Wednesday, August 20, 2008

RSVP 2008 - Hot, Hotter, Hottest

The "Ride from Seattle to Vancouver, BC and Party" 2008 began for me in Bothell where I met two other riders, Jay and Johnny. We met up with Gary in Maltby and added two more riders to our group in Lake Stevens. The route on the first day, Friday, from Seattle to Bellingham, is a beautiful ride paralleling I-5 along back country roads, Highway 9, and Chuckanut Drive and goes through Lake Stevens, Arlington, Bryant, Mount Vernon, Burlington, and Bow/Edison. Hands down, the best part of Day One is along Chuckanut Drive overlooking Bellingham Bay. The weather was very warm, easily in the mid 80s, and we worked to stay hydrated. Fortunately the breezes kept us cool. Unfortunately, some of those breezes were headwinds. Especially in Skagit County before reaching Chuckanut Drive. But we had strong riders with us that pulled us nicely through the flat farmlands as we rode in a tight paceline.

Upon reaching Bellingham, most of our group stopped at either a hotel or at Western Washington University to spend the night. I, however, had another 20 miles to ride to reach Lynden where my family was camping at a KOA campground. The benefit to me, I got to sleep in on Saturday and only had to ride two miles before breakfast!

We started Saturday in Lynden for a sit-down breakfast at Dutch Mothers Restaurant and an all-you-can-eat buffet with about 100 other riders. Following breakfast, we continued north through the Lynden farmlands until reaching the Aldergrove US/Canada border crossing. The day was heating up and we spent most of Saturday riding in 90-100 degree heat. One memorable stop was at mile 144 where a public park featured a water spray area for toddlers and preschoolers. It was humorous to see a bunch of old cyclists standing amidst the little tykes and getting thoroughly soaked--fully dressed. But it kept them cool!

Our final miles into Vancouver were from the east riding along residential streets and dropping into Chinatown and then through Gastown and along the waterfront of Downtown Vancouver. The day was beautiful, if a bit hot. The scenery of the day was stunning and this continues to be one of my favorite rides.

Check out more of the photos here.

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