Monday, March 12, 2007
Heading to Expo with an Empty Backpack
If you're going to ride your bike to Bike Expo (and why would you drive... it's called "BIKE" EXPO, for crying out loud), you have to plan ahead. And to plan ahead, you must have a means to bring home your loot, swag, goodies, and other assorted cycling paraphernalia. That's why I wore an empty backpack on Saturday's ride from Eastside Foursquare Church to Warren G. Magnuson Park where Cascade Bicycle Club's 2007 Bike Expo was held. And what a wise decision that was.
Five of us gathered around 9 a.m. at EFC--Bryant, Warren, Jim, Kristin, and myself. We were ever so pleased to see Kristin again after her 5 month missions stint in Uganda, Africa. She hadn't been on a bike in as many months, yet was able to stay upright and in forward motion quite well. We all pedaled the ever-so-familiar route along the Burke-Gilman to Magnuson Park, avoiding tree roots bursting through the asphalt and keeping a wary eye open for gestapo bike cops hovering near a never-ending series of Lake Forest Park trail stop signs.
At the Expo, we received our swag-collector-kit (the big blue Group Health bag) and begin our search. I enjoy picking up brochures, fliers, and maps for out of the area rides that I might like to try. Never mind that my cycling calendar is beyond full. There's still another ride out there to try. Like the Ellensburg Manastash Metric for instance. (wait a minute while I figure out what a "manastash" is... oh, there it is. A ridge in Eastern WA near Ellensburg.) Warren's object of his lust was the Orbea ONIX TDI. We thought it would be fun for him to buy it at the Expo and then try to get both bikes home. They had to wipe the Orbea down after Warren stood near it, what with the drool and all.
The big news is that Bryant and I paid our deposit for Cascade's RAW: Ride Around Washington. Six days and 450 miles of cycling fun from Raymond to Walla Walla, WA along the Columbia River from August 4-10. Consider me fully stoked. Bryant is most likely still scratching his head wondering what he signed up for and trying to explain it to Patty, his longsuffering wife.
We also enjoyed bumping into Mike L. at the International Christian Cycling Club booth. We spent a month with him last summer riding the 3-day Courage Classic. I enjoy the ICCC booth not only because of the opportunity to chat with fellow Christian cyclists, but also because Mike hands out free Hammer gels. Thanks Mike!
After a couple of hours filling our bags, seeing riders like Ryan Leech do amazing things on a bike, and watching Warren and Jim down a nice, gooey burger, we decided to head out. I filled my backpack with all the goodies. Bryant ditched most of his swag. And Warren and Kristin rented space in Jim's backpack for the return ride for their loot. Since we had only accomplished ten short miles, we tacked on another 18 by returning to the Eastside and taking in the hills of Holmes Point/Juanita Drive loop. We finished just minutes after the rain started falling and the Pineapple Express hit town. So, no new bikes purchased, but a fun experience with cycling friends nonetheless. And a bag of cycling doodads to sort through on my kitchen table.