even when there is free food.

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?

CYCLEBUTTCRACK is your purveyor of CHEEKY cycling gear.  Head to or for funny cycling jerseys, The BEER cycling Jersey and T-shirts!

One thought on “Start late and RSVP!

  1. C.R.E.W.

    I agree with you that Rails to Trails routes are BORING; not much to see, unless it’s the run-down side of town. But, then there’s the High Trestle Trail in the middle of Iowa. At 25 miles long, it’s a short stint and rather monotonous–until you hit Madrid. There, you’ll find the Flattire Lounge, It is right on the trail and housed in a Quonset hut that’s repurposed into a bar, complete with outdoor sandwich grill area and a back deck just 12 feet from the trail. Further along the trail as you head west is the half-mile long bridge over the Des Moines River, the High Trestle Trail Bridge:
    If you pedal onward to Woodward, there is the Whistlin’ Donkey Bar which is about 50 feet north of the trail. Otherwise, it’s predictable & quiet, which is okay if that’s what you want on a ride.


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