Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Daffodils and Dessert
Some cycling events are all about the ride--you look forward to the scenery, the route, the small towns, or the terrain. And then some cycling events are all about the finish line dessert. The Daffodil Classic was just such a ride.
Today's ride began in Orting, known most recently for a potentially sabotaged city water supply that was deemed safe just days before the ride. For the geographically challenged, Orting is southeast of Puyallup and Sumner and lies in the quiet foothills of Mount Rainier. On a clear day, the views of Rainier from this growing town are breathtaking. On a day like today, the views are best described like this..."Well, Mount Rainier is somewhere around there." So, the clouds and gray skies ruled out that this would be a scenic ride.
The rain came and went and came back again for the first two-thirds of our route. Oh, the route... actually the route was pleasant enough with plenty of rollers, valleys, and winding backroads. However, this ride wouldn't be about the route for two primary reasons.
1) Darn Henrys. If you're a cyclist, you're thinking I just printed a typo. A "Dan Henry" is a symbol painted on the roadway indicating where a cyclist should turn or go straight. A "Darn Henry" (revised slightly for a family audience) is what we got. These were painted in the smallest possible size and painted exactly 6 inches before the turn. This created a riding experience something like this: "We're riding along... riding along... nice horses... nice barn.... TURN RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!! NOW!!!!!!!"
2) Chip and Seal: Cobblestone's evil cousin. About 90% of our road surface was chip and seal, which is about one step above gravel. This gave us a perpetual full body massage as we bounced along the teeth-chattering route.
I suppose the ride might be noted for the small towns. Eatonville is a handsome little community. As we passed the Assembly of God church just letting out, it made me wonder what it would be like to pastor in a community where you likely did know everyone who lived there. And I suppose the ride might be memorable for the terrain. Sweeping valley descents, nice long climbs, shady forests, and up-and-down rollers made this ride an occasional thrill. But if it's thrills we're going to talk about, then I have to mention Warren.
Cary, Bryant, Kristin, and I all had a sizable laugh--in fact we were in stitches--at what happened to Warren on this ride. When the sun began peeking through a little hole in the clouds, Warren was really ripping up this ride. Among this crowd of cyclists, he was really sticking out in front. I admire him for his boldness and transparency. He's a bigger man than me!
So, while this ride wasn't about the scenery, the route, the small towns, or the terrain, it was certainly about the friendship (and getting to know some friends better in a most unexpected way), but it was all about the dessert. At the conclusion of our 62 miles, was a well-earned strawberry spongecake dessert that went from my dish to my tummy almost as fast as Bryant descended that last hill.
Yes, this ride was all about the dessert--not the best dessert ever, nor even the best dessert this week, but it was a well-deserved dessert and well-earned dessert and sometimes that's what a ride is all about.