Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summits of Bothell... More Rain, More Hills

I wouldn't be complaining if this was February. Or even March. But this is June. This is spring. This is two weeks from the start of summer. Someone apparently hasn't informed those in the weather factory.

Our day began with five of us in the Eastside Church parking lot contemplating the impending ride and the current weather. We decided to take it on, bravely confronting whatever rain or wind would come our way. I knew we were doomed when my wife called in the middle of our pre-ride devotion and prayer to inform me it was dumping buckets at our home seven miles away.

Ironically, our devotional thought for the day was about resisting discouragement! “So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up …” (Galatians 6:9 NLT). The closing thought was "...great people are really just ordinary people with an extraordinary amount of determination. Great people don’t know how to quit." After reading that, I turned to the others and said, "I guess we can't bag out on this ride now!" However, only three of us would finish this ride. One rider didn't make it out of the parking lot. Well, technically she did, but it was in her car driving away. No bike ride today for her. A second rider, who shall remain nameless, (but who's first name is the same as mine and last name rhymes with "stir,") also turned away after about four miles, remarking something about warmer, drier weather in the South... like Bellevue.

So Jim, Ken, and myself pressed on. Our route was the Summits of Bothell, which covers eight summits in 38 miles with 3,250 ft. of vertical elevation gain. "More per mile than RAMROD," the website says. We began our ascent of Norway Hill and stayed fairly dry all the way until our climb up Brickyard Road. The scandinavian theme stayed with us. In our heaviest rainfall, Ken said, "The Scandinavians say there's no such thing as bad weather, only BAD CLOTHING!" How true. This was a day for the winter rain gear. But I've also learned over the years that when your clothing and body reach the saturation point, you really can't get any wetter.

One of the funniest moments was when Jim asked us to stop under the 405 overpass. He then proceeded to pull out a cheap, disposable hotel shower cap and placed it over his bike helmet. I've seen ugly helmet covers, but this takes the cake. But fair to say Jim's head stayed warm and dry for the remainder of the ride.

So up and down the hills we went. Getting wetter, climbing harder, riding faster. After 25 miles, I deemed our ride ready to conclude. We turned back toward downtown Bothell and climbed our final hill to Eastside Foursquare Church. Upon arriving in the parking lot, the skies dried up and the rain abated. But we had succeeded in resisting discouragement and not quitting. We're not extraordinary people. We're just ordinary cyclists with an extraordinary amount of determination. We don't know how to give up. Or maybe... we just don't have enough sense to come in from out of the rain.

Riders: Jim, Ken, Bob
Dist: 28.48
Time: 2:21
Avg: 12.0
Max: 32.7

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