Merely a week away from the July 4 weekend and it’s quite possible summer has finally arrived to the PNW. At least one can hope! It seems Jean and I have been riding in cold wet weather since mid December. I take that back. We HAVE been riding in cold wet weather since mid December! Now we’re starting to measure days ridden without arm warmers… less than 10 still!!! 

Local farmers always make rides more interesting

With roughly 3,000 miles and 10 races under our belts we figured it’s time to start exploring some new roads, as well as do our duty and volunteer for the local Capitol Bike Club’s annual Twin County Ride. 

We like riding the 126 mile full-meal-deal. It’s a great tune up for other rides later in the summer… such as RAMROD. But we figured we could forgo the long day, help out the bike club, give our legs some needed rest, and still get in some cycling. 

We were fine with giving up some saddle time to ensure others were fed and watered. I always admire those who give up time to make sure other’s have fun.

 An advantage is that we’d get to ride what I consider to be the best and most scenic section… cut out all those roads we’ve been riding for the past 6 months. We sussed out an alternate route south of Swede Hall. It was a perfect 60 miler with about 2,800 feet of climbing, a couple 15% pitches, gorgeous vista’s of Adams, St Helen’s and Rainier, as well as 15 nearly carless miles. 

Unlike the video game ‘frogger’,
there isn’t much to worry about on Frogner Road.

Our route included part of the Twin County official route with a diversion on Brown Road. After getting home I took another peek at ridewithgps and noticed it could be extended by about 8 miles to include Curtis Hill, or if one was adventurous, ride it in reverse and have fun going up some 18% pitches. Maybe in a couple weeks!!

Hills always look worse than they are!!
Topping out at 850′ on Penning Road: Wow…A view of 3 volcanoes

We began our ride at Swede Hall about 9:30 and got back about 1:00. Our shift started at 2:00 and was scheduled to run till 5:00… however, we got done abut 1/2 hour early after the last riders passed through. Even got a couple CBC t-shirts!!

Swede Hall Rest Stop…
notice one of the team sponsors napping under the tree!

It was fun to be on the others side of the table, witnessing the suffering, saying “hi, how is your ride going?, no- sorry we’re out of gatorade – it’s just water, eggs ran out this morning, no potatoes, we have lots of cookies… how about a PBJ, you can put oranges in the your water and have orange juice!!” All the while trying not to wear more peanut butter and jelly than ends up on the bread 🙂

One of the highlights was running into a couple of the OOA Cycling Team sponsors… in fact one of them I worked with for my dislocated shoulder a few years ago. He had a nice nap under the tree!!!!